19 May 2006

Just not my day…

I am out in Seattle this week for the SharePoint Conference 2006.  Of course as we all know, life doesn’t stop when you attend a conference.  On the contrary, it seems to speed up more!
I arrived on Sunday and headed over to the Pre-Registration event to go and network with some of my fellow SharePoint Geeks.  That put me back at my hotel by 10 PM Seattle time, but I was still on Indy time which meant 1 AM already.  I got into bed and of course woke up at my usual 6 AM… literally!  I woke up at 3 AM Seattle time when it was 6 AM in Indy.  No amount of tossing and turning could get me back to sleep again.  Oh well…
Monday went pretty well.  The sessions ran until about 6:30 PM every day.  Had dinner and caught up to email just to find myself at 11:30 PM already.  Went to bed and you guessed it… woke up at 3 AM again!
Tuesday’s sessions was not quite as good as Monday, but still.  Had an MVP Dinner afterwards and only got to my room at 11 PM.
Wednesday morning… I’m starting to adjust to the time zone change.  Woke up at 4 AM.  Sessions went all day and we had the Attendee Party at EMP in the evening.  Got to bed at midnight!
Thursday morning… Yep, definitely adjusting now.  Too bad really cause I’m going to have to adjust back the other way in two days time.  Oh well… Woke at 5 AM this time.  Last session finished 6:30 PM and went out with a bunch of MVP’s and other French attendees.  Dropped Renaud Compt at the Clarion hotel at the airport and headed to my hotel.  Got in around midnight and still had to do some work and email.  Finally got to bed at 2 AM.
Today… woke up at 6 AM.  Dog tired.  Partner Event is today.  Had to fix a problem for a client too.  Of course as I’m in the MIDDLE of making the change, they decided to make an IP address change.  I get knocked out and have to call to get access restored.  Finally got them on their way.  Well I’m at the airport and it’s early.  I chose to try and catch a stand by flight and see if I can make it home earlier than Saturday morning.
I did find it interesting that the rental car agent had told me that it was "complicated" to get to the closest gas station when I asked at rental time where the closest one was.  I didn’t believe him and wasn’t going to pay their ludicrous gas up rates either.  So on my way to the airport, I figured out just how "complicated" it really was.  As you are leaving the airport, heading for Interstate 5, take the very first exit and turn to the right.  I believe its 190th Street.  Drive two blocks and fill at the Shell on the right.  Boy that was "complicated".
OK, enough of the tangent.  So coming to the conference I had my trusty red suitcase and my backpack.  Of course Microsoft gave us some cool bags which just had to go with.  So now I’m carrying three bags into the airport.  I check in for standby and the person at the American counter says nothing about my 3 bags.  Then I try and get through security… Oh boy!
Nope… only 2 bags allowed.  WHAT?  OK, so I’m sure there’s some stupid rule about it somewhere, but I know that I’m going to gate check my one bag.  I just didn’t want to check it without knowing I’m on the flight as well.  Regardless, they won’t allow the third bag in.  There’s really nothing in it except some DVD’s and a notepad.
Fine!  FINE!  FINE! 
So I take a seat at a bench nearby and simply proceed to shove the bag into my red suitcase which now seems pregnant! 
I step back in line and they let me through.  Go figure.
Then I get to the gate and sit down.  I have a Venti Mocha Frappuccino which I position on the floor.  I have my laptop out and am thoughtfully going through email.  I reach down to pick up my Starbucks.  Half way up, the cap comes off and it slips from my grip, hitting the ground and splattering all over the place!  Boy a Starbucks bomb has quite a reach! 
So off to the rest room I go to get paper towels to clean the stupid mess up.  Can it get any worse!
Then I finally get the final, that’s right, the absolute FINAL seat on the plan from stand by.  As I get to the counter before entering the door, I ask for a gate check tag.  The steward says they will check it and I can get it at my final destination.  Mmm… but I’m on stand by in Chicago.  So you’re telling me my luggage is going to Indy weather I’m on the plane or not?  Yep, that’s what they’re telling me.
Then the stewardess asks me why I’m on the earlier flight.  Isn’t it obvious?  I want to get home earlier.
Then she finally makes things a little more clear for me.  They don’t have any flights until tomorrow so weather I take the earlier flight or the red eye, I’ll be on the same flight to Indy. 
Besides the fact that I don’t understand how a large airline like American can NOT have a flight from Chicago to Indy on a Friday night after 8 PM Chicago time, why didn’t anybody tell me this when I first checked in?
So I happily gave up my seat to one of the people on stand by.  I took a seat and started catching up on email… and now blogging! 
Come to think of it, it may not have been my day at all, but its turning out pretty good in the end!

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