Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It isn't a Job it's an Adventure

I am in San Jose, California relaxing after doing the first Texas Memory System Road Show event. The event went great. However, getting there was an adventure. You would think in this modern day world travel would be rather a blase experience what with all the high-speed and efficient ways we have from getting from point A to point B. However, this isn't always the case.

I usually try to get to the airport when I travel at least 1, if not 2, hours before I actually need to worry about setting foot on the plane. This allows for problems getting to the airport, problems at the airport and if not problems occur, allows me time to get my traditional travel meal at Houlihans: Buffalo Chicken Strips and a Killian Red, while I wait. However this time this was not to be.

First, I try to travel outside of rush hour, but since this trip was set to leave out at 6:55 pm, I was stuck right in the middle of Atlanta's rush hour. Scratch the chicken and beer. I still arrived at the airport with plenty of time to make the flight, especially since I was not checking luggage. I get to the gate only to be told that the plane was going to be 20-30 minutes late. I grab a Burger King Grilled Chicken and a Sprite as a consolation prize and sit down to wait. 30 minutes comes and goes, however, the representative assures me that I will still make my connection in Denver as "There are only 40 people on the flight, we can board quickly and get there in plenty of time". Famous last words.

Flight time comes and goes and finally the plane arrives. The representative has a sheen of sweat on her forehead but still assures me I can make my connection, then the kicker, mechanical problems. Seems there is an issue with the radio and they need to get a mechanic over to take a look before they can board. Now it is 40+ minutes past the time for boarding and they are already telling many folks that they aren't going to make their connections and offering hotels either in Atlanta or for brave souls, Denver. Seems they still think I may be able to make my connection, but I get in line anyway. A second rep says the flight out of Denver to San Jose has been delayed 20 minutes, I might just make it. Of course then I think about what happens if I get to Denver, rush to the plane only to wave to it as it takes off and I am stuck in Denver overnight. The earliest flight puts me into San Jose at 10:30 the next morning...30 minutes into my presentation time.

I finally make it to the desk. They say maybe I could make it...just as they announce they are ready to board. I am afraid maybe isn't good enough. I ask if they can book me on their partner who has a flight direct to San Francisco Airport with no stops. After a thoughtful glance the representative says "Sure". End of adventure? Not quite!

It seems to do this for some reason she has to print out a copy of my old ticket before the system will allow her to print me a boarding pass for the new flight. She spends 10 minutes looking for ticket stock, then another 30 minutes trying to get the printer to print. Finally I say "Have you tried cycling the printer on and off?" (sometimes you need to rest them on the network if they haven't been used in a while.) She gives me a dubious look like that is just to simple, after all, she has been banging on it, reloading it, and I am sure saying a few sub-vocal swear words that would have curled my hair, and I am an ex-sailor. Anyway, it worked, she prints the old pass and then finally the ticket for the other flight. Now the kicker...she can't find the gate.

Down the way is a representative from the partner airline, I trot on down and she gives the bad news...it is on another concourse, so it is the seemingly mile sprint up the concourse, take the escalator into the bowels of the Earth, get on the train and then reverse the process in the new concourse.

Anyway, they have just started boarding the new flight when I get there. I go up and check in and a miracle, I can upgrade to business class for free! Excellent. I board the flight and relax. A couple of drinks and a relaxing flight later I am in San Francisco. As we taxi in I try to get a hold of the rental car agency to switch my San Jose reservation to a one-way from San Francisco to San Jose. After traversing several menus, it disconnects without me talking to anyone. Fine, I'll just go to the counter. Believe it or not, at the counter everything went fine and I was soon hurtling down 101 towards San Jose. I finally got into my room at 0030 am local time (3:30 my time). After a quick review of the next days presentation I finally fell into bed at about 1 am pacific time.

Who says there isn't anymore adventure?



Debra Lilley said...

What a wonderful perspective, if you look at it as an adventure it is fun if you get p***** then it wears you down. I have often thought we should publish a cofee table book of our travel adventures

Ben Prusinski said...

Hi Mike,

Wow sounds like a challenging flight adventure! Glad to hear you made it safe in time for things? Will you be at Collaborate 10 this year in Vegas? I will be presenting on E-Business Suite for Release 12 patching. If so, hope to see you there.


PS: I just finished my fourth book on Oracle this time 11gR2 RAC and ASM with PACKT press having switched publishers this time around!