March 3, 2009

Why I hate flying

Ignore for a moment the fact that United has a direct flight from DEN to Toronto. Just don't ask... taking that flight would have been $400 more and when the airfare is charged to the client, the powers that be decided we should take the less expensive option when possible.

So, at 0630, I arrived at Denver to check in for my 0830 flight. To Houston. Where I'd connect to O'Hare. Then to Toronto.

I know some folks don't care for it, but Denver Int'l is actually an easy airport to get in/out. Check in was a 10 minute procedure, and security took about the same.

But it all went to shit after that. My flight to Houston was bumpy as hell, which meant no beverage service. Me, sans coffee, is not a pleasant sight.

Then I changed to the plane to O'Hare. Which promptly got held on the tarmac at IAH for 40 minutes, because apparently it was too busy in Chicago airspace for one more plane. So we sat. Finally, we flew and landed, 1 hour past our planned arrival.

Which, of course, meant that I missed my flight to Toronto.

And, as I've opined before, there are no decent places in O'Hare to eat or get a decent beer. Nor do they have free Wi-Fi, and I wasn't paying $8 for two hours of web time. So I chocked down two beers from Berghoff, read my book, and waited.

Finally, I got to Toronto. Then the joy of clearing customs. I had to provide proof that I wasn't there to sell anything (copy of the contract with the client) and proof that I had a flight OUT of Canada (flight itinerary) and that I didn't have any drugs, etc.

Stamps on the passport, and off I go to collect my bag.

Which, of course, never made it, and is still in Chicago. File a Missing Bag report. The lady claims it will be on the last flight of the night from ORD to YYZ.

Finally, made it to the hotel after waiting 45 minutes for the shuttle bus... apparently they don't send the bus until you call them first.

This morning, I had to make a fast run to Wal-Mart (I know, DMT, I know... but at 0630, I had no choice) to buy clothing that was presentable enough to wear to the client. Pants, shirt, boxers, socks, and an undershirt. The tag on the boxers said "Medium" and the t-shirt was "XL." Bought, paid, dashed back to the hotel to shower.

Getting dressed, I find that it was the OUTER sticker/price tag that read "medium," but the boxers themselves were 2XL. And that "XL" t-shirt? Yeah, no... small. And no dress shoes in my size.

So there I sat today, in the office of a new client who just dropped a big hunk of change on our software, wearing boxers three sizes too big, a t-shirt too small, and my La Sportiva Exum Ridge trail runners.

Now, I'm back in the hotel, and my bag is still in Chicago. I spent 20 minutes on the phone, restraining my temper because if I tear into the minimum wage schmuck on the phone, she'll never put my bags on the plane. Tonight, she says. Yeah, sure.

I need a drink. And my toothbrush.

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