Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Trip from Hell...

OK, so Ive been traveling a ton and the whole blog thing sorta lost its appeal. Im sure the 2 people that read it slowly cried themselves to sleep... Well, I had to post this story since it was absolutely ridiculous. Absolute nightmare of a road trip from Miami to Tulsa to Dallas to Houston and back to Miami.

So, I left Sunday for tropical Tulsa, OK with a connection in Dallas. Flying on the weekends for work kinda sucks, but Ive been getting so annihilated from going out so much that it was nice to have to "tone it down" on a Sunday. I get to Dallas and board the Tulsa flight. Should be an easy hour trip but the pilots decided to show up 90mins late in Dallas...go figure. Got to the hotel at just after midnight after taking a cab where the cab driver started screaming at someone in Arabic. I think he was pissed at the dispatch because he kept screaming, "Gligamesh ish beck naka gilgamesh leeba tatkainalsdhliajsdf dispatch gilgamesh suresh asdjfasjdhglasdjrfasd dispatch gilgamesh suresh dispatch hasldkfalsghalsdjl alsidfjla sidfliuf aisjdf l; dispatch!!!!" over and over again.

The next day, I visited some accounts, wrote some good biz, and got done early. Had a 640p flight to Dallas but got to the airport at 2p so tried to fly standby on the 440p flight. Well, the 440p flight gets cancelled ("mechanical failures") and the 640p gets delayed 45mins (no fuckin reason)... At least the bar was right next to my gate and I met a cute chick who was more of a sports fan than most guys I know. At first, I thought she was just quoting crap she read on espn.com that morning, but this chick was legit. We spent about 2hrs throwing back a few brew-has, taking sports, and making fun of the dork next to us with the bluetooth earpiece - awesome times! I still dont get why people wear those stupid things in public. Anyways, I finally board the plane and get to Dallas at 845p only to find out that they left my bags in Tulsa. Reason for this - "TSA didnt have enough time to get my bags on the plane". Thats right, 5hrs early and they didnt have time... I mustve said, "Fuck" about 100 times to the poor baggage lady because she kept giving me the "not enough time" excuse. I was doing my best to hold back rage but it slipped out a little when I ranted, "Lady, gimme another excuse please. Even lie if you have to! Tell me they thought y bags were radioactive, that they were WMDs, that they thought my electric razor was a grenade, but dont tell me they didnt have enough time when I was there 5 fucking hours early!" Went out for a good bite to eat and a much needed whiskey before heading to the hotel for some shuteye. Captain Fantastic at American Airlines said that I would have my bags delivered by 10am so at least that wasnt so bad...

Its 9am and I call the "lost baggage hotline" to get the status on my baggage. The computer attendant tells me that they arrived in Dallas at 8am and "will be delivered to me within the next 6 hours." Gee, 8am + 6hrs = 2pm last time I checked. I knew that lady was full of shit when she said 10am... Well, bags showed up around 1145am and I headed out to a crappy meeting then broke for lunch before heading to the reps office to train a new guy. From there we hit up another customer for a meeting that sucked because we didnt write business right then and there, but the customer was a really cool guy and we chatted for awhile about Miami, Superbowl, Vegas, gambling, etc (all the important stuff) and got to know each other better so at least that was good.

Then it was time to fly to Houston. My flight was supposed to leave at 830p out of DFW but it was raining like hell so it was delayed to 930p. I was afraid it would be cancelled so i cancelled the flight and called Southwest cuz they had flights at the other Dallas airport (Love Field - which was closer). The lady on the line for Southwest said they had "plenty of availability" on about 9 flights that left every 1/2 hr and that there were no delays longer than 15mins because of the rain. She said it shouldnt be a problem getting on the 6. 630, or 7p flight. When we left, it was POURING out. It was so bad that we were driving down a hill and there was 3+ inches of water on the road in the MIDDLE of the hill, not at the bottom. "This cant be good" I think to myself. I get to the airport and they can only get me on the 830p. Its 545p... I ask why and they tell me the airport has been shut down for the past 2hrs due to weather...go figure. I guess captain McSmartypants left that out of her "you should have no problem" report 15 minutes earlier.

The airport is a total madhouse, people EVERYWHERE. The line for Chili's was at least 50 deep and there were no chances I was gonna spring for McD's or some other shit food. At least they had the most awesome thing Ive ever seen at an airport - BEER CARTS! Thats right, people walking all over the airport throwing down beers like nothing. It was like being at a Pats game! I slammed down a few Heinekens and then realized I would need to wait about 3 more hours before my flight had a chance to leave so I hit up Chili's and made it thru the line relatively quickly, no thanks to the douchebag lady that told me there were single seats that you didnt have to wait in line for - I got out of line only to be sent back... Two double whiskeys and some boneless buffalo wings later, Im ready to check on my flight since the board says we should be boarding in 30 minutes. Guess again... The Dallas-Houston terminal at Southwest is a total free-for-all. Flights from 4pm thru 8pm are taking off at different times from 2 different gates and mass confusion has ensued. One guy next to me just had a total meltdown and started flipping out and swearing like crazy while me and another girl watched and laughed. Its always easy to make friends when youre experiencing travel woes because everyone is completely helpless. Finally, after 4hrs of waiting, I get placed on the 930p flight and when I ask if my bags will be on my flight I get a "maybe, maybe not" answer. "When the weather gets like this, we just start shipping bags on whatever flight we can just to get them there", the attendant tells me. Oh, that makes a lot of sense...

