Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Glamorous Travel Job

I do some travelling for work, and on this eve of a trip to Los Angeles, I am writing in honor of all of the people I know that say to me "Oh, how I wish I had your job, it is SO much fun!" While, I am far from complaining about my job, and flying does not bother me, I feel compelled to tell you that it is not all a bed of roses. The airport/airplane portion of the trip can sometimes be crazy, annoying, or just plain stupid. If you hate airplane stories, just skip to the end. The last story is priceless.

There is the normal everyday stuff like someone spilling a whole diet coke on my lap on my way to an appointment, the flight attendant calling me SIR (I looked up and said, "Guess that makeover didn't work.), a kid kicking the back of my seat for three hours, arriving home in the middle of the night to scrape ice off my car, and lots of stories I could tell about delays, but I will skip that. Wait. No. I have one that always wins the worst flight contest between seasoned travellers.

I left Atlanta at 6pm on a two hour flight to Dallas. When we arrived in Dallas, they were having a nice tornado, so we circled. And circled and circled. Then we circled. Until we were running out of gas. They flew us to San Antonio. We landed, they refueled us. We sat for awhile and took off again for Dallas because the tornado was gone. We arrived in Dallas to find another nice tornado. We circled. And circled and circled. Then we circled. Until we were running out of gas. AGAIN. They flew us to San Antonio. We landed. Sounding familiar? They refueled us and we sat on the tarmac. There was not one empty gate because every Dallas flight was there. We could see into the terminal to piles of people sleeping all over the floor because there were also no hotel rooms left. There was no food on the plane because it was a two hour flight. What they did have was booze. Free booze. Yep, the passengers got louder and louder until we finally took off again for Dallas to a cheer that was similar in decibels to one in Tiger stadium when the Tigers are winning. We flew to Dallas and finally landed, touched ground, hallelujah. I had yanked out my contact lenses and couldn't see a thing. It was after 6am. That two hour flight to Dallas took 12 hours.... Pretty glamorous.

Then there is the humanity you encounter. How about the guy that read a nasty X rated magazine sitting next to me for two hours? Nice. How about the guy next to me that leaned on my shoulder from Michigan to Atlanta and read my book along with me? He even made comments about the topic and announced that I should read slower, because I turned the page before he was ready.

My friend, The Human Pinball also travels for work. She has some good stories, like the lady that sat down in first class and asked the flight attendant to plug the cord from her laptop into the cockpit so she could use her computer.

But, this is my all time (so far) best airplane story. I was on a flight from Michigan to Atlanta and was excited to get an upgrade to first class. I sat down, buckled in and got my book out. Ah, the life! A woman sat next to me who took the opportunity to tell me her life story. She lived in Michigan. Her fiance lived in Atlanta. And they were going to maintain separate residences in separate states after the wedding. She was on her way to get married. She was the drunkest human being I have ever seen. She told me every story she knew at least 5 times, over and over while leaning over me....smelling really bad......in a voice loud enough to be heard on the ground. If I did not pay attention, she grabbed the book out of my hand. She got up out of her seat at least 6 times to look for her bag in the overhead. Finally one of the other passengers told her where it was. I wanted to punch that man in the head. Because she got the bag down and took out piles of lingerie. Not the pretty kind. She put each piece on over her clothes and modeled them back and forth in the first class aisle. All the while singing some country song about riding the cowboy instead of the horse. Forgive me country music fans, I didn't know that song and she sang only that part over and over and over. After 20 minutes of the song and telling all of first class what she was going to do with her new husband after the wedding, she got out the sex toys. Not kidding. Do you know there are rules against drunk people flying? You might be wondering where the flight attendant was during all of this. Yeah, me too. About this time, I got up and went to find her. She was hiding. Not kidding. She asked me if I was OK. "Ah, NO!!!! Save me!!!!!" The other passengers were giving me the sad puppy dog eyes. When we landed, I sprinted off that plane along with everyone else in first class. It was pretty bad, but the up side was that I had the best story of the trade show and people came to my booth and asked me to tell it. Not Kidding about that either.

Want my job yet? Off to L.A. in the morning. Stay tuned.....
Normal (wish I had a private plane) Girl