Our airport is to travelers what tar pits were to wooly mammoths.
Everything is Jim Dandy until you unsuspectingly enter it and find yourself condemned to spend eternity held in place in its “your-flight-has-been-canceled; please-see-the-attendant” inextricable goo.
I was to conduct a communication workshop for a Seattle agency on Monday, having reserved a flight for the previous Saturday, allowing me to attend a concert when I arrived. Sunday’s itinerary would consist of roaming the Emerald City and I would return home Monday evening, after leading the seminar.
It was going to be a good trip.
The operative word is “was.”
Two hours before take-off, a text message informed me that my flight was canceled due to our oft-times, unrelenting fog. Rebooked for a later flight, I was ominously primed,
“There’s no guarantee it will go either. Hope for the best.”
I am not a travel agent but I bet they agree that’s never a wise travel strategy.
After doing my part — hoping — and impatiently waiting through three more hours of delays, only to be canceled again, re-booked again was I for an evening flight, with arrival in the wee hours of the next morning. I’d obviously miss the concert but could still salvage my Sunday; this of course contingent on this latest itinerary actually falling into place, unlikely since the obstinate grey murkiness that blanketed the runway seemed fused to the blacktop.
Angry, frustrated, and now worried that I would lose my speaking fee and damage my reputation, I needed options.
Renting a car and driving to San Francisco, to catch a flight the next morning seemed a solution — except for one catch — the attendant at the rental counter informed me, “We just rented the last car — to her,” referencing a woman walking heading for the exit.
Racing up to her and placing myself in her path, I did a data dump, “Hi, I’m Scott. I know you don’t know me but I really need to get to San Francisco. I promise I’m a nice guy, I’ve got a warped sense of humor, I’m a good storyteller, despite how I’m coming across right now, I really do listen well, and I’d be glad to split the cost of the car you just rented if you’d let me come with you. Please…” Exhaling and trying to muster a smile, I extended my right hand. She looked me up and down and I’m assuming that since I wasn’t drooling, nor appeared to be an ax murdered, she consented.
Lori turns out to be a massage therapist from DC, visiting the Northcoast on a short sabbatical, trying to get to the bay area to visit a friend. She didn’t know the route and was open to saving money. I could help with both, so we were a match. Linda, a therapist from a small town 80 miles from here, trying to get to Germany, asked if we’d welcome a third. So, our unhappy, tired, frustrated, formerly fogged in trio, amassed our suitcases and climbed into a bright red 2013 Impala to begin the six-hour trek.
We began with awkward silences and small talk; lots of conversation about fog, bad weather, and other horrible travel delays. However, by the time we arrived at our hotels and wished each other, “Safe travels,” I would classify us as “friends.” Will we stay in touch? Unlikely. However, I disembarked in Seattle early Sunday morning (after a first class bump for my troubles); tired and sleepy, yet strangely thankful for the events of the previous day.
It’s odd, isn’t it? Many times, things do not go the as expected or planned, but if we can get out of our own way and let go of trying to control the uncontrollable to accept what actually is, it often turn out pretty well.
Saturday was a good day (even if I didn’t attend the concert).
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com and founder of www.21DayHabitChange.com, guaranteed to help you change a habit in just 3 weeks. Described as a “motivational weight loss expert for baby-boomers,” he is available for coaching and speaking at 707.442.6243, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/ThisTimeIMeanIt.