The Best Laid Plans…
American was having scheduling difficulties.
We were two hours late out of O-Hare and spent another 39 minutes waiting for another aircraft to leave our assigned gate at CVG.
Between delays and the wont of air terminal designers to design for healthy young men and women I look at air travel anymore as an extension of the Bataan death march. Connections generally require between a half mile and a full mile of walking on terrazzo floors that are as forgiving of bad knees as walls are to crash test dummies.
Then there is the interminable wait.
Get to the airport at least two hours in advance of your boarding time in order to get through the TSA screening. Thought I was one of the bright ones having TSA per-approval until I found that the line for people of my status snaked back to the other end of the terminal main floor. Thirty minutes later I removed my belt and went through the screening device for the second time.
I had time to pick up a paperback novel ($9.00!) and have a leisurely breakfast before moseying down to the end of the arm of the terminal. There were only 28 gates on this one. My gate was 28. (Not as bad as Schlipol where my departure gate was number 102 of 110.)
We loaded on time. I was in group 5 of 9. I’ve never been able to figure out how they decide what group you are in. Mine always seems to be the one that is allowed to board when the over head baggage areas are full to the brim. I’ve started checking bags even though I consider it a rip off.
Guaranteed late arrival.
I arrived in Cincinnati about two hours late. My Mother, who was having surgery the next day panicked when I hadn’t called her to let her know I was in. She reached me as were pushing back from the gate in Chicago and the announcement to shut down all phones, computers, etc. was being made.
The car rental went smoothly. But of course, I was late to the motel. The room I had reserved (No smoking, first floor king size bed) was available but the clerk told me it was the last one and I got it because of pure luck. (So much for guaranteed late arrival)
Mom’s Surgery to remove cataracts was cancelled. Her blood pressure was through the roof. We spent the afternoon in an ER as they kept giving her drugs to bring her back from the edge of a potential stroke.
The ER doctor, a young woman, had both medical and personal skills and the latter helped immensely in calming a frightened 95-year old. (Not to mention her son.)
And so it goes.
I’ve come to take everything with a grain of salt as I get older. Shit happens. You can’t control a lot of it and so it is wise to relax and go with the flow. That’s what we did. Waiting for a digital blood pressure pump to give us a new reading every half hour or so gave us plenty of time to talk and catch up on things. We couldn’t help betting on how far down the next reading would be. I lost and so Ice cream after dinner was on me.
Jerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.