Monday, March 30, 2015

Departure (Almost)

I am about to meet my friend down at the pool bar for a drink. I would have been headed home from the Denver International Airport right about now, but for… Well, I am getting ahead of myself.

This morning started with a bit of color. There was just a hint of cloud cover and the sunrise was a lovely pink/purple color. We headed out to a nice brunch and checked-out of the hotel, headed to the airport. It all was going so well – until about three hours ago.

As if it was a harbinger of things to come, we were witness to some truly heinous behaviour by someone in the gate area. This guy was apparently bumped from his flight, his connection was late, and he was then subjected to some behaviour that – if true was inexcusable. The problem was not how he was treated – it was how he was treating the airline representative to whom he was speaking. He was yelling, being insulting, and making vague threats about legal action. I was aghast and there was a smattering of uneasy glances at this guy. He boarded a flight (thankfully, on another airline) about 20 minutes before they made the first announcement for our flight.

That announcement was when the gate agent said that there was a problem with closing a door that needed to be closed. We sat in the boarding area watching the technicians working on our plane as it was delayed by 30-minutes, and then by 60. At 90 we started getting a bit antsy, and when it was finally cancelled, we were told to go retrieve our bags and get rebooked at the ticket desk.

By dint of doing what we were told, we missed-out on the only other departure from Palm Springs that would have gotten us to Denver tonight. Long-story-short, we were standing in line to retrieve our luggage when they paged us for our flight that we had been re-booked on. I have traveled for work for years and have always tried to take it all in stride, but until today, I have never had a chance to hear a good and pithy way to put my attitude.

The second agent on the phone who got us booked for tomorrow gave me a great way to look at things. She told me that in her homeland (Afghanistan) there is a saying that translates into English as “Every Journey is a Haj.”

So, tonight, we have one last night in Palm Springs. Luckily, both of us had a spare day of vacation planned for tomorrow and can afford the delay. So, I am off to meet-up with my friend for a few drinks and some dinner.

Wherever you are today I hope that even your setbacks have been pleasant.

Don Bergquist – March 30, 2015 – Palm Springs, California, USA

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