“And you’ll get to travel!”

by sam on 05/26/2006

My week:

Flew to London Sunday night, landed 6:30 Monday morning. Was at my firm’s London Office by 10. Stayed until about 10:30 pm. Drank about 17 cups of espresso over the course of the day.

Worked from London Tuesday until about 9 pm.

Flew to Rome Wednesday morning. The plane takes off from Heathrow at the awesome hour of 6:40a.m. Get to wake up at the even more awesome hour of 3:45 a.m. to finish packing, dress in client-meeting appropriate attire, check out of my hotel and meet the car taking me to Heathrow at 4:45 a.m.

Work in Rome Wednesday. Go to very nice dinner with co-workers at restaurant I tried to eat at about 6 times the last time I was in Rome, but could never get a table. Our arriving at the somewhat late (even for Italy) hour of 10p.m. after checking into our hotel seems to do the trick.

Work in Rome Thursday. Go to even nicer dinner with clients and others. After, of course, spending an hour not figuring out how to send a fax from my client’s office and having to go back to the hotel to send it from there. Dinner is at the practically early-bird special hour of 9:30 p.m. I arrive late.

Get back to the hotel Friday a.m. at about 1:30 a.m.. Wake up at 6 to continue working. work right up until I check out at noon, taxi to Fiumcino airport, ask ticket agent to let me check in early so that I can go through security to get to the BA lounge for a 2pm conference call. Explain that if I waited until after the call to come to the airport, I wouldn’t make my flight. When said ticket agent says it’s “absolutely impossible and he will never ever help you”, after doing nothing to check for me, escalate fight with the ticket agent for another 20 minutes until he finally calls his manager (which is all I wanted in the first place) who manages to get me through security in time. Said fight includes ticket agent trying to hide his airport ID so I can’t see his name (classic move of someone who is totally (sarcasm) being straightforward and honest), and then telling me that if I had only smiled, maybe he would have tried to help me, because apparently, instead of actually being impossible (as disproved by the fact that, um, it was possible), his helping customers is contingent on said customer’s willingness to stroke the ego of someone who works in customer service. You can guess how much I just love people telling me to smile when they’re not bottlenecking my ability to do my job.

Work from the BA lounge until 4pm. Then go to catch plane.

Discover that plane has been delayed by 1:15. Remember that time to change planes in London, including going through customs and getting my Virgin Atlantic boarding pass at another terminal from the one I land in, is 1:30. Realize that I will not make the flight in London. It’s the last flight of the day. Spend two extra hours at Fiumicino rearranging my flights and getting a hotel room in London. And calling everyone who I had even tentative Memorial Day weekend plans with that I might be a bit…missing.

Finally fly to London. When the customs and immigration officer asks “how long are you staying in London?” try not to either (1) cry, (2) burst out laughing. Try to figure out whether “Heathrow Airport” is an appropriate destination address for my third stay in the UK in less than two weeks.

Get to Heathrow Marriott. Discover that 2 of the 4 elevators are broken. Also discover that the medical conference taking place at the hotel has just dropped off about 200 participants 3 seconds before I arrived. Finally push some old people out of the way when the 4th elevator I’ve been patiently waiting for gets rushed by said old people while I struggle with my luggage.

Get to room. do more work.

Get work done at about midnight. Decide that it’s time for a blog entry.

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