Thursday, August 21, 2014

I went on vacation! to South Carolina!

There I was answering questions and not linking to blog memes and then Ba-bam! I disappeared. 

I went on vacation and forgot to tell you. I have a friend in South Carolina and I decided I needed to look at her in person because she is sick and I wanted to know how she was really doing. What's the best way to do that? Impose myself into her house and have her make coffee for me every morning. 

And then, when she drops me off at the airport, I imagine she sighed deeply to express her relief as she drives away. 

Then 30 minutes later she gets a text from me: "I need you to come back."

Well, super. The good news for me is that she turned around and came back to the airport and didn't make me sleep on a tile floor or dirty carpet at my gate. Those were my only choices otherwise, because as you know if a flight is cancelled due to weather, they do nothing for you. I remember saying something about not having a car and what am I supposed to do now and she said, "That really isn't my concern." 

You see, apparently United Airlines cannot fly in the rain. I imagine they have an algorithm somewhere that states: If it rains at (X) destination, then flights that are not full from any other destination shall be cancelled. Combine them the next day and save moolah.

Because she sweetly drove all the way back to the airport, I stayed another night, woke up both of them at 4:30am, climbed into the car and drove all the way to the airport again so I could rush to Chicago only to have my next flight cancelled. 

You'll never guess, so I will tell you right away: It was raining in Des Moines. 

I spent the entire day wandering around O'Hare airport sending tweets to @United telling them someone had crushed a cookie into the carpet, there was coffee spilled on the wall, the air conditioning wasn't working and so on. 

I saw the crazy shoes people wear when they travel

I carved out some private space inside a trio of pillars behind a recycling bin

And I found the most spacious bathroom stall in any airport anywhere. I've read that in Japan, apartments are the same size
No joke, it was huge and I could actually turn around. Since everyone travels with their bags now, I don't know how some people can even get into a stall these days. And of course the door comes inward. This bathroom was wonderful. 

I was all over Terminal I at O'Hare trying to help them. I figured if they could annoy me, I could annoy them. But as much as I tried to establish that relationship, they had no idea. Overall, as a hostess, I would give @United a 2 on a scale of 1-10. As a housekeeper, considering all the traffic at O'Hare, I would give @United a 7. I would rate their sense of humor at a 1, maybe a 0. 

Then again, they get a lot of tweets. If you ever wants to feel good about a minor irritation in your life, go to Twitter and look at @United. In April of this year, USA Today ranked the nation's airlines and United came in last.

USA Today's article began with, "As an industry, airlines received the fourth-worst score in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) rankings of customer satisfaction. Only pay TV, social media companies and Internet service providers rank lower. Even wireless carriers and car dealers rank higher. That may not be an indictment of the industry, but it does indicate a lot of room for improvement."

Monday, August 4, 2014

My stealth Toyota Camry

I still own my 2008 Camry although I would consider trading it to someone in exchange for a really good watermelon.

Yesterday I went to Dunkin Donuts because I had a coupon burning a hole in my pocket. It was mid-afternoon on a lazy day and I was sort of close by, so I drove in and decided to hit the drive-through.

There were cars parked over to the side of the lot the way most employees seem to park, but there weren't any cars out front. The only other time I have been to this place was last year at night and they only had one or two donuts left. Plus, and don't hate on me for this because the rest of the country seems to love their coffee, I don't love their coffee.

But the coupon was for iced coffee super cheap. So there I was.

I pulled up and I sat. Waited.

No one said a word. I thought perhaps they were closed, but the sign said that from 4-6pm, iced coffee was cheap. Super cheap, in fact. In fact, the 4-6pm price for iced coffee was the price of the coupon. But no one knew I was there and I decided I didn't need the calories, so I drove off sans iced coffee.

This morning I found myself near a McDonald's, which I know for certain was open because it was clearly open with people and cars and activity and McDonald's is always open.

I drove my top-secret stealth Camry up to one of the drive through speakers.

Her: "Hello, welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"

Me: "I'll take a large black coffee."


I waited quite a while and finally said, "Hello?" But there was no response.

Another car pulled up to the other speaker next to me and placed their order, so I left.

I should lease the car to the government for secret missions.

Apparently getting started again isn't easy

So here is another edition of answering someone else's questions.

1. When driving, are you more likely to listen to the radio, to CDs or an iPod, or nothing at all?
 I listen to the radio most of the time. The classical station isn't coming in anymore and that annoys me, especially in the morning because that's when I prefer classical. 

2. Do you prefer window or aisle?
I've decided that I don't care. They both have merits. One thing about a window seat is you don't have to get up for someone else to go to the bathroom. 

3. Do you fall asleep on your side, back, or stomach? What position are you in when you wake up?
Fall asleep on my right side, wake up on my back. 

4. When is the last time you attended a zoo, circus, carnival, county fair, or parade?
Last year's state fair. 

5. Do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying?
I did, but I don't. I have gotten to the point of thinking that inspirational sayings are pointless (much like this blog post) because we tend to be drawn to the one's that support our way of thinking rather than challenge our thinking. It all started with Pinterest and I saw all these sayings about following your heart and you know what? Your heart very often leads you astray. OK, actually it all started when I saw sayings on a particular person's Facebook page (all of us probably has a person like this) that scream, "I'm really insecure!" and that put a bad taste in my mouth. THEN I started seeing (on the same person's wall - we aren't "friends" any more) sayings about how it is OK to be yourself and it is OK to be imperfect and it is OK to make mistakes and yet this same person is a real witch about other people being themselves, being imperfect and making mistakes. So I'm saying no to inspirational sayings. Just say no. That's my inspirational saying. 

As for quotes, I like a few. I constantly have to remind myself to keep my mouth shut, so that's the one I hear most often. But this is a favorite of mine:

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

There are so few people in the world who can hear what you have to say without judging. 

6. What's the best thing about summer?
The heat. I enjoy summer's heat. I like the sunshine and all the light. I like the produce as well.