2004 Apr 22, 6:44
My interview was scheduled for Monday starting at 8am, so when I signed up for the trip and MS suggested a departure time of 4:30pm on Monday I thought that'd be good. Unfortunately the entire
process ended at 4:15pm and it takes a little more than 15 minutes to get from Redmond to Seattle and then through the whole airport deal. So after the taxi ride to the airport and waiting in line
for like 20 minutes its 5:30pm and I'm at the front of the line asking this woman for a new ticket.
Woman: *typing* Well I can get you to LA... Me: Yeah well that's the right state. Woman: *still typing* Oh... Hmm... Uhoh... *other non-words* Me: *waiting patiently* ... Woman: Are you ready
to run? Here's your ticket. Gate C11.
I look at the ticket and the plane's boarding at, what do you know?, 5:30pm. So yeah I start running. I hit the security check point line and I know all about this. I take off my belt and shoes
and empty my pockets into my backpack, my only luggage. I am Mr. Prepared, or maybe Prepared-ness is my middle name, whatever. I get through the line with no problem, put on my backpack and holding
my shoes and belt in one hand I notice a big old clock just to my left. While I'm staring at it, it changes from 5:42 to 5:43. "Oh shit!" I think, so I start running again. I finally get to the
appropriate gate and get on the plane all out of breath. I'm walking down the aisle with shoes and belt in hand, and I guess I look a bit out of sorts. I sit in my seat and I'm telling the guy next
to me about my whole deal: "Ha. Yeah. I was late and with the running and the security checkpoint..." into incoherent mumbling and gesturing. So it turns out the pilot and copilot's incoming flight
was way late and I ended up sitting in my seat for another 15 minutes before we could take off. All that wasted running. What a shame. Coming into LA we've been "landing" for like 20 minutes. We
finally get on the ground and its 30 minutes passed the boarding time of my connecting flight. I start thinking about anyone I know who lives in LA. All the other passengers stand up and block the
aisle. Then, an announcement "Will Daniel Riesney please come to the front of the plane." OK I can tell that's supposed to be my name, but how the hell am I supposed to get to the front of the plane?
The people near me who have heard me talking to the guy next to me about this let me past easily enough. But now I have to explain this to each person out of ear shot to further my progress. "Hi.
Excuse me. They called me to the front of the plane. Pardon me. Can I get by." And so on. Its getting more hostile the closer I get to first class. Up to this one guy. He's trying to talk on his cell
phone but its not working because everybody is trying to talk on their cell phone now that we've landed. His phone connection has failed. I can't guess at what else has happened to him today but he's
decided to make his Custerian last stand here between me and the rest of the plane.
Me: *continuing from previous passengers* Excuse me. Pardon me. Guy: *spinning around* WHAT!? Me: Can I please get by? Guy: What? Why? Were not going anywhere! This whole time I've been
forcing my way past him. Guy: There OK your past me now! Your several feet ahead of me! Congratulations! Me: Dude, I'm sorry they called me to the front of the plane. Guy: I find that highly
Whatever. I keep walking and like 7 people past the asshole I guess the flight attendants give up on me and start letting people off the plane. Now who feels like an asshole? Its me. I get off
the plane and some airport guy has a new schedule for me. Oh good I'm thinking, I've got an hour until the next flight's boarding time at 10:30pm. So I get on a tram to travel to the other side of
LAX. I wait for oncoming traffic to stop so I can climb up a stopped escalator (Incidentally right next to it is another escalator which has been closed off. Why would they do that? Escalators cannot
break they just become stairs.) I get up there and wait in line for an extreeeeme amount of time and finally get up to claim my ticket. Its 10:20. I get my ticket and, yeah, the departure time is
10:30, the boarding time is 10:10. So I start running again. More security check fun. I finally find my boarding gate. I rush up...
Me: *breathing heavy* Here's my ticket Lady: Oh good your finally here. Just go right out that door, *points* down the stairs, *more pointing* and wait for the tram.
WHAT? Isn't there supposed to be a PLANE somewhere? This is what I'm thinking not what I'm saying. So I walk outside and down these steps. And I'm waiting. The lady from inside joins me.
*awkward silence* Lady: The bus should be here pretty soon. Me: So... I'm going to miss my plane huh? Lady: Oh no, see here? *points at my ticket* Your ticket is confirmed so they can't leave
without you. Me: Oh good... I hope they didn't tell the other passengers that.
Lets see how many passengers I can piss off in one night. Eventually this bus shows up. I get in and the guy starts driving. "Do you know where I'm going?" I ask. "Yeah" the guy says. Great.
Fine. Whatever. I don't care anymore. So we drive back around to the OTHER SIDE of the airport. You know, the side I started on. Yeah that side. So I get off the bus and walk into the small building
set aside for smaller airlines. I see the frantic looking ladies manning another of these gates. They see me, check my ID and ticket, and one of them ushers me out the door next to the gate. Out the
door and into a small gated area outside. So me and this new lady are just standing here. Even had I the energy to ask her what was going on its very loud what with all the planes. So we just stand
here at this gate facing the planes for a while. I look at her trying to make eye contact and get some sort of acknowledgment that we are in fact waiting for SOMETHING. Eventually one of the day-glow
guys appears from between some planes and saunters up. The lady hands him a paper and walks away. At the time I was kind of offended but looking back on it, maybe the lady was a deaf mute and I'm the
one being insensitive. So now I follow this guy through a bunch of planes. I'm yelling "San Luis Obispo?" trying to be heard over all the ambient noise and this guy is somehow responding to me with
an even tone no yelling required. I don't know how he did that. We finally get to the plane and its 10:40. So I delayed the flight ten minutes. I'm thinking its going to be really awkward when I sit
down and we immediately leave. Its going to be suspicious even. But, not to worry, we wait while the flight attendant argues with the guy who brought me to the plane for another ten minutes about how
many people are supposed to be on the plane. Whatever.