26-Mar-2005

First, let’s talk about my first ever business trip. I ;was scheduled to go ;down to Phoenix with a couple of guys on Tuesday for an overnight trip. Flight was scheduled for 3:35p. I got to the airport at 3:20p (my fault), and would probably have missed the plane, if not for the fact that it had been delayed an hour. Mechanical problem of some sort. An hour later, they said the plane wouldn’t take off till 7:30p at least. Apparently, there weren’t any qualified technicians in San Jose, so they had to fly someone in from Phoenix. By the way, this was America West. Dan decided that he didn’t want to take any chances with a mechanical issue, so he rescheduled himself for the 6:20a flight the next morning. Ed and I decided to stick it out, for better or worse. At 7:45p, an announcement was made that the flight wouldn’t leave till very late, so they were arranging to have everyone be put on the Southwest Airlines flight leaving at 8:50p. So all of us had to haul ourselves to the Inter-terminal bus (since Southwest was in a different building), and get a new boarding pass. This flight took off without incident, and we landed in Phoenix 5 1/2 hours late (11:45p instead of 6:30p). Checked into the hotel without incident, and got to sleep at 1a.

The following day (Wednesday) passed without much incident, at least the work-related part. We decided to change our return flight from 5:30p to 8:30p, so we could spend more time there and not have to be pressured by the time. For lunch, they had boxed-lunch sandwiches. You know, the ones with a sandwich, small bag of chips, small bowl of potato salad, and a cookie? They ordered a special Veggie sandwich for me. The sandwich had lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, and leaves. That’s right, leaves . With a stalk attached, like they’d just been plucked from a tree. They might have been spinach, I don’t know. But I certainly felt like a rabbit, let me tell you.

Went to the airport directly, and checked in. We were sitting in the Gordon Biersch there, and Dan consumed two 1-Liter beers, back to back. He wasn’t chugging, obviously, but he finished them without help, and this was in addition to his food. Dang. Anyway, we got on our flight, and the plane moved away from the gate. Then the pilot announced that there was a medical emergency, and they had to move back to the gate. But it shouldn’t take too much time, and we’d be on our way. I tried napping, and some time later, maybe 15-20 minutes, ; the pilot made another announcement. Apparently, there was a problem with the plane. Water was leaking or something. So, he asked us to take our stuff, and move to another plane at another gate. We got there, and by this time, I was fully convinced that I was cursed, since they’d never had this much consistent trouble on a single trip before. ;Anyway, this plane was in a hurry to leave, since they wanted to arrive in San Jose before the curfew (San Jose fines planes taking off or landing after 11p). We landed around 10:45p, and I got home around 12a. All in all, an exciting first trip, if not the most auspicious one.

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