Friday, October 18, 2019

Nevertheless He Persisted

All set for my weekend workshops in Columbus and Yellow Springs, the usual ritual through Security, pre-flight chant, Crostic, settled in my seat and of course, a slight delay. That turned into a longer one because of some problem in the bathroom. Really? Finally, they announce that if you’re making a connecting flight, you might want to de-board and go to customer service. Since the new arrival time in Denver was 5:15 and my next plane left at 5:30, customer service it was. Along with 20 other people and 3 agents. Now the clock ticking and me not knowing if it would be better to have them put me in a hotel in Denver and get out early in the morning, but no way of knowing if there was an early morning flight. (There wasn’t). 

My Premier status got me closer to the front of the line and by the time I got there, it was clear there was one option only: a non-stop Red-eye leaving at 11pm and arriving at 6:45 in the morning. With me scheduled to teach my 5 hour workshop beginning at 9:00 pm. Pleading sympathy from the agent, I suggested that they upgrade me to Business or First Class so I have a chance of getting a decent night’s sleep on the plane before having to teach. Since it was their bad for something as stupid as one malfunctioning bathroom, since I’ve proved my loyalty as a million-mile club member, since the agent said there were actually two business class seats available at the moment, it seemed like the right thing to do.

And yet she didn’t do it. Gave me two $10 meal vouchers and told me to talk to the next agent. I pleaded my case again and got the Party Line spiel. I asked to talk to someone at the next level higher, who arrived 30 minutes later to hear my plea. I tried to be as clear and straightforward and as charming as I could be under my impatience and lo and behold, he changed it! To First-Class! Still, I have missed three classes at school I could have taught, missed playing at the Jewish Home, will arrive in Columbus at 3:45 am San Francisco time to teach with 4 hours sleep, had 9 more hours to either spend at the airport or go home and back on my own dime and go through Security again, etc. etc.  Not the most fabulous deal. But better than sitting up all night in Economy. 

I did go home, bought a new pair of glasses, washed some clothes that I had wished I had washed before leaving, got on my bike to watch the kids at school run cross-country, had a lovely dinner and watched the first three Cheers shows on Netflix. Convinced my wife to drive me to the airport to spare me another BART train ride and here I am at Gate 4, having stopped at an airport bar on the way to watch the last 5 minutes of a Warriors game. After they broke my heart last playoffs, I didn’t know if I could take it again, but there was Steph sinking a 3-pointer and getting fouled and making 2 more, there was Draymond Green, didn’t see Klay and there were three players on the court who I didn’t know, but played well. I could easily get seduced back into watching them more than is good for me. 

That’s my boring First-World Problems and Solutions, but hey, it’s the life I’m living. Wish me luck on the flight and in the sleep-deprived workshop. Oh, and the moral: 

Persistence sometimes pays off. 

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