It appears I have a bit of time on my hands — a rare occurrence this post will address.
This morning I awoke to the sound of an alarm I set much too close to the time I should depart from San Jose — typical. My wonderful husband rushes me out the door, arriving at SJC in record time. Of course, I forget that I live 10 minutes from the airport, I’m TSA pre, and no one except for academics and folks with an astonishingly high tolerance for freezing temps, would in their right mind travel to Saint Louis in the middle of February. Anyway — I made it to my gate an hour early. No big deal, I’m excited. After two years, I’m finally going to WIPIP!
For the hectic start to my morning, I welcomed a relatively quiet flight to Denver. But that would not be as interesting a story, now would it?
As I await take-off, I open wordle and fail. I’m convinced NYT has made the game much harder — they will be hearing from my lawyers. I try Dordle and fail. I try Quordle and fail. Today is not my day. A bit of foreshadowing perhaps?
I look up from my screen, 50 minutes later, to find that I’m still grounded. The pilot comes overhead “well guys…I’m not sure what to tell ya.” Exactly the assurance we needed.
We would later learn that the delay was caused by paperwork that needed to be hand delivered from a printer at another gate. I’m not sure what exactly that has to do with flying a plane, but that’s why I’m a lawyer, not a pilot.
With the sacred text delivered, we soon danced with the friendly skies. A kind old veteran was seated next to me. He told me tales of the war. I shared with him a rare NFT I was awarded for being blocked on Twitter by the father of Web 3 (a story for another time). We are not the same.
As we started our descent, I noticed that my connection from Denver would depart in 20 minutes. I was arriving at gate B17, and the connection was set to depart from B53. Now readers, for those of you unfamiliar with the Denver airport, allow me to illustrate the quandary. The architects at the time truly took to heart the premise that the fastest way between two points is a straight line. And unfortunately for me, I missed out on the genes that separate myself from Usain Bolt.
I flag down a flight attendant and share my dilemma. She looks at me, with a glimmer of helplessness in her eyes, and simply says: “good luck.”
Dearest readers, how I wish I could tell you the journey ended there, and that I write to you from a cozy nook inside my hotel in Saint Louis. But, unfortunately (for the both of us), the story continues.
I arrive at B53 exactly 1 minute late and watch as my connection soared off into the distance. It’s someone’s lucky day on that flight — they get a free open seat!
Me and the other poor soul from San Jose began looking for help. He was from Apple, and I from Google; two star-crossed Silicon Valley agents, a forbidden love. We make our way to the United kiosk. An agent tells us we must travel to B35, otherwise known as customer service.
And so we beat on, boats against a current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
We arrive at B35, arms tired from hauling luggage, calves burning from half-assed sprints. I explain our situation to the agent, with a tinge of desperation in my voice, and inquire about a remedy. The agent apologizes, there’s nothing he can do. He asks if we would like to reschedule for 9pm, as if we had a choice. The agent prints my new ticket. I bid my Cupertino friend, adieu and began my northbound trek to B60.
About midway through my travels, a notification blips across my watch: “SEE AGENT.” Ah! No problem! I’m at B45 by now and there’s a United agent there! But alas, she is not a United agent who can help. No. Twas only a facade, and I must return to B35.
I return to B35 and they haven’t the slightest clue. It appears they forgot to assign me an actual seat on the plane. No bother I say, cheerily. I’ll graciously accept a seat upon the wing.
The agents were not amused with my cheeky remark. Alas, it appears my princess is in another castle. Castle B60. Reluctantly, I depart.
I arrive at B60, weary from my travels. I plead with the agent to assign me a seat. I’ll ride under the plane, among the luggage at this point. The agent looks at me, again without a clue as to what is going on. She assures me I will have a seat on the 9pm flight. I smile the sort of smile one gives an impish child who promises not to steal another cookie from the jar.
But I am a trusting soul, perhaps to a fault. I take my seat in B60, letting out a sigh of relief. The agent approaches me and says with remorse, “I regret to inform you that the gate for your 9pm flight to Saint Louis has been changed to B8.
I stare off into the distance. I’ve been here before. I look at her, clinging to the very last morsel of my will to live, and reply to the kind agent.
“thank you, I’ll be on my way.”