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A Comedy of Errors Makes For an Interesting Day
Stupid Alarm Clock
Stupid Alarm Clock
Okay, it really isn't a stupid alarm clock. The stupidity would have to rest completely on me and my very tired brain. It all started last night at approximately 11 pm.
I had just finished working two lovely flights and was ready to head to the crash pad for a nice little 4 hour rest before catching a 6am flight the next morning. That was the plan. Things definitely didn't go as planned.
The flights went well, awesome in fact. I had a little time to do some reading and almost finished an excellent book. The passengers were wonderful heading back to base and most of them slept because of the lateness of the flight. Nothing could go wrong. Oh how wrong I was.
A wonderful ground crew member pulls up in his truck, offering a ride to the employee parking lot. Excellent! That means I will get 4.5 hours of sleep instead of just 4. I put my heavy suitcase in the back and hop up front, happy as a lark. Little did I know that this is where the problems started, but I'll get to that in a bit.
Fast forward 5 minutes to the employee parking lot. Now I'm happily loading my bag in my car and driving as fast as safely possible to the crash pad. Things are definitely going my way. At the crash pad I head inside, dump my bag in the corner and change into pajamas. Finally I set my alarm clock for 4:15 am. Yep that ride to the employee lot just gave me an extra 15 minutes of sleep. Sweet!
This is where the first problem began. As a flight attendant our schedules run on military time. Some of you are already guessing where this is going. To further your understanding you must realize that I set my iphone to military time so I won't get mixed up when I look at my schedule and see that my show time is 1513, etc. So my phone is set to military time. More of you are understanding the problem.
True enough I scrolled my alarm time to 14:15, translated 2:15pm. In my tired and anxious state I forgot to scroll all the way to the top of the time list and select 4:15 and instead I chose 14:15. Happy as a lark I spent ten minutes finishing the mystery thriller I was in the middle of and then snuggled down into the covers for a good half a nights rest. Don't forget, I'm tired from working two long flights, I've been moving for the last 5 days and not really sleeping well. Sometimes the internal clock works, but apparently my dreams were just too good.
Promptly at 6:15am I woke up, wondering that my alarm didn't go off and feeling much more rested than I should have. Start heart attack number one. Ahhhhh!!!!!! Yes, my flight was for 6am. Yes, it is now 6:20 and I'm still in my pajamas. Pause. Breathe. Freak out. Check flights. Crud, the next one to SLC isn't until 10am. I'm supposed to be meeting my family an hour north of there at 10:30. Clearly this isn't going to happen. Step two, text best friend who is moving with me to OR to tell her that I missed my 6am flight, obviously.
So now it is painfully clear that my day isn't going to go the way I want it to. Stupid good dream and warm, cozy bed. Now I am anxiously looking for flights that can get me to SLC in a relatively timely fashion, but that just isn't going to happen. The problem with taking a later flight is the fact that we wanted to get at least half way from SLC to Portland by the end of the day and with the missed flight that wasn't going to happen. This would push back our whole schedule, annoyingly enough.
Enter wonderful best friend with great ideas. So I'm on and off the phone with my friend trying to figure out what to do and she comes up with a great alternative. She and my dad can leave with the truck and moving van and pick me up in Twin Falls or Boise, which happen to be on the way. Excellent! This means we will actually get to Portland earlier than planned. All right, so now I have to search out flights that will get me to either of those places in a timely fashion.
I find the flights and we decide on Boise, since that will be the best and most available option. So now I just need to get dressed and get to the airport. I put on my uniform, pack my bag appropriately, put on makeup, roll my hair up into a clip, and then head to the dresser for the last minute essentials. Watch, check. Earrings, check. Crew badge...where is my crew badge?
Begin heart attack number two. Now I am anxious, desperate, frustrated and scared. Where is my badge. I swear I took it off and put it on the dresser where I usually put it. I search high and low. I search my bag. I search the living room and kitchen and bedroom and bathroom. I search my car. Nothing. By this time my heart has almost stopped and I really think I'm feeling chest pains.
Step one: Kneel down and pray. Literally pray. Step two: Pull out the phone and begin dialing. First call our operations to see if anyone has turned it in. Nope, no notes on my badge or employee number. Next call PDX. Has anyone turned in a badge? Nope and of course lost and found doesn't open for another thirty minutes.
Okay. Maybe I dropped it in the parking lot. So I get in my car with my suitcase, hoping against hope that I can find it somewhere. On the drive I call Ops again and ask to be transferred to the ground crew. There is a slight chance I might have left it on the plane, I seriously doubt it, but it is a possibility. No Ops hasn't found anything, but lets try the ground crew people just in case.
I wait anxiously on hold, finally reaching my exit and then the employee parking lot. Enter, amazing, wonderful, life-saving, ground supervisor. "Hello?"
"Hi, have you had anyone turn in a crew badge?"
"What's your name?"
I give it, my breath catching in my throat and hoping against hope.
"Well I have it right here!"
"Wahoo!!!!!!!" Okay, I didn't really shout that, but I wanted to. I'm certain I thanked the woman at least twenty times or more. I will still be thanking her and the PDX ground crew for a very, very long time. So remember earlier when I mentioned putting my heavy suitcase in the back of the truck the night before? Yep, my badge caught on it and the break away feature worked a little too well. Without my even realizing it, my badge fell to the ground and some amazing ground crew member who I seriously want to kiss (unless it's a girl, then I'd hug them) picked it up and turned it in.
Okay, badge found, check.
Well now that I know where my badge is and I have a plan for what flight to take I hop on the employee shuttle and head into the airport. Once I get through security I head to the gate and ask the agent if they have my badge. The ground crew lady brings it up and I thank her again...and again. Whew!
Next step I check on the direct flight. At this point in time I am booked on the PDX to SEA flight and then SEA to BOI. Luckily a flight attendant on the shuttle said I should be able to get on the PDX BOI direct flight at 9:15. I ask the gate agent if that is a possibility and she says Yes! Alright!
I am booked for the direct flight and now can relax just a bit. In my rush from the crash pad I have no food and my tummy is reminding me that it will be a very long time before I get food, so I find a nice little cafe and eat an excellent breakfast. Then I mosey on over to the gate, get my boarding pass and then board the aircraft bound for Boise.
I check in with my best friend and find that they are on the road and will pick me up in Boise. I do feel bad because that is a four hour drive from my dad's house that she has to make on her own, but we also got to start earlier than planned, which means we will get to Portland earlier than planned.
So here I am, two heart attacks and some serious chest pains later, killing a couple of hours (not unpleasantly) at the Boise Airport. I am waiting for my friend to pick me up so we can continue back to where I started this morning with a gasp at 6:15 am. A comedy of errors that turned into a great day or at least great morning.