Sunday, July 22, 2012

Not Exactly a Three Hour Tour

I got nominated to attend my company's annual leadership training program in Philadelphia. Those of you who know me, will understand that I so look forward to a week of team building exercises, group hugs, and conference center food. I can't wait.

I got to the airport in Louisville in plenty of time for my flight. Patt graciously dropped me off 3 hours early even though she does not understand my phobia for being late. Patt was right this time round as my flight was delayed an hour and a half. And as usual, there was no explanation from the airlines, not an "I am sorry." Just a since we're late we're going to treat you all like cattle even more than we normally do. Thank you for flying Wrongway Feldman airlines.

Within just a few minutes of taking off for the birthplace of American Democracy I realized the 53 passengers sharing the tiny tin-can of an airplane are the same people I attend the movie theater with. Of the 53 passengers, 17 required the use of the in flight restroom facilities at some time during the trip. Two passengers required its use twice. Now how would I know that 35% of the fare paying passengers went to the restroom - the only restroom on the craft. Because Wrongway Feldman Airlines thought it would be a good idea to put the grouchiest passenger on their aircraft today in the last seat at the back of the plane, just a dozen inches from the restroom door. So, since the guy sitting next to me either had ants in his britches or he was having a religious experience (he kept crossing himself), I decided to close a book I was having trouble getting interested in and I counted them. I did get more than I bargained for. I now know first hand what all 17 passengers had for lunch; I know the relative health of each person's digestive tracks. Numbers 1,5,7,9, and 6 could use a steady inoculation of yogurt every morning for breakfast. Passengers 3,4,6, and 10-16 need more fiber. And Passengers 2 and 8 need to lay off the asparagus. Passenger 17 was interesting in that when she finished her second session in the restroom stood right next to my seat in the back of the plane and proceeded to perform gyrations that seemed somewhere between an epileptic seizure and what a contortionist would do on the Johnny Carson show.

She did explain to the stewardess that she was on an exercise regimen that required a stretching exercise every 30 minutes and she was due.

In addition to all the in-flight activity I was first hand witness to, prior to taking off, the flight attendant was busily rearranging passengers so as to balance the "payload" so the plane would actually take off, fly, and land when and where it was supposed to.

Because my flight kept getting delayed, 12:30 then 12:45; then 1:15, 1:30, 1:38 and finally 1:48 I never thought I had time to eat lunch. So, since it was only a 2 hour flight I decided I would eat just as soon as I got off the plane at the airport in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia airport had other ideas though. Terminal F was completely gutted for renovations and real food was no where to be found. On my way to catch a cab, all the way across the airport, there was nothing but newsstands with snacks.

I got to the ground transportation area where I had hoped to find a shuttle or a cab to make the 22 mile trip to the conference site but, as it turns out, the cab found me. I was carrying my bags toward the cab stands when a large African-American man approached me and asked if I wanted a cab. I said yes and told him where I needed to go. He walked me to a tricked out, dark maroon Cadillac Escalade and threw my bags in the back. I guess I should have asked more questions like - Where is your cab license? What are the rates? Are you kidnapping me? How much ransom will you ask of my wife? Would my wife pay it? But instead, I hopped in the Escalade and the driver who resembled Cee Lo in almost every respect, began a tirade of talk that did not cease until I had arrived at my destination.

Bald head, dark glass, big bright smile, dressed to the nines, and very talkative. We talked about everything from Arkansas Football to the Penn State scandal to where the heck was the conference center I needed to get to. 22 miles and $71.00 later I had arrived, hungry, to find out that the conference center offers a cold buffet on Sunday nights but that doesn't start till 6 PM. So I decided to sit here and write on the blog.

Tomorrow morning at 8 AM we start the "trust falls", game playing, Personality profiling, and group hugging...and what's more, it is only scheduled to last until 8 PM so that's only...umm...12 hours.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing smells worse than asparagus pee........