Friday, August 13, 2010

Fired up!

Ok so the title of this post I couldn’t decide between ‘Fired up!’ and ‘Canadian Eh?’ you be the judge.

So from time to time I travel for work. It’s usually very uneventful. See a new city go through a couple of airports- usually no delays – ok except for last time ---- I was delayed due to weather though and we live in North America – in the NORTH it happens…I can deal with that. Air Canada put me up in a hotel over night in Toronto as I was suppose to be on the last flight out of Toronto to Fredericton. I can deal with that. I didn’t like it but it was beyond their control (weather delays) (note- it was beyond their control). I had about 5 hours sleep and got home safe and sound Saturday noon.

So….let me tell you about my week…well let me back up a bit – from aforementioned trip I learned at least two things –1) when booking travel for work – make SURE I’m NOT the last trip out of Toronto/Montreal/anywhere for that matter – to Fredericton. That way if it happens again – voila I have the next flight as ‘backup’. 2) go through Montreal when traveling to the US – they are more efficient – don’t have to pick up my bags – they photograph it and you say ‘yes that is my bag’ and off you go AS well the customs agents are nicer (Customs agent in Toronto basically asking me why I thought I should have a job when so many Americans did NOT have a job? Who did I think I was??)

So I booked my tickets with the ‘perfect’ flight for me – I am flying Fredericton – Montreal – Denver- perfect – on the way home Denver – Toronto – Fredericton – flight to Fredericton at 815pm – at least one more flight as ‘back up’ - My nephew and his recent bride are arriving today (at home) so this is good – I’ll be home at a ‘decent’ time – not too tired etc what with Jetlag and all.

So Monday morning I get to the airport with lots of time…board the flight to Montreal –arrive in Montreal – walk the entire perimeter of the Montreal Airport – honestly think it’s a kilometer from domestic to international connections - go through to Customs – Mr. Customs looks at his screen to ‘show’ me my bag …… wasn’t there. So he says ‘Go behind that wall and wait.’

I waited and waited and waited. I thought you know what …I’m going to be positive about this – Why? Well life could be a hell of a lot worse – I could be having awful things happening to me – its just delayed luggage –I’m not sick--– I still have time to make the flight and if not that one another one…There isn’t really anything I can do. I could get all fired up – but why? What difference would it make? Wouldn’t make that bag come any quicker now would it? The guy beside me I know was going to have a coronary for both of us anyways with the sighing and pacing he was doing….so be calm…be tranquil….lahhlllahhha......*soft music in my ears*

So Mrs. Arbee-ueww we’ve found your luggage (you are in Montreal and you cannot pronounce my last name…OK)….. go ahead – through those doors.

I go through said doors – Oh Mrs. Arbee-ueww we need to search your purse. Yep go ahead…I’ve missed my flight already (I know this as it’s exactly my departure time—not boarding time – DEPARTURE time)…it’s all good…I’m in Montreal….Montreal has more flights to Denver…I’m sure of it….calm…nothing to get worked up about….I’m not sure now quite honestly if it was because I was making a concentrated effort to be positive if this is where it all went to hell? 

So security clears my bag I go through – In Montreal you walk directly through Duty free. I make a duty free purchase – the duty free lady checks my boarding pass – yep that’s fine – go ahead.

I go to the gate – they say yep Mrs. Arbee-ueww you’ve missed your flight – go speak to that guy at the desk.

OK – I will *smile*…all is still well in the world. I’m positive.

I go see said fellow who looks like he’s searching the internet or something….. Anyhow I approach…”I need a few minutes I’m dealing with them over there”. OK *smile* no worries….eh?

I go back after his customers have left – his response to my dilemma –

‘Sorry no flights to Denver today – tomorrow morning is earliest –well maybe via Toronto.’

*smile* *inner groan* *outer positivity*

‘But you will need to go back to ticketing – I cannot do it here. ‘

*smile* *inner groad*

‘Just go through these doors, up a flight of stairs, around corner to the left, down the escalator, around the bench, turn around three times and there you are – you’ll go through Canadian customs – pick up your bag again and you’ll be there!’

*smile* Thank you –eh!

I do as he says – I tell Mr. customs I have duty free –

‘ OK well I’m going to have to take that – and pick it up on your way back through’

So I go to luggage claim – then to luggage desk – then to luggage carousel (and back and forth as no one from Air Canada is at their desk right now). I ask a chick whose walking down in there and appears to work for the airport….

“PFft – I don’t know where they are?’ Casting me the – ‘frig you’re dumb’ look.

*smile* Thank you. *smile sweeter*

After waiting in Baggage claim for ONE hour I get my luggage.

Go to ticketing - now these ladies were nice – ahhh must be all that positivity paying off. But for duty free….well he shouldn’t have taken it….*smile* Oh but he did 

Call to duty free – ‘well just pick it up at the duty free again’ (at a different airport??)

