Monday, January 10, 2011

Nightmare in Atlanta

Sometimes, we think the Spirit is talking to us. Most times, we are unsure if it's the Spirit or ourselves. Sometimes, we should listen more closely. Most times, we only recognize it was the Spirit afterwards.

Yesterday, I had a flight at 2:20 PM from Los Angeles to Atlanta for a two day training, instructing on the new database the Firm uses. Upon remembering part of my weekend would be spent travelling, I was ridden with disappointment. Since Andy is on a new rotation, he had only one day off per week and luckily for us, it lands on a Sunday for the entire 6 weeks. A red eye flight was out of the question since Atlanta was so far east and I was instructing versus participating.

So after two hours of Church on Sunday, Andy and I begrudgingly returned home to grab my stuff and head to the airport. While in the car, I noticed a flurry of emails from the other instructors noting a bunch of flights had been cancelled flying out to Atlanta. Hopeful that my flight might also be cancelled, I checked when we got home and sadly, it was still on time. We googled Atlanta weather and cancelled flights, noting due to severe weather a lot of flights had been delayed or cancelled....but apparently, not mine! So off we went to the airport and along the way, I kept calling the Delta helpline, asking if the flight "might" get cancelled. Success was not mine.

Once at the airport, I just had a bad feeling - a gut instinct you could say. Angry passengers ubiquitously filled the waiting areas complaining loudly about their cancelled flights and current ongoing attempts to get onto another flight. I sat there, still hanging on to the hope that my flight might get cancelled and that I might be able to spend the rest of Sunday at home with Andy. Again, to no avail, the flight continued to show as "on time." Simultaneously, the baby was going insane inside with kicks. He just kept kicking me! I tried to find a secluded seat and pray for help, for any guidance on whether I should just go home or wait to take the potential flight. I justified that if not all the learners or instructors arrived in Atlanta, then I might not be needed. I then justified that if the training was delayed for any reason, there was no way I could extend my travels to Wednesday. I paced around the airport, texted Andy with updates and got my hopes up when they changed us to another gate without a plane. In a few minutes, they clarified that we were still at the same gate and before I knew it, our flight was boarding.

Once on board, the flight attendants made a pregnant girl cry. They told her that her purple bag should be taken up the aisle (where passengers were still boarding) to find more overhead space, and then upon not finding any, they asked her for her seat ticket which was all the way back at her seat about 5 aisles from the last row. Frustrated and on the verge of tears, she marched back to her seat to get the ticket, brought it back to the flight attendant at the front of the plane, outraged by why a silly ticket was needed to check her bag! The flight attendant apologized but confirmed it was just procedure but the pregnant girl stormed back to her seat, and tears burst out. It wasn't fair! First, she had to travel on a Sunday, next her flight didn't get cancelled, and now, the stupid flight attendant took her bag and she would have to pick it up at the baggage claim. What was the point of packing light?!

After I calmed down from the hormonal uproar, I felt bad for the girl sitting next to me who just watched me cry unceasingly for about 10 minutes during takeoff.

During the flight, something with the main cabinet electronics went wrong and the sound and screen went out. This was not a good sign, in fact it was an omen of what was to happen. We landed safely, but my adventure had just begun. Luckily, another co-instructor was on the same flight, because had he not been, I am unsure where I would have spent the night.

We received word from the other instructors who had landed earlier that there were no longer anymore taxis on the street. We obtained my luggage, headed for the MARTA (Atlanta's public transportation train station) and waited for a train in the cold. Then, the train came and we got on. But then the train stopped and we waited for 10 minutes before we were told to get off. Then, we waited in the cold again for another 15 minutes until another train came. Then, we got onto the train to our transfer station and then we waited another 10 minutes. Then, when we finally got to our exit.... the fun really began. Imagine a street of all white snow and some mere footsteps and two lines on the floor where our luggage was being pulled. That was us for two blocks... it seemed so close, yet so far... and yet more white and more white. I can't imagine how the pioneers did it - I walked two blocks and my fingers were frozen when we finally arrived and I thought I would get frostbite (yes, I'm paranoid).

I knew I shouldn't have come to Atlanta! My nightmare in Atlanta might have been avoided had I listened more closely to the Spirit, except I couldn't quite distinguish what was the Spirit and what was me making excuses not to go. Oddly enough, I don't think it mattered much because when I didn't feel the Spirit confirm to me that I should leave and go home, it was still safe because at least I had the co-worker to lead me to the hotel. Had he not been on my flight, I'm unsure where I would have ended up or if I would have known what to do once the taxis were not available! So I guess my nightmare in Atlanta wasn't THAT bad. Although, once at the hotel, I didn't sleep well either. So I guess that's when the real nightmare happened because 5 hours later, I am teaching a class of 54 with 3 other instructors and I am kind of tired. Just slightly.

1 comment:

jen said...

oh daisy i'm so glad that you are ok... and that you have all your fingers and toes after this! can't wait to see you again and your cute prego belly.