Sunday, August 21, 2005

When it rains it pours..

Sorry Friends.. I am not talking about the torrential rains in Chennai.. It doesn't rain in Chennai enough.. Let alone be torrential..

I am talking about my recent business trip to US.. So many things have gone wrong in the last 7 days… They have zapped all my energy.. My travel itinerary in itself was very simple.. Chennai (MAA) - Raleigh, NC (RDU) - Tokyo (NRT) - MAA. But Murphy's law is in full force and I am not done with my trip yet..

  1. My Office travel agent waits till the last day to make my reservations and I end up little or no options. I was routed via SIN – LAX to reach to go to Raleigh. (Reason – my Tokyo stop on return)
  2. For the first time out of Chennai, I was issued e-tickets and that landed me in trouble with the folks at the Chennai Airport. For some strange reason, folks manning the Singapore Airlines (SQ) counter have hard time with the e-ticket concept. They take inordinately long time and in the end issue only the MAA - SIN sector boarding pass and assure me that the rest of the boarding pass would be given at the Gate.
  3. At the Gate, I was told that the boarding pass to Los Angeles (LAX) would be given at SIN airport.
  4. Next day morning at SIN airport, I was greeted by a SQ agent at the gate and was asked to hand over the paper ticket per message from MAA. I explain the whole e-ticket story to her again and after half-an-hour and numerous phone calls she hands over my boarding pass to LAX.
  5. After a couple of hours, as I stood in line to board the LAX flight, I was stopped again for the paper ticket. You get the drift; I repeat the e-ticket story and was finally boarded the LAX flight as the LAST passenger.
  6. As I settled down for my long trek to LAX, a ever polite SQ hostess tell me that they don't have my 'special meals' as none was requested. So I end up with fruits and bread till LAX.
  7. The usually 'on-time' SQ arrives 60+ minutes late in to LAX and I barely managed to get my connection to Charlotte and then to Raleigh.
  8. My expectations from the US carriers are close to ‘nil’ these days. US Airways did nothing to change that. I just got pretzels for a cross country flight.
  9. I finally arrive in the wee hours of Monday morning at RDU ready to crash for a few hours before starting my day. But that was not to be... Even though, I made it to RDU, my luggage didn't. So, I spent the next couple of hours searching and filing 'lost luggage' report with a sleepy US Airways agent.
  10. Now, I am stranded in a Hotel 10,000 miles from home with nothing to change. So I head to Costco instead of heading to work. In the true consumerist fashion, I buy more than the just bare essentials. (At Costco, you have buy stuff in bulk anyway – I am yet to figure out how ended up buying an iPod for myself… but that’s a different story altogether..) .
  11. My luggage finally arrives 2 days later with no sorry or compensation. It is business as usual (BAU) at US Airways.
  12. Just when I comforted myself that I have hit the bottom and the only way is UP.. I sank further..
  13. My laptop died on me as I was getting ready for an important meeting. I have heard of cigarette smokers voluntarily going cold turkey to get rid of the addiction. I feel as though I am going through an involuntary cold turkey with my dear laptop. In the last 10 years, lap top has become such a part and parcel of my life that I took it for granted. I have been through several laptops in the last 10 years (started with a monochrome) but never had one die on me. Hopefully, my office folks back in Chennai can do some magic to get my machine to breathe again. For that, I have to wait for a few days as I trek back to Chennai.
  14. To cap the day, my Tokyo colleagues reach me on my mobile to tell me that, I am no longer required to come to Tokyo. Now, revisit my first bullet, you will understand my pain.
  15. I am now on my return trek back to MAA. I want to believe that I have truly hit the bottom. But I am keeping my fingers crossed..

Initially, I was hesitant to do this post as it will turn out to be just a Vent.. When taken in isolation, all this seems like routine stuff... In fact, that's how I tried to rationalize myself.. But when these things started piling up on me, chipping my energy away.. I was aghast..

What do you think? Any thoughts on how to handle situations like this?