I get the next flight to TORONTO – then will arrive in Denver around 430 or so.

Duty free ppl have no clue what I’m talking about….(did get my money back)…. I get to Denver – take the Shuttle Service to my hotel and get there around 6.

Well said hotel is in a very strange part of town I believe – I had been to Denver before but couldn’t place where I was exactly or where anything was because I had a rental car before. Besides I forgot my ‘sneakers’ and my feet were killing me – did I mention I walked at least 2 KM in the airports??

So at 630 after finding that there were no restaurants open around the hotel (or at least not close (that I could see) I order from the room service menu.

Meanwhile I hook up with work and basically think – OK I’ll go to work around 7 or so to make up some work that I lost on Monday (should have been to the office around 12- not that they would expect it but hours missed are hours behind).

Room service comes - $22 for hamburger, chips and pop. OK – I can do that. It’s a treat – I never get room service. *smile* So I start eating my burger – and working checking emails etc. I look at the burger in the middle and it’s PINK not baby pink – but PINK. Damn it! Well the outside is cooked – so I eat around it a bit – then put over half of it back on the tray – you know what – I’m full – I’m not sending it back – I’m full – I don’t want another burger – why complain – we’re all happy – eh? *smile*

Well at 2 am I wake with what feels like solid mass in my stomach. Oh that’s not good. By 4 am I am puking my guts out. I’m deathly sick – I am vomiting every hour – my room is too cold – I stumble to the thermostat and quite blindly start pressing buttons until it stops.

At 9am I call the front desk – tell them basically – I ordered room service – the food wasn’t cooked – please send someone with Ice and something I can puke in (IE BUCKET eh?) – oh and I forgot my toothbrush.

Mr. Security Man and Mr. Someone else (about 12 yo – ok maybe 22) come up and bring same garbage can that I already have – I’m like – I need a garbage bag IN IT or something?? (in bed covered up –wretching as I talk-Mr. young guy was not impressed with cougar momma puking in bed). Ok Well can we ask a few questions….Well SURE you can – go ahead - ….’or do I want them to come back?’ UMM – get this over with.

‘Your name’

‘Come on……Susan Arbeau’

‘what did you order?’

‘What time’

I answer but am thinking - for f-sakes – I ordered it and its going to be on my bill. I’m sure SURE that you have record of it. But you know I’m going to be ‘positive’!

‘ok well let us know if you need anything….’

‘its hot in here – pls do something’

‘well you have the heat on’ ---sarcasm in voice…..’I’ll turn it down’…..

‘water…I need water’

‘here is the 3.50 water….have that’

OK yep – at that point I’m like give me the water – I don’t care if it’s 3.50 an ounce – I’m sick I cannot leave this room.

Mr. and Mr. leave…..

I am in my bed I’m puking every hour or so til 2 then diarrhea kicks in…..yummy! The room is hot…… it’s….. cold the blankets are heavy…..

Housekeeping comes and wakes me up by opening and slamming door (ok maybe wasn’t slammed but you know when you are sick and *finally* sleeping a bit and the door opens and closes??) .

Housekeeping calls at around 3 I’d say – (no idea the time)

‘Mrs – can we clean your room? ‘

‘uh…No…I’m really really sick – I cannot get out of bed’

‘Oh ok…sorry to hear – thanks’… click

Around 4 I’m starting to feel that ‘hungry’ but not for real food – just for toast or something bland.

Well I’m a bit less positive that I was before and think – I’ll go find toast down stairs – they are not getting 6 bucks for toast.

I dress – stumble to the restaurant – order toast – plain – I’ll be back.

Ok up to Starbucks- start crying cause they don’t have fruit cups…. Yes. Crying.

Back down to restaurant. To the toilet. Toast is NOW ready.

Back to room where I put the toast on the bed and nibble all night on it.

*note of course there were the calls to my husband in between there…crying of course – BUT I was so sick that I didn’t open my laptop – I just don’t do that – I have to be pretty sick not to check in for work (IE out of office or something)*

All night long I’m up – gagging – shitting – gagging…finally to sleep around 230-3 – I wake in the morning feeling better..not 100% better but I’d say 75% better.

I go to work – probably shouldn’t have but I had already missed two days. I go to work on Thursday – then out to dinner – my appetite is still not back. Folks I gave up Cheesecake cause I really just didn’t feel like it – well that’s not me.

I book my shuttle back to the airport for Friday – my flight leaves at 1115am – I figure if I’m there or plan to be there by 915-930 I’m good – they recommend 90 minutes. The only option I had ‘according to shuttle service’ is 720am. I’m thnking OH ok must be 2 hours to get to airport with morning traffic.

