Thursday, May 03, 2007

Extraordinary Wake-up Call

This weekend, I'm representing my company at a tradeshow in Cincinnati. Because exhibitor set-up time is limited, I had to choose a flight that left at 7:30 am today. Which meant that I would have to be out of bed by 5 am to get to the airport in time.

Blech! I most definitely am not a morning person. So I set the alarm for 4:15 as a precaution. I assumed that, at such a disgustingly early hour, I would not be easily awakened. In fact, I was quite sure that it would take 15 to 20 minutes of news-talk radio (my alarm) to seep into the REM processes. And then I'd need plenty of time to stagger around bleary-eyed as I made I sure didn't forget those last-minute toiletry items that I would use this morning but also would need tomorrow morning in Cincinnati.

So when I startled awake at 5 minutes to 5 am...to no radio noise!...my first thought was something along the lines of Ugh, why the hell am I awake at this hour? Then I realized that I could hear a voice very very faintly but quite distinctly yelling, "Answer your phone!"

"But the phone's downstairs. And who the hell would call me at this hour anyway?" I grumbled, preparing to roll over and snuggle back below the covers.

The distant voice yelled again (just as faintly), "Answer your phone!"

At this point, it finally struck me that I should have been out of bed a half hour earlier. Not unlike a sprinter off the mark, I dashed into the bathroom. Already I was mentally re-calculating the time required to get to the airport and through security. I calmed slightly. As long as I put my makeup on in the car (in the dark) and didn't give a damn how my hair looked, I still would be able to get to the airport in a timely manner.

Luckily, I'd had a momentary flash of foresight last night. Before going to bed I had put out extra food and water for Angel. So I didn't have to worry about her this morning. Because, believe me, at this hour she's not awake to remind me.

Downstairs, all I had to do was toss my toiletries into the luggage, unplug the cell phone, then drag it all down to the car. This part went as planned. Then I noticed that my phone showed I had missed three calls. My phone rang this morning? Really?

Yes, apparently, I missed three calls between 4:50 and 4:55 am. In fact, the third call was my wake-up call. My phone's tone comes from a Monty Python skit that starts with "Answer your phone, you big bugger!" And that is what woke me up.

Which was a good thing, since the alarm clock never clicked on. As I zoomed off to the airport, my brain finally began to function. Just why hadn't the clock woken me? Ah, most likely because I had adjusted it to 4:15 but not 4:15 AM. Occasionally, I forget that I have to scroll past the PM settings to get to the AM ones on the clock. Last night was one of those times.

So, as I raced down Route 1, I figured that if the phone hadn't rung, I would have slept at least another hour, maybe longer. And most definitely missed my flight! How fortuitous! I thought. I got a wake-up call from God.

I made it to airport. Circled the parking garage for a good 10 minutes to find a parking space close to Terminal A. This terminal is probably the furthest from the Central Parking garage, which means late travellers (or those who actually worry about being late--more on this subject in another post) have to sprint to the ticketing area.

Thank goodness they have the automated tellers to check in. Because the personable check-in line was waaaaay too long. I shortly learned why that line was long: my flight had been cancelled.

Yes, my flight was cancelled!

I got up at 4:55 am for a cancelled flight. And I had to get in that long line to get new tickets and check my luggage. And I would have to wait four and a half hours for the next one to Cincinnati.

I started to curse that wake-up call. Which, being a Catholic (lapsed or not), made me feel quite guilty. (God is Good, and all that stuff.)

Then the fellow at the counter next to me asked the burning question. Why hadn't we been notified of the cancellation? The agent said, "Sir, you didn't provide us with a phone number."

I almost slammed my head against the counter upon hearing her response. I thought it was God giving me a wake-up call this morning. But it was only Delta airlines.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You just made my day! I got into Austin at 1 a.m. this morning from a trip to D.C. (the Austin airport closed for awhile last night due to storms and I was stuck at IAH). You need to ask the RubSmo folks - but I believe God is 7-Up, not Delta (something I learned last time I stayed in OUR guest room). Have a safe trip, Aunt Aberta.

Rhonda said...

If Delta Airlines is God, then a lot is explained about our world today. It appears God has been in Chapter 7 bankruptcy for a while. Oh, and God has a new logo now. So...yay God!

Meesh said...

God has a new logo? Is it something like "Delta Wow!"?

Aunt Aberta, sorry to hear about your delay. But I'm glad to have perked you up. As it is, I'm bleary-eyed again 12 hours later. Just an hour ago, as I set up our booth, I had to face potential customers with my hair looking like shit and my make-up pretty much gone. If I'd know that they would be in the exhibit area today I probably would have checked the mirror at some point post-hotel arrival!

smoness said...

Man. That sucks pretty hard. Had it been ME that early in the morning... I probably would have cried.

Anonymous said...

There's no crying in business travel.

Jennifer

On another note, I have a crack house at the end of my block. Neat, huh?