The next thing I know, its 6:45 and the board tells me my flight is now leaving at 7:10. Now, I’m scrambling to get back to the gate to get on board and catch the flight. All went well, and I arrived at my destination only 3 hours late. The rental car was there, and my GPS helped make my 40 minute ride to the hotel a snap. Grade for the day … a “B.” Delayed flights because of rough weather are forgivable, but I had to take points off for the recorded message updating me hours after I had departed that we would be leaving late.
Meetings went well. Again, a good start to the day. After the meetings, I met with a Regional VP for dinner. Unbelievably, we couldn’t find the hotel restaurant. A quick stop at the front desk and we learned the restaurant was a couple of tables to the side of the bar and we just need to give our order to the bartender. If only she could speak English. The VP ordered a tuna steak, with sides of steamed veggies and rice pilaf. I ordered linguini with shrimp diablo in a red sauce (is there any other when the menu says “marinara?” We were served a few minutes later. The tuna steak turned into a fish sandwich with french fries. My shrimp diablo turned into mushroom alfredo. Easy mistake to make. And since the bartender was cute, we didn’t make a big deal out her screw-up. Later, I learned she rarely got her orders right and that the hotel management was ready to say goodbye. End of day two … grade is a “B.” Great meetings, but points deducted because of a cute, but incompetent waitress.
Finally, I was told I could get a seat on a 12:05 flight to Bush Intercontinental Airport; for those who don’t know, Intercontinental is about 30 miles north of Hobby and about a 45 minute ride on a good traffic day. More good news. They would put the passengers on a shuttle and transport us from the big airport to Hobby. Put me on the plane. Just not next to the 250 pound gorilla who hadn’t bathed since he left Malaysia two days ago. Damn, that part wasn’t in my itinerary. Neither was the fact that this was a small commuter plane, with passengers crammed 2x2 like sardines without any oil to help them fit in the tin.
After a smooth flight to Intercontinental, things got bumpy. We were told a gate agent would give us instructions to find the shuttle to take us to Hobby. Surprise! No-one in a red-jacket by the gate. A gate agent told me to go to the main check-in counter in the terminal lobby. As I approached the counter, a “red-jacket” approached to help me check-in. I explained my situation and she sent me to the counter agent. The counter agent sent me to the “red-jacket” and the shuffle began. I was sure I heard “shuttle” back in Atlanta. Finally, the two representatives decided to relieve themselves of the problem and sent me to baggage claim. Of course, I had no checked baggage, so this made perfect sense.