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..
- 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)
- 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.
- At the Gate, I was told that the boarding pass to Los Angeles (LAX) would be given at SIN airport.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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..) .
- My luggage finally arrives 2 days later with no sorry or compensation. It is business as usual (BAU) at US Airways.
- Just when I comforted myself that I have hit the bottom and the only way is UP.. I sank further..
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?