John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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99 First World Problems

I have no idea if this will even post. I'm hopeful, but not convinced.

My flight home was supposed to leave SFO at noon; and for all I know, it did... but I was not on it. My plan was to be on the 9:30-ish Caltrain to Millbrae, and I reverse-engineered my morning accordingly. Got up, toddled over to the Marriott because the Hilton is so weaksauce; there I did manage to get a still-warm-from-the-oven blueberry muffin. :d Then back to my room to pack up without incident, and turned on the room TV to check out.

"Check out unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience." My first hint of what was to come.

That's no big deal, I'll just saunter on down to the front desk and check out there. It'll add what, two minutes to my trip? Of course, that's not accounting for the people getting on the elevator at five to get off on four, getting on at four to get off at three, and getting on at three. Eh, that's no big deal either. It'll add another three minutes to the trip. I can handle that.

To the concierge! "Is there any airport shuttle...?" "You needed to reserve it four hours in advance." Of course I did. "Okay, how about a cab?" "To SFO is $150." Of course it is. "That's okay, I've still got time to catch the CalTrain, I'll take the cab to that."

Cab drives up to the station just in time for me to watch my train pull off. Gruntle. That's going to add an hour to my trip and put me into "disapproving look from the ticket agent" territory. It's also going to make me stand around and fret for half an hour, worried that I'm on the wrong platform or that the train isn't running, or or or...

I probably could have punted here and run back out to a cab, eaten the $150, and called it a narrow escape. But dangit, I already have a CalTrain ticket and I'm still in "squeak in and make it" range.

Until I get to Millbrae and the gates won't open. My freshly-bought BART ticket just prompts a display message of "take ticket see attendant" no matter which turnstile I try. So I go to the attendant, who says, "Come through this entrance. You'd better hurry up, the train's just leaving!" "Oh, you mean that one that I'm watching pull out of the station... again?" "Uh... yes." Next train? 15 minutes. Not a problem if you're in plenty of time. Definitely a problem if you're already an hour late.

Arrive at SFO. Somehow the BART station, which was walkable from the terminal when I got out of the train, is now another train ride away. I don't get how that happened. But that officially knocked me that last tiny bit into "check-in is no longer an option" territory.

So now I have a red-eye flight home that leaves CA at about the time I was supposed to be getting into IAD, and a day of sitting at the SFO Starbucks ahead of me. :P On the other hand, that gave me the opportunity to have a very nice "burger joint" [1] lunch, and I've got power, wi-fi, books, and coffee, so it could be a lot worse. Heck, I've still got my luggage and could even bust out my sketchbook if I really wanted to.

On the other hand, my various doctor appointments tomorrow are going to be fun. ;P

-The Gneech

[1] That's the name of the place, lower-case and all.
Tags: conventions, gneechy talk, moments

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