Wednesday, March 07, 2007

If It Weren't For Bad Luck....

Just got back from a quick business trip to Orlando/Tampa Bay/Winter Haven. Trips to Florida at this time of year are usually gold. It has been cold in Illinois...lots of snow. And the thoughts of orange trees, Disney, and the beach warm my mind.

Unfortunately, this trip was one of those trips that had headaches from start to finish. For example:
  1. Flight down was nice. Direct flight. Got my luggage fine. Went to get the rental...and had the most prolific salesperson I have ever had at the rental counter. No, I don't want to upgrade. No, I will fill it up myself. Yes, I understand how "great a deal" this is. After several attempts at her trying to get me to pay for a better car, I find out that they are out of my car....and have to give me a free upgrade anyway. BTW: ended up with a Mustang. Nice...unless you have to do a lot of stop and go driving.
  2. Lots and lots of traffic while getting to the hotel. Road construction, toll boothes, etc. Finally get to the hotel.
  3. Hotel clerk makes it sound like she is the one who gets to choose my room..."Hmmm. Now, you only want a basic room. Nothing fancy. " Whatever my reservation is for....
  4. I end up with a room that has no working clock radio. Decide I will use the clock on my Blackberry. Unfortunately, it just seems anticlimatic...so I start writing my own alarm clock on my computer. I fall asleep doing this.
  5. Next morning, find out that the dial on my shower only allows the dispensing of scalding hot water. Also, the iron has no variable settings. Double sweet.
  6. As I leave the hotel for the day, I walk up to the counter to ask them to take a look at the problems. In a polite way I ask the man at the desk, "How are you this morning?". He responds with a 7 minute rant about his arthritus. Then scribbles something down about the room.
  7. Work goes well. Return to the hotel....key doesn't open room door. According to the desk (same girl that checked me in) I was supposed to check out that day....even though my confirmation indicated a checkout date of Wednesday. Several visits by the manager later, my room is extended to Wednesday.
  8. Upon entering the room....still no clock radio and shower still kicks out hot, hot, hot.
  9. Next day....as we drive to Winter Haven I learn why it is a bad idea to have a speed limit of 65 on roads that have frequent cross-road intersections. Lots of people take chances.
  10. Afterwards, we ate at a Joe's Crab Shack. GREAT place.
  11. Get back to the hotel and begin packing. We had an early 7:00am flight, meaning a very early rise. So, I decided to try and get to sleep early. Unfortunately, a young lady outside my room decided to break up with her boyfriend, over the cell phone. As she yelled, cried, and kicked my wall, I was able to chronicle exactly where the relationship went south. Seems "Scott" needed more "Scott" time. Breakup took 4 hours. Mental note: Never forget your iPod again.
  12. Get up early this morning. Checking out. Told by the clerk...our system ain't up yet. Just check me out, please. I drop my Blackberry...uggh.
  13. Get to the airport....first flight is to Atlanta. All goes ok.
  14. Get the the gate for my connecting flight...ask if I can exchange my seat for an aisle seat. It appears the lady at that gate was having a bad millenium. I was told in very clear terms that she was trying to get the current flight out....and didn't have time to look up my flight (the next one). Guess she got up on the wrong side of the cave this morning.
  15. As I am boarding my flight, the same lady is scanning boarding passes. I give her a huge "Have a great day...and thanks for all your help!!!" She rolls her eyes and I move on.
  16. I get on our plane and find out that it is 25% filled. I can sit just about anywhere I want.
  17. Get home and have a nice lunch with Mrs. W and WL, our youngest. All is well again. And I do have a cool alarm clock program...including snooze.

My next trip is to Austin in a week or so.....

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