The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men (posted by Lani)
gang aft agley, so Robert Burns said, and oh boy did that hold true this weekend. What should have been a nice easy trip with which to end my month turned into ... well, not at all a nice easy trip. Out of 14 scheduled legs, we only flew 10; and one of those wasn't scheduled, it was a re-route (instead of Rochester-DCA-White Plains-Charlotte, we flew Rochester-Charlotte because DCA and White Plains were locked out by storms for a second day. It was so bad, in fact, that we had a full plane going to Charlotte even though it wasn't a scheduled flight. People just wanted to get somewhere, anywhere, where they might make a connection and eventually get where they were going.)
Out of our 10 flights, one -- ONE -- was on time, and we did everything including skip meals and do the world's fastest turns between flights to try to make up time wherever we could. We had 14 hours of weather delay (not counting our regularly scheduled sits between flights). Friday night in Philadelphia Amanda and I crawled into the cargo hold and unloaded gate-checked bags from the previous flight so their owners could collect them and leave the airport (um, if you're official and reading this, I'm making this up. Totally. Never happened. I wouldn't know a cargo hold from Adam's housecat. But one passenger did kiss me on the cheek. Just randomly, of course. No particular reason. Carry on.). To ice the Friday night cake, when we then loaded our flight we had 31 passengers and only 4 checked bags. All the baggage mess was because the baggage handlers had all gone off shift at midnight, even though there were still flights trying to get out, so there were only a couple of supervisors working and trying to handle everything and they (a) couldn't be everywhere at once, and (b) couldn't find the bags for our flight. You do the math ... 31 passengers, 4 bags. Yeah. Oh yeah, icing on the icing ... that was the night that we didn't get to our hotel until 3am or so. It was, to understate dramatically, not a good weekend to be flying on the East Coast, either as a passenger or a crewmember.
The amazing thing about all this, though, is that people were so nice. I had fabulous passengers through the entire mess, even when I had to give them bad news like, well, I know we've been waiting here for 2 hours, but we're going back to the gate, folks, and we're probably going to be cancelled. Or, look ya'll, I'm really sorry, but only 4 of you are going to be getting your luggage tonight. I don't care what anyone says, if you treat people well, and tell them what's going on instead of lying to them or trying to hide the truth, people in general really are nice. I even had a pair of adorable little girls on one trip who made me one of those potholders you weave on a little loom and gave me hugs when they got off the plane -- made my day, I tell you, and it's hanging up in my kitchen right now (thank you, Amanda and Jessica!). And I had a great crew; I believe I've mentioned that my FO this month is fabulous, and Mike was our captain this week and was great to work with. Too bad you can't pick people you always want to fly with, because they'd be tops on my list.
Oh -- I yelled at a passenger for the first time since taking this job, and I do mean yelled. He was either stupid or just clueless, bless his heart (and I think more than a little drunk), and he kept getting up. And turning on his cellphone to make calls. And getting up. Repeatedly. First while we were taxiing, and then AS WE TURNED ONTO THE ACTIVE RUNWAY. SECONDS BEFORE TAKEOFF. I mean ... what's the thought process there? Gee, the pilot has announced that we're taking off in precisely 10 minutes (we had a wheels-up time), 9 minutes have gone by, another announcement has been made, the plane has started moving ... this seems like a good time to get up and stroll back to the lav? (If you're a raving lunatic and that sounds logical, btw, rethink it ... not only are airplane lavs nasty, but they can splash on takeoff. Ewwww.) I think I scared a couple of years off him, which was just returning the favor since I nearly had a heart attack when I saw him pop up out of his seat. Not because I particularly cared at that point if those genes left the pool, mind you, but because having to circle around and make an emergency landing to have the paramedics come take his broken body away would have delayed us even more. I must have sounded like I'd do the body-breaking personally, because he sat down fast and never moved for the rest of the flight, so it worked out alright in my book, but really.
In other news, um, there isn't any. Steve is working hard and complaining about it (but happy as a pig in slop, don't let the complaining fool you), Pippin is doing well and even did a little (very stiff) bouncing around when I came home, Jesse is learning how to say "Hello, beautiful!", and the cats are fat and sleek and happy. It rained here enough while I was gone that I came home to a jungle in the yard; my tomatoes and squash have gone insane. I have dahlias in the front yard as big as dinner plates, and almost all of my daylilies are throwing out more buds. And best of all, our peach tree is so loaded down with fruit that the branches are bowed down to the ground, although sadly the surplus of rain has caused some of the fruit to split. Not all, though, so I may yet get some peaches off it before this is over. And, with all that bounty of fruit and vegetables and (sigh) weeds in the yard to play with ... I go back on reserve tomorrow.
Next post will have pictures of some sort, I promise. But Ann ... you still owe pictures from the reef. Give 'em up!