Monday, March 28, 2011

FML: Business Trip Edition

I heavily blame a lot of this on the super moon last weekend. What else could it be?

So, I had to go to Washington, DC for a 5 day business trip. It should have been fairly easy. Long hours and lots of hard work, but that's expected. Instead:

I arrived in DC and went to my "boutique" hotel. It was around 1:30am when I arrived and the front door is locked, for security, as it should be. So I pushed the buzzer and... nothing. Again, again, again... nothing. Turns out the lady at the front desk is asleep on the desk. I can see her, but she's just OUT. I'm knocking, banging on the door. Nothing. I call, nothing. The cab driver calls (he was concerned about leaving me alone on the street, so he hung around), I'm buzzing and yelling and knocking. 20 minutes later, she wakes up, sees me and lets me in and then pretends that nothing happened. I go to my room, fuming. I checked out first thing in the morning and had to tell the manager why. Sorry, lady. I didn't want to get you in trouble, but I'm not staying in a hotel where the night staff is asleep on the job.

So I switched to the Hilton, which every cab driver in town points out is the same hotel where President Reagan was shot. Oh, goody.

Everything about the event was a Murphy's Law situation. Nothing was ready, took me hours to set up, etc. Everyone was grumpy and just plain jerky and took it out on me. So basically, I was being yelled at from 7am-7pm daily (mind you, I'm from the west coast, so this screaming is starting at 4am for me).

The event finally ends and I get to go home. Hooray! We board the plane and about 2 minutes before they close the airplane door, two youngish guys (early 20s) decide that they want to get off. They apparently asked the lady seated next to them if they could take a train instead, she said yes and they got up and got out. Since they were middle eastern (speaking Farsi) the flight attendant alerted the pilot that they were suspicious, so it suddenly became a TSA situation. They unloaded all of the bags and cargo from the plane and sent them through a second security check - I heard there were bomb dogs, but I didn't personally see them. We all had to deplane and be re-checked to board. So we were delayed by about 2 hours. Naturally, I couldn't sleep on the plane. I was dead tired and scared shitless and tried to distract myself the whole flight - which is 6 hours going west.

We finally get to LAX and are landing and we're about 10 feet off the ground and the pilot suddenly pulls up and takes off again. After we're out over the ocean, the pilot tells us that the plane on the runway in front of us made a sudden stop and it wasn't safe to land, so he had to do a "go around" which means we had to take off or crash. GOODY!

The girl next to me has been stressed beyond belief the whole flight. She's not an experienced traveler and was on her way to Australia, but was going to miss her flight because of the delay. So, you know, the whole "suspected terrorist" and "near-miss plane crash" didn't sit well. I thought she was going to melt down.

I was SO glad to be on the ground in LA that I was rushing out into the terminal and tripped over some guy's foot. Turns out it was Bruce Vilanch. Oops.

So I go down to the curb, where my ground transportation was waiting. I'd used our company's preferred company and selected the least expensive option, which was a van. My quote was $125 so I was expecting a converted minivan, a Ford Aerostar or something. Whatever, I just wanted to be home already. So I get to the curb and Oh Emm Eff Gee, it's a party bus. No joke. THIS was the kind of "van" that they sent for me. Just me and my one tiny suitcase. Awkward.

So we're almost home and the guy tells me that "oh, by the way" I should call the company and see if they can adjust the price for me, because there's a 3 hour minimum for this car. WHAT?! Yep, this morning I got my receipt and it was $498. No fucking joke. It's $125 an hour plus fees and gas surcharges and tip... Five hundred dollars for ONE PERSON. So, of course, I'm going to have to pay for this. I can't submit a $500 receipt on my expense report.

Keep an eye out for my upcoming "oh shit, it cost me $500 to get home!" fundraiser.

1 comment:

giddy99 said...

Oh, dear. I travel a lot for work, too, so I feel your pain (well, maybe not the tripping over some guy part). Glad you made it home safe & in one piece.

Submit the receipt and EXPLAIN. You used the company's preferred list, and selected the cheapest option listed. They should know about the 3-hour minimum, lest someone else do that, too. :)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin