Thursday, February 24, 2005

Karma or Extortion?

(I know I'm really tired because "extortion" looks like it's spelled completely wrong. Yet Blogger's spellcheck likes it, so who am I to argue?)

Today, oops yesterday, leaving Miami, I spaced on tipping the guy at the curbside baggage check-in. I never do curbside anymore - usually don't even have baggage, but usually because it's crowded and less line-defined than inside (my Virgo soul needs calming just before the hell of flying.) But I stepped out of the cab with my cane and computer bag and wheely-suitcase right in front of the curbside guy, who was free and grabbed my bag to help me. Blah, blah, blah, and at the end he said pointedly, "I am your porter and I'll take care of this for you." To which I numbly nodded and caned away, only stopping just inside the terminal doors to think, "Shit, wasn't I supposed to tip him? Where will my bag end up?"

Turns out the answer was Newark, only two hours after I ended up in Newark. I went to the claim office and, long story short, it's 5 am and I'm still waiting for the van to deliver it. I didn't pull an all-nighter, although that was the original suggestion. (Apparently Continental's hands are tied because there's some kind of regulation that governs who they can use for these "delayed baggage" couriers and how long they in turn have to make delivery.) This was revealed on the phone in my apartment hours later, and after a tense standoff ("I don't have to take your abusive language, miss." "Can I speak to a supervisor?" "We don't pass calls to supervisors here, miss, but that still doesn't give you the right to use abusive language.") I was promised that the driver would make every attempt to get to me last, during the last leg of his/her 8-10 hour "legal window."

It's really fun to set your alarm for 5 am after a long tiring business trip, on the morning of the day that you have to deal with back-to-work shit, a midday doctor's appointment, and an afternoon dreaded meeting to "mend fences" with a bitchy co-worker. After, of course, waking up constantly worried that I missed the phone or the doorbell, so getting very little sleep during the 6 hours I had been allotted.

Today is a day I needed to be strong and positive or I'll probably just lose it at some point.

Thank you, Continental. Thank you, curbside baggage man who got his revenge over a $2 slight. But don't think I'm now going to tip profusely - I will always check my bags inside. They don't take tips inside, they just do their jobs because it's their, I dunno, jobs.


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