Monday, October 23, 2017

Business Trav-els-esty

Last week I took a business trip to Orlando for a user conference on our new software. On the final approach I notice all the blue tarps covering parts of roofs. And I mean a lot of roofs. I would say 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 roofs had some blue tarps on them. Some covering the entire roof and some just a section of a roof. I was surprised by the amount of them as the hurricane was over a month ago and I figured there would be not so much damage or at least the damage would have been repaired. Third world Florida.

On a flying note to you ever check to see if the life jacket is under your seat? You would be kinda screwed in an emergency water landing if someone had stolen your life jacket as a souvenir.

I flew into MCO and went to baggage claim to retrieve my bag. Lots of people in the baggage claim area as is normally the case with people on vacation for a week or two to see the local attractions, i.e. the big rat. People slowly filter out as they retrieve their bags until finally I am the last one there and there are two bags making their way around the carousel and neither is my bag. I do the paperwork at the baggage services office next to the baggage claim area and they tell me they will delivery the bag to my hotel when it arrives. I go and get my rental car an head off to the hotel. I-4 is a total piece of crap of a road I note as I head from south Orlando to north Orlando. Lots of construction but nothing getting done. It seems like I-4 in Orlando is always under construction but the road surface never changes and keeps deteriorating. Our tax dollars not at work.

Get to the hotel, Extended Stay an hour or so later and I have a meet and greet at the Hilton down the street in less than an hour and due to my bag being lost I have no deodorant nor my hair brush nor a change of clothes to be able to freshen up and it being Orlando and I being a large American I have already sweat quite a bit. I figure as long as I can blow dry my hair using my fingers as a comb I should be able to look half way presentable. I got into the bathroom and there is a plate on the wall with hooks where the hair dryer would connect but no hair dryer. I begin a search of the room to see if maybe it was elsewhere. The Extended Stay is a longer stay hotel where they have kitchenettes in each room so lots of drawers and cabinets. In one of the cabinets I find a box a Magnum condoms with 1 condom remaining. Nice.

I call down to the lobby and ask them why there is no hairdryer and they let me know that they keep getting stolen by their clientele. They have no extras so they proceed to steal one from another room  so I will have one. I do my best to dry my hair. At this point I am thirsty and I can't find an ice machine. It turns out that I have to make my own ice in blue trays that are in the freezer. High Pollutin'.

Did the meet and greet and it was awesome food. A whole tenderloin cooked perfectly, Salmon Wellington, cheese trays, vegetable trays, fruit trays and a Mac and Cheese bar where you fill up a martini glass with mac and cheese and then you can add like 20 different topping like chicken, bacon bits, chives, shallots, more shredded cheeses, etc. Good conversation as well as an open bar. It's good to be the King.

Still no bag when I get back to my hotel so I head out to find a Walgreens/CVS to pickup some essentials I will need for getting ready for bed and in the morning. I settle in for some quality sleep as I had been up since 3 AM to catch my 6 AM flight. At around midnight I get woken up by a phone call. I thought it was my wake up call but when I picked up the hotel phone it kept ringing. I then realized it was my cellphone ringing. I answer it and it is the baggage delivery guy telling me he is in the lobby. I tell him to leave the bag and I will be down shortly to retrieve it as he had woken me up anyways I might as well go down and pick it up. Vastly different work schedules.

After the first day of training I was out with my fellow co-workers to the World of Beers for a few adult beverages and when my co-workers went off to do something a fellow bar patron started up a conversation with me. I noticed his ring had a symbol I had seen before and it turns out it was a Mason's ring and being that my grandfather was a Mason we got to talking about the Masons. The conversation took a strange turn when he started talking about secret work that he did for the U.S. government in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was not a serviceman but more like a Blackwater employee. Now was this just a story to puff up his ego or was it real we may never know. He was now into the medical marijuana business doing HVAC work for the grow operations. The people you meet.

The conference concluded and I went to catch my plane home. I got into a short line at MCO which is unheard of but it soon turned out to be the wrong line. At one point we didn't move for at least 15 minutes. After about a half an hour we finally made it through. I get to the gate and take a seat and await the arrival of my plane As the plane arrives, we line up to get on board and then we hear the announcement that an indicator light had been noted on the flight in and they would need to get maintenance to check the plane. After about 30 minutes the next announcement came over the loudspeakers that the plane could not be fixed quickly and was to be taken to a maintenance hanger. So now we don't a plane. The airline did some juggling and our new flight out would be in an hour and half. How airlines juggle is to start a rolling wave of delays. As soon as our flight was reschedule the flight to Columbus was delayed by and hour which means we stole the Columbus flights plane and the Columbus flight will steal someone else's plane until they can get a replacement plane from somewhere else or they can get the original plane fixed. Robbing Columbus to pay Denver.

I leave you with the Big Lebowski Stranger.
"It was a pretty good story. Don't you think. It made me laugh to beat the band. Parts, anyway"

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