Traveling (posted by Lani)
You know me, I'm all about traveling. Love it, love it, love it, nothing better. It's why I took this job and why I'm going through this training (which is way way harder than ANYBODY told me it would be, and next time you're on a plane look at your flight attendant and know that he or she went through a LOT to be where he is, but I digress). Sadly, Steve doesn't love traveling nearly as much as I do. Even more sadly, his recent trip to San Diego did nothing to change that and a lot to reinforce it. I'm bad, I admit it; by the end of this sequence of events I was trying to console him while simultaneously trying to wipe away tears of hysterical laughter. Laughing with him, not at him, of course! WITH him! I'm afraid he may not have quite appreciated that difference, though ...
Steve's story begins when he's forced to go to San Diego. Forced. Against his will. He does not, not, not want to go. RAWR, says his office, you must go anyway! So off goes Steve (Insert background of much grumbling and mumbling and Eeyore-like predictions of doom, later to be admitted to have been totally prophetic. Call him Cassandra.).
Day One: Flight to Atlanta, not too bad. Flight to San Diego, center seat, large persons with only a very remote acquaintance with soap and water seated on each side of him. According to him, he didn't breathe from Atlanta to San Diego -- I think he may be exaggerating just a bit, but then I wasn't smelling them. Arrives in San Diego, off to the rental car agency ... where he's presented with the keys to a PT Cruiser. A WHAT??? A PT Cruiser. No sir, that's the only car we have available. This is the man who loves sports cars and luxury cars ... whose contract with his previous employer specified upgraded car rentals. He is, at this point, Not A Happy Steve. But the hotel awaits, hopefully with a decent bar, so he exits stage left, grumbling. After getting lost once on the way to the hotel and then finding himself, he arrives .. to be assigned a room that hasn't been cleaned. Treks back down to the lobby, assigned another room. This one is clean, but at this point it really wouldn't have mattered if this one was the Taj Mahal because Steve Is Angry. End Day One.
Day Two: Nothing at work goes right, and he's still driving a PT Cruiser. Still, no real disasters. Except that he's not at home, and he's driving a PT Cruiser. I heard a lot about the PT Cruiser.
Day Three: Nothing at work goes right, and he's STILL driving a PT Cruiser. He's at the office until almost 8. He's hungry, and tired, and frustrated. He calls me on the way back to the hotel to vent ... and as we're talking I hear a loud BANG followed by a thumpa-thumpa-thumpa- ... yeah. Flat tire on the detested PT Cruiser. On the freeway. In San Diego. At this point Steve is completely over it; he calls the rental car agency and tells them to come get their (many expletives deleted) vehicle. They refuse. It's his rental, it's his responsibility. They'll call someone to come change the tire, but he has to stay with the car. On the freeway. Without dinner. Many bad words ensue but he stays, they arrive and change the tire, and he takes the detested PT Cruiser back to the hotel (and heads straight to the bar).
Day Four: Heading home, hurray! He's so anxious to get rid of the PT Cruiser and get the hell out of San Diego that he's at the airport 2.5 hours early. Checks in, checks his luggage, discovers that he has center seats on the way back. Again. No amount of begging, pleading, or outright bribery will change them. This time his seatmates are more well-washed, but one of them won't shut up no matter what he does, and he has a child behind him who kicks the seat all the way from San Diego to Atlanta. Still, he's going home. He runs for his plane in Atlanta, makes it, arrives home in Norfolk ... and his bags don't. Yep, Delta lost his luggage. (Expletives deleted), says Steve, leaves his information with the lost baggage office, and comes home. Turns on his computer to check his email ... and his video card explodes in a shower of sparks.
Steve has opted out of being my travel partner for next year. I'm still laughing. WITH him. Bless his heart.