Talking to a fellow employee – he’s like NO your hotel is a ‘regular pick up’ you can go an hour later – it wont matter’. So I ponder and think – you know what – oh well I’ll get to the airport a bit early – I’m not going to sweat it – they have internet access – its all good.

Thursday night I basically toss and turn all night long – I think I fell asleep at around 4 – the room was hot – it was cold – the heater / cooler kept coming on – I could hear street noise – my laptop fan I know went all night long…..

I woke up at 655 – I wasn’t packed –I had felt like crap the night before and figured if I got up at 6 I’d have plenty of time….. nothing ready! I think OH well I’ll call shuttle service and tell them I’m going to go on the one that is an hour later.

‘Hello Shuttle Lady – this is my conf code – I don’t thnk I’ll make it to my shuttle at 720 – ‘

‘Well – it’s TOO late to reschedule – you ARE being picked up at 720 sharp in shuttle number 621. It’s too late to do anything.’

‘So what do I do then?’

‘Take a cab??’ (shuttle is 22$, cab is 60)

‘k – bye’ I hang up – think – just hurry!

I rush – get down to the lobby at 720-721 something like that – shuttle 342 is there – phewf – I didn’t miss it – that’s not my shuttle – mines on it’s way right….

Mr. 342 Shuttle driver –‘you going to airport?’

‘Yes – oh but I think I’m on 621…’

‘nahhh that doesn’t matter…….’

OH really? Well it seemed to matter to the bitch on the phone? (I did NOT say that but was thinking it)……

Take shuttle to airport – arrive at airport at 810am – yes 810 am – over 3 hours before my flight.

I kill time on internet….get my ‘airport’ gifts for my kids and go to gate.

Flight is uneventful arrive on time……go through customs…..look down over baggage and ‘immigration I think it’s called – where you pass in your blue card that is stamped) there are at least 300 ppl in line.

SHIT – my bags don’t come with the first ‘round of bags’ they come with the next one……I get in line at immigration to hand in my blue card. WHY don’t they have a ‘connections line’??

I get to connections…….

‘Sorry – you missed your flight – get in line here(line is long) or go to arrivals and get it rebooked….’

Phewf…good thing I banked in that extra flight… thinkin’

I go to arrivals – I approach pursed lipped *attendant*. ‘ I missed my connection – because of customs and immigration - the lines’.

Peering down her pointy nose – pursing her lips…’Well that will be $78.75”

‘Uh why?’

‘Same day change in flight’

‘Seriously? – I was held up in the immigration line’

‘it was out of our control…’

‘it was out of MY control? ‘

‘What do you want to do?’

‘What choice do I have? …walk?’ – handing credit card over

‘Here’s your itinerary….’

Fuck you (not said aloud )

‘OH do you have any liquids in your carry on?’

….’Not that I will have when I board the plane !’ dumb bitch – I know the drill – I’ve flown 10 times this year….i GET it………..

And I stalked off…….I get delayed in this f-ing airport because of the f-ing immigration ppl not working fast enough or them not having a connections line and waiting for my bags….. and I have to pay to change my ticket??? Are you fucking serious?? So it makes a whole lot of difference to Air Canada if I was on the 530 flight or the 900 flight? Cost them $78 more??? Bullshit!

And so here I sit – pissed off – ONLY thankful that I got the next flight – but barely.

I will be sending the hotel and the airline a nasty letter come Monday – should do it now – but really think I should wait – so I can be ‘positive’…………………………..

PS – went to tim hortons in airport – and dumb asshole basically walks right in front of me and butts in line…he’s some lucky I had my purse in one hand and my bag in the other………and was holding my cell phone in my hand………

PPS - flight is now delayed 25 more minutes......

PPPS - just announced that it was on time - there are old ppl and kids sitting around....and online says:

Airport:Lester B. Pearson Intl (YYZ) - Terminal T1 (Gate 134)
Date:Fri 13-Aug, 2010
Revised:21:55 Delayed
Departure times are shown in departure airport local time.


Date:Sat 14-Aug, 2010
Revised:00:43 Delayed
Arrival times are shown in arrival airport local time.


Kimmartha said...

What a sucky trip. But I did have to giggle...just a little... ;)

"The real" MarthaSue said...

haha yeah you can giggle :)

sorry didnt make it on tuesday....will see you this week for wanna do dinner we have a LOT to catch up on!

PamelaM said...

I am still stuck on the $22 burger. lol! When I order meat, I always say "when you think it's burnt, cook it some more"...ha ha! That a crazy experience for sure. Hope you are feeling better.

Queen Mel said...

You are a way better person than me Sue! I would have in such a state, you can only imagine putting me in that situation I would have been crying to the Mr & Mr who came up saying "why are you being so mean I'm sick"....LOL