Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Monday, November 26, 2012

SDCC 2009 – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ComicCon – A Tragic Comedy - Part 4 of 8

Part IV – plans turn to dust
Recap – laid off and bagless
If you know me, you’ll know I’ll say some crazy things to see how people react. The Wife knows me and she knows I do this all of the time. So I knew I couldn’t just call her and tell her I was laid off.  She would not believe me.  It's the whole 'Boy who cried wolf' syndrome.  So I went to where she worked and did it in person so she would believe me.
I had her come down to the lobby so she could see me say the words. Of course when she came down and I told her, I had a smile on my face.  I mean really, its SOOOO surreal. How could I not smile like it was a bad joke?  So much for believing me in person.  I had to repeat the bad news several times so she would finally believe I wasn’t joking.
We talked briefly.  I let her know about the severance and all wasn't ruined just yet.  She decided to leave for the day and we went somewhere for dinner.  As we talked, we discussed whether I should go to SDCC or not. I wanted to go but I was offering her a chance to say no.  She thought it would be good for me to go and relax and not worry about the job for a while.
Then it dawned on me. I was bagless. I needed a new bag.  So after dinner we hit every office supply store in town.  No luck. Nothing was as nice as that worn out crappy old laptop bag I had carried all over the world.  It was interesting that NOW I was really stressing  - over a bag. 
What was I to do without my bag?  I then realized I hadn’t packed.  I hadn’t looked at the program in a week. I hadn’t even checked my flight status or taken money out of the bank. I’m a ComicCon veteran. I should know what I’m doing and not be in this position. 
I was now one of ‘them’. Those people that just show up and hope for the best. Ugh! That was not who I want to be. I’m an over planner not a carefree newbie.
As we are walking though Best Buy a paradigm shifted for me. Instead of a laptop bag, what about a backpack? We found a nice backpack with lots of nooks and crannies that might just work.  It also had a 'nice' price.  At the time I was thinking it was a silly expense for one show but we were on a verge of a crisis. We took the plunge and spent the money when we should have been thinking about NOT spending money.
We got home and I needed to rush to pack and review the convention program and figure out what I needed to take.  For some reason I kept getting phone calls from the team in Egypt. They were the last people I wanted to have a conversation with.  I no longer worked for the company. I no longer needed to worry about the systems I babysat over the last 10 years. I no longer needed to be polite to them.  So I ignored the phone calls. I had ComicCon to attend to.
I got to bed late and woke early. I still needed to stop by an ATM for money. I needed to fill the car with gas. I needed to eat.  And of course traffic was heavier than I wanted.
I got to long term parking later than I wanted but it’s still within the margin of error.   The driver usually picks you up and maybe one other person and then drives to the airport. The drive is 10 minutes or so. Not this morning.  Nope, the driver had plans to fill his van. And he did. He spent 30 minutes driving around the lot to pick up other passengers. Can you hear the tick tock of the clock?
I’m focused on my breathing trying not to hyperventilate. I didn’t want to panic. I knew I had time but it’s taking longer than I wanted or than I planned. We finally left the parking lot and drove to the airport. And of course I’m nearly the last to get off the van. TICK TOCK.
I’m really wondering what I did to make Buddha mad.
I use the self-check kiosk and it didn’t work.  I move to another self-check kiosk and an attendant wanted to help. As much as I wanted to slap his hands away, I let him help.  I can feel every tick of the clock and I know I’m really cutting it thin. TICK TOCK!
 He had problems and I needed to wait for someone at the counter. Again, I’m focused on my breathing.
After 5 minutes, a counter person told me I can make my flight but my luggage can’t. I can still feel the question mark pop out from the top of my head.  It must have been a large question mark that floated there because the counter person answered my question before I could ask.  Luggage needed to be checked in by ‘x’ time before the flight. People can board until ‘x minus y’ time. TICKTOCK!  TICKTOCK!
And yes, they would put my bag on the next flight. 
Wow, the world started crumbling down then. That meant I needed to stay at the airport until the next flight. Before all of this really sank in for digestion, she told me I have 10 minutes to get to the gate to board. TICKTOCKTICKTOCK!!
For some airports that would be a death sentence. I use DFW airport and security is fast and painless. But you can see already that it was not fast and painless that day right? I jogged to the security line. Only one person in front of me and she was a large older woman.
She had one of those metal fold-down caddies that you strap bags to.  They were popular a decade ago to roll several smaller bags around. They got replaced by the computer laptop roller boards. Or they were replaced by smaller rolling suitcases. 
She was anachronistic. She still had her metal caddy. I would imagine she had used it a lot over the years.  She was brain dead this morning. She left her bag strapped and the caddy was expanded and she shoved it into the x-ray machine.  TICK TOCK…time’s up. Pencils down. The alarm clock in riging.
I never knew you could clog an x-ray machine.  You can.  She did.  I missed my flight.
I really wondered if that was a sign from God that I should cancel the trip and save the money.

To be continued...


No comments:

Post a Comment