Thursday, March 05, 2009

It's So Hard to Fly to Indiana (Part 1)

So, as a few of you know, I had to take a trip to Indiana this week for a job interview with a Federal Agency. Being a federal position, I wanted to ensure I took a little extra effort in getting prepared, and one thing that I sorely needed was business cards. As a staff attorney, I don't rate business cards at my practice, so I had to order some on my own. This meant going to Kinko's as they have 24-hour turnaround. I made my order Thursday, which, with 24-hour turnaround means they will be ready by Monday.

I call Sunday to check on the cards, just to see if maybe a delivery has been made, and the employee puts me on hold, checks, comes back on the line and tells me they are in. This is about 10:30 on Sunday. So I go to Kinko's to pick them up. They aren't there. Not only that, but the worker can't find the order that was placed on Thursday. She asks if I have a copy of the style I was looking for. Of course, I don't, because I left the copy with the person who took my order. I ask if they have something she could make really quickly and, fortunately, they do have "quick cards," which are extremely basic, but fit the bill. We then spend the next 2 hours making these quick cards, and then trying to cut them - which is a difficult task, because the cards come out crooked on the paper as she's trying to print them (not operator error). Finally, we get the cards, after 4 tries. They still aren't completely straight, but I don't care, because they are nearly straight, and it's 8 hours before my flight and I've not yet slept. Let me note that the woman working was quite helpful and very apologetic about the difficulty getting this together. She did more than she needed to (really), as she was conveniencing me even though my order wasn't scheduled to be ready until the next morning. She also decided to not charge me for my cards, which was rather nice, as well.

Next morning (this is Monday), I get up and start getting the kids ready for school. The Apple, who's been wanting to go to daycare with Mom for over a week, chooses today to decide he wants me to take him. The Boy and the Princess's bus shows up at 7:15 and my flight is at 9:35, with about a 40 minute commute to the airport during rush hour, so I'm already going to be within the "at least 2 hours early" window. Fortunately, the Apple is convinced (grudgingly) to ride with Mommy to daycare, so I can just drive straight to the airport.

I get to the airport at 7:55, find a terrific parking spot right next to the elevators, and make my way to baggage check. As I get to the escalator, I make a mental note that my bags seem awfully light, which allows the realization that I only have my laptop, and not my suitcase with me, to come to the forefront. I have about 1.5 hours until my plane leaves, and my suitcase (with my suit) is at home. I do some quick math and figure if it takes about 30 minutes there and back, I should have just enough time to get back to the airport and get checked in and through security to make my flight. So I do this. I make better time than I thought I would and check my bag with about 45 minutes to spare, thanks to a helpful clerk who allowed me to cut in line. I then get to go through security. Unfortunately, the Airport had a power outage and the metal detector you walk through is not yet on line, which means they have to use the wands on everyone. This means I get to get in a line about 30 people long with about 30 minutes until my plane is scheduled to depart. I make it through, though the 3 men in line after me all get to get scanned and pass through before I do (not really a slight, but kind of annoying given my status as being in a hurry). But I make it to the plane in time, and even get to take a bathroom break.

That was the first in a 3 part series. You can read part 2 here, and part 3 here.

1 comment:

DB said...

Unfortunately for me, I definitely feel you on this one. I fly tons, and usually international (which blows like none other). At least you got a polite person at the airport as that makes the difference. I have some crazy stories from flying, but I'll spare you all for now, except for one. I have personally witnessed a plane Captain walk up to an unruly/drunk passenger (before take-off) and threaten to throw him off the plane in the most clear of terms. That made the 17 hour flight that followed memorable.