Okay, last night I was up until 3:30. It would’ve been an earlier night, but we were waiting for our ham and jack sandwich to arrive. Today is the first day where my conference sleep patterns are really getting to me, and it’s also the day I get to go home. So that worked out okay.
Steve and I packed up the car and made the arduous three minute trek to the Lindbergh Field. There was a little confusion at the airport as he temporarily booked the seat next to mine, but it was all cleared up when I explained the joys of an empty middle seat in coach.
I got on the plane and made myself comfortable, looking forward to that middle seat. A few minutes later, a woman walked on and started pointing to me, asking me something in Spanish. I didn’t know what was going on, but it seemed to involve the middle seat next to me. She asked about my ticket, and when I showed it to her she said “Oh, you are in Group 5.” She then squeezed into the middle seat and started talking to HER sister, in the middle seat one row back.
Annoyed as hell, I sat there until takeoff in a grumpy fog. And to make things worse, across the aisle there seemed to be an empty middle AND aisle seat. Then just as we started taxiing, I looked at my ticket again. I was so exhausted that I’d taken the wrong seat! It turns out I was the big idiot, not the woman. Naturally, it was below me to apologize.
We got to JFK just before midnight. I had checked two bags – my big-ass, overweight suitcase and a TechEd conference bag full of magazine samples. The big-ass, overweight suitcase rolled off just fine, but an early trickle of TechEd bags soon became a cascade. I had cleverly put my business card into the NetIQ luggage tag so that I could identify my bag, but none of the bags had the ID on them. The belt kept going around and around. Most of the people claimed their stuff and left. There was nothing left but about five TechEd bags. I started rifling through them one by one until I found the publication-laden sack – with no nametag. It turns out that I was so exhausted, I put the card UNDERNEATH the generic “write your name here” tag that came with the bag. Good thing I’m not paid for thinking or anything.