Friday, February 5, 2010

Something Like a Bad Joke, Right?

Let's just say that the beginning of this trip was not so stellar.

For most of the day on Thursday I battled with a stuffy nose, a sore throat, a roaring headache, and sorts of other cold symptoms. I was downing Airborne like it was soda pop (yes, I know it's a placebo, but I believe it works, so it does. Need proof? Today, I decidedly do NOT have a really bad cold, so there you go Airborne naysayers...)

My less than stellar start to my 3 Days/3 Cities/3 Events Tri really began with a three hour delay which left me stranded in the San Diego Airport because, apparently, there was a bit of rain in The City and Air Traffic Control wouldn't allow planes to land there.

  • My first error was checking my a suitcase. I thought it'd be easier that way. However, once I did that, I was married to flight 153 to San Francisco and couldn't switch flights to ONE OF THE THREE THAT LEFT. ON TIME. TO OAKLAND...GAH!
  • My second error was packing my eye-glasses in my suitcase because after three hours of being on the computer, bitching about my lot in life on FB, my contact lenses were GLUED to my eyeballs.
  • All in all, I felt better off than the 6:10 flight to SF (which I ALMOST TOOK), in which passengers boarded the plane, then were told that their flight was delayed, and they had to get off the plane. THAT would have sucked even worse.
  • Thank God for blogs and FB. I read EVERYONE'S BLOG since I had some excess time on my hands.
  • I was really starting to think that God was sending me signs that I shouldn't go to SF this weekend. 
Finally...after four delays, including three phone called from the automated Southwest flight updater (everyone who was a frequent flyer received the calls simultaneously as we waited in the terminal, which was sorta amusing) my 6:45 flight to SF got permission to about 10 pm. 

When we landed in SF at about 11:30, I picked up my luggage and caught a taxi into the city.

I kid you not. I was cruising down the 280 freeway from the SF airport into The City, just moments away from my destination hotel, with $23.00 or so on the meter, Twittering with Penny, who was just getting off work, joking about who was going to be able to enjoy a glass of wine first, and suddenly I heard a funny sound behind me. It sounded something like


I asked the driver..."You're not running out of gas, are you?"

"No." He said as if he was really, thoroughly, disgusted with the audacity of my question 

"Flat" (I mean...DUH, don't you know your car sounds?)"

I couldn't help but blurt, "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. YOU DO NOT HAVE A FLAT TIRE!"

But, he did, so he pulled over onto the middle of a freeway off ramp on the freakin' freeway. My only comment was, "you ARE calling me a new cab, aren't you?"

So, I sat in Taxi cab #1 and listened to Taxi-cab Driver # 1, yell at someone in a language I don't understand about something. I don't know what. 

 Me, waiting for my new taxi. Just how tired to I look?

$23.80 showing on the meter...just outside of Daly City

Eventually, Taxi Cab Driver #2 showed up, and we put me, my luggage, and my two carry-on bags (my purse and my laptop) into Taxi Cab #2.

Dude never started his meter (I know. I know. That's what SHE said).

Less that 5 minutes later, I was at my hotel. Since Taxi Drive #2 never started the meter, I sorta assumed that the ride was gratis. I mean, Flat tire. 12:30am. No charge for the inconvenience, right?

So I asked, "how much do I owe you?"

He said, "usually a ride from the airport is $40."

I was sorta surprised that he wanted money, but it was almost 1am, and I was tired, and I didn't want the hassle, AND I'm getting reimbursed, so I handed him two $20 bills.

And he starts yelling at me. I guess he was expecting a big tip.

I said, "You never even started the meter. I have no idea how much I owe you, for all I know, you just got a $40.00 tip."


Now, I need a ruling here...did I do the wrong thing? I mean, I worked my way through college (twice) working for tips. I waited tables and tending bar and I worked in the hotel industry as a first career too, so I'm usually super sensitive to tipping and generally tend to overtip. I walk around with dollar bills when I travel so that I can tip every doorman, bell cap, bag person, checker, whoever. I even leave money in hotel rooms for housekeeping. I mean who does THAT? 

So, should I have tipped the dude? I don't think so, my general rule is you give bad service (like a flat tire at 1am, or you spill a dinner on somebody's lap) you don't get a least, that's how it always worked for me.

Maybe I'm a bitch. At 1 am, it's a real possibility. Taxi Driver #2 let me know that I was.

Finally, I got into my hotel room around 1:30. The "giftshop had wine for sale, but only full bottles, and I figured having a full bottle of wine in my reach at 1:30 was pretty risky, so I decided to not charge it to the room and grabbed a bottle of Amstel Light instead. I managed to get up to my room and it was a handicapped room because at 1:00 am that's all that was left, but it was on the 12th floor and it had a BED in it, so I didn't care. But then and as I was setting my luggage down, I noticed that my laptop case was leaving a water trail.


Turned out the water bottle I stashed in my laptop bag burst leaked and everything in my laptop bag was soaked, including some papers I needed to have for the conference this morning and also including...

My MacBook Pro, which wouldn't start up.


EF,  EF,  EF

So, after freaking out for awhile, I decided to take out the battery, leave the laptop open, and just hope that by morning it would be dry and whatever water might have possibly gotten on the MacBook didn't cause permanent damage. 

By the time I stopped fretting about everything, it was close to 2am.

This morning, I was awake at 6:00 am (when my alarm clock, or bladder, wakes me). I also woke up to this...

 I do love San Francisco...very cool. This would have to be a better day*
* Don't worry; it was. :-)


  1. Bless it, I will not bitch about my day at all. You had it far worse. Total suckitude. I DO hope it turned out to be a better day.

  2. On my way to a training, my taxi got lost, even though he was using a Garmin. I kept trying to tell him he had the address wrong but he wouldn't listen (or probably couldn't understand me). I hate to be an insensitive b$%$% (I've worked for tips too) but when I end up paying more for fare because of his poor sense of direction- I did not feel guilty not tipping.

  3. Ok. I'm no longer reading this blog so that I don't jinx myself. Let's see. All day Friday I have been fighting this scratchly throat sniffly head cold feeling. I've beed dropping Zicam all day (yes - a placebo, but it works). I *do not* want a flat tire on my car!!!!

    About the cabbie - at least the first one didn't charge you. My luck, the first one woul have charged me $23,and *then* the second one $40. And at 1AM I probably would have paid it just to be over the problem.

    The good news is the rest of the weekend has only one way to go!

  4. uggg. that's a bad day gone worse. it's gotta be uphill from there!

  5. OMG, what a freakin' ride you have been on! Geez!

  6. Bad day indeed. And no one's answered your tipping question yet. I would have said something as soon as I saw the meter wasn't running, just to be sure. I'm very anal that way. SF needs to adopt the same cabbie laws at NYC, which puts a cap on how much they can charge to get to certain airports.

    Hope the rest of the weekend is better.

  7. I loved all your comments while waiting at the airport, I love even more that you had some Amstel Light! Can't wait for Day 2!!!

  8. At 5pm, I wouldn't have paid. At 1AM, I would have said F-it and just been done with the whole thing.

  9. Holy moley! There wasn't a full moon, or anything like that?

    Have a FABULOUS race on Sunday!