Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Business Trip to Florida

I made it to Florida. My flight this morning was at 6:30am. I thought if I got to the airport by 5:30 I would be good to go. I didn't make it out of the house until 5:15! What was I thinking??? I must not have been totally awake and lacking judgement. By the time I was running through the airport parking lot to check in at ohh...5:50am I was feeling very nervous. The security check lines looked very long too. Another thing I didn't anticipate for that early.
I make it to the e check-in station. The computer cannot find me. My last name is different on my credit card than on my itinerary. I try to find my confirmation number to check in with from my printed itinerary but b/c I'm so frantic I can't see it in front of my eyes. Ugh!
I walk over to 1st class check in and bud in front of everyone and ask for help and said I was extremely late. The woman at the counter said things like "you won't make this flight", "you know there are all these other people waiting in line", "you need to check in 30 minutes ahead of time". I said, "It's 6:02 and my flight is at 6:32. I'm very sorry about this but can you check me in right now?" A few keystrokes later, I had my boarding pass and went to the long line at the security gate.
I say to the security guard, can I please go ahead b/c my flight is in 30 minutes. I was feelings very scared about missing the flight. I knew that they were starting to board my flight already from talking to my boss on the cell phone. The security check line looked like it would take at least a 1/2 hour to get through and I needed time to actually get to the gate too, which can take a few minutes. Luckily I knew the gate was only about a 3 minute walk, but I was nervous...what if I got stopped and they wanted to search my bag, which happened with my last business trip.
The security guard was a little cranky... maybe b/c he hadn't had his cup of coffee yet...I don't know. He says very frankly- "you will have to go to the end of the line and ask every single person if they mind." I am terribly embarressed by this. I swallow my pride and think about the fact that I could be fired for this single act of missing this flight. Maybe I wouldn't have been fired, but I didn't know for sure and I could see it happening. I've not been the most focused worker these days.
I swallowed my pride and asked rather loudly for all to hear, "does anyone mind if I go ahead b/c my flight is in 30 minutes?" I heard nothing and then a few people nodded as if to say "go ahead". Yes, I know it was terribly annoying. Yes, I should have gotten up at 3:30am instead of 4am. I just didn't time it right. I was the annoying person you want to yell at for being an idiot and irresponsible. I just didn't have a choice but to probably piss a lot of people off at that point.

I make it through 1/2 the line and the crabby security guard jumps in and says "ma'am, you can stop right here. You have 30 minutes and from here will give you plenty of time." Okay. I'm good with that but still a little nervous. As I walk through the metal detectors, the security man asked how I was and I said "late" and he looks at my boarding pass and he responds with, "yes you are". I gather all my stuff and bolt for the gate. I ran a little and walked fast for some of it. I walk up to the gate and they just about closed the gate after I walked in.

I was happy to find that my aisle was empty. I had all three seats to myself. I imagined laying down across all three and really having a good sleep. If my hubby was around, I know he would let me fall asleep on his shoulder or his lap. He takes good care of me that way. But today, I balled up my coat and leaned up against the window. I think when I was being checked in the gal was rushing and dropped me into an upcharge seat. I found out that my co-workers who tried to check in the night before had only a select seats to choose from unless they paid $20. Well, it worked out for me, but I would have taken a seat next to mr. gassy curry man from my previous flight a few weeks ago to save myself the humiliation I went through.

Tonight when we checked into the hotel they were out of regular rooms and so upgraded me to a suite with no extra cost. I have my own huge living room and a kitchenette. Pretty nice. Providence has been on my side today, I guess.

Flordia is cold and a bit rainy. Locals are a little nervous about their citris. Especially since the west coat freeze ruining everything.
The weather is a little dissappointing, but better than the 20 degree cold and ice I left behind. Jacksonville is a developers gold mine. I've been told the construction lacks quality though. Mostly migrant works employeed around here. You can see lots of cut corners around the construction sites if you really look. Concrete work is the worst, I'm told. My co-worker's brother moved down to FL with no previous concrete work and got a job as a concrete block forman overseeing a bunch of migrant workers. So be careful if you decide to buy down here.

Signing off from Jacksonville FL...

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