I land and check the baggage carousel dont see my bags but then the girl who I had talked with earlier directed me to a big pile of bags and sure enough, mine were there! First piece of good luck! Now its pouring outside but luckily the hotel shuttles are under cover and the shuttle driver is reasonably sane. Got to the hotel at 1130p that night, 3hrs later than expected...

Its now Wednesday morning and Im really looking forward to geting out, seeing customers, and getting the fuck outta Houston and back to Miami. At around 7am, I get a text from my rep who was supposed to pick me up to go visit 4 accounts. He is 3.5hrs away in Austin where he lives and cant leave because a bridge is under 3ft of water... Go figure. We scrap the day and I check to see if I can get an earlier flight than my 7pm scheduled filght since its 1145am. There is a 2pm flight and its a 35 minute drive once the shuttle gets here to pick me up. Im gonna go for it, so I shower, pack, and make plans to head to the airport. I talk with "Keisha" who tells me that "Leroy" will be there to get me around 1230p. Its gonna be close sportsfans. Im really depending on Leroy... Leroy shows up and is on good spirits. He grabs some free coffee at the hotel and we head out - love that move. If I was a shuttle/cab/bus driver, I would never pay for breakfast or coffee ever. "Time is of the essence " I say to Leroy as we head out. "Man we gon' be there in 30 minutes, youll make it, I'll get you there." Leroy is the man. He starts telling me how this airport ride is "all Leroy" because he does it on the side for some extra cash. In fact, Leroy has had enough of this job and is trying to get a few bucks to help him out on his bus trip to Atlanta tonite. He is quitting the job after making a few "cash runs" and is leaving to start up at his old job in Atlanta later on that night. His current employer has no idea - awesome. Im loving Leroy time right now especially, because he's flooring it and basically pushing cars out of our way by honking and flashing high beams. "As you can see, Ive got a little bit of road rage in me...", he says with a laugh. Then he launches into a story about how his girl is a no-good drunk on drugs and that she "aint gon' see him no mo'" after waking him up in the middle of the night to ask for a smoke and then getting pissed because he didnt have any. "I felt like chokin her out but I kept my hands to myself. I dont need that shit. Instead, I went out on the porch and to' up all her underwears and shit and then I left. She wont see me no mo'!", he tells me. Leroy is single-handedly turning this trip around for me at this point. After a little silence, Leroy gets deep and asks, "If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?" Pretty broad question, but I say that I wish that everyone would just get along. That earns me a high-5 from my man Leroy who agrees and goes on a rant about how between sex, race, religion, etc., there's too much fighting and hating goin on these days.

We're finally at the airport and I wish Leroy luck in Atlanta and give him a nice tip. I really hope things work out for him cuz he was a nice guy that seems like he actually gives a shit about contributing to society and making a living, which is more than I can say for about 50% of the people who live in Miami. I hustle up to the AA counter and ask if I can make the 2pm flight and Im in! I catch a break and get an exit row aisle seat too! Talking to my boss, I say "I finally caught a break, go ton the early flight, got an exit row aisle, AND we're about to leave". Im feelin good now - its almost over. We board the plane...

...and end up sitting in the plane on the runway for 2 HOURS waiting for weather to pass so we can fly...UNREAL. Didnt help that the pilot let about 7 Continental flights sneak in front of us. Got home at 7p and couldnt have been happier. I helped an old lady grab her bags and then mine were then the 5th and 7th bags to come out - thanks karma. What a trip. There were points where I couldve had a total meltdown but I kept laughing because it was quite comical how everything that could go wrong, did. Ive really come full circle. Years ago, Id have been the guy at the airport flipping out. Now, I could almost care less. Im in airports so much these days that I almost enjoy them. Now Ive got a nice 2 solid weeks in Miami before my next trip so I'll have time to get caught up on housework and catch up with friends. Then its off to Newark, NJ where I will probably be stranded in a blizzard...

3 comments:

Dayngr said...

I'm here and I'm reading...

Tere said...

Oh hell, I just realized you have a blog! I thought you were simply a commenter without a blog!

Blind Mind said...

Yes, I have a blog and sometimes I can be a tad wordy hahaha!