I’ll admit it, I’m a worrier, I tend to worry about things. Hence if you remember correctly I booked over a month in advance to get home for Christmas. I laid out the journey and was fully prepared months in advance. I planned out my week dividing the chores before leaving into easily manageable things.
Then the trade unions announced they would be striking. Thing is my train is international so it wouldn’t be affected. Unless of course the cops, prison-guards, border-guards, firefighters, national trains, buses, trams, subways, cable cars, trolleys, all public services and EMS joined the strike. Blue flu is rare even here, despite the seeming lack of cops, and usually transport strikes are done city by city so the whole country Isn’t so paralyzed. The likelihood of that? pfff it happened one in 1980-something.Oh, and now tomorrow, the day I’m supposed to be going home can be added to that list. Oh and when did they announce it, 7 a.m. today.
So I spent the morning on hold asking if I could push back my initial train journey to Friday or push it forward to today. The helpful answer was that ‘no, I couldn’t’ and I should ‘travel on the 26th’. WOOW THANKS LADY!!!! I’ll just miss Christmas get home on the 26th then use my Delorean to go back in time and un-miss Christmas!!!!!
SO I checked every other means possible. Buses, out, trains out, ferry boats, car-pools, private car hire, only the airplanes are getting out, so I booked a flight. Within half an hour it was announced that airport security would partially strike and that the air traffic controllers were still mulling over striking.
Thing is, I may not know that much about aerospace, but air traffic controllers, kinda like the boss of pilots. Get rid of them and you’ve got some 747 sized, fuelled up, un-wieldy cars. Now, so far they haven’t decided to strike, so I can still potentially make it home. Although they can now decide 20 seconds before my flight to go on strike, after I pay the ridiculous cab fare to get to the airport.
I hate this limbo. I paid for a service which was blown out of the water, and now I’ve paid for another service which will potentially be semtex-ed in the next 12 hours.
I think the moment of glory was when my boss had to change his flight to Tokyo and so did one of our colleagues, they both make a lot more than me and bitched about the inconvenience and the cost. Oh so you’re going to miss a day your family puts no stock in altogether? I’m sooo sad for you. In my family if you miss Christmas you may as well just never go home because you will be cut out of the will.
No one has ever missed Christmas in my family. I could be the first.
As I was fighting with airport officials about my colleague’s ticket I realized how ridiculous the whole airline system is. I though to myself, if the controllers strike all the flights including mine and this guys will be cancelled. I thought, if only there were an alternate form of transport, like a train…. OH WAIT MY TRAIN WAS FUCKING CANCELLED.
When I got the news this morning I called up the Train company and after 60 minutes on hold I eventually got through to someone, tried to re-book or change, nothing was good. I hung up and K2 came over to my desk. I smiled what I thought was a wry smile, full of bitter acceptance. K2’s eyes got very big and she said “Are you going to cry?”
Now I thought I looked more ironic than tearful but apparently I have a god-awful poker face. I smiled again and said “The train was cancelled and the company said they won’t be dealing with refunds for a while, I guess I’ll have to book a plane”. At this point I realized how she made the mistake of confusing bad-ass face with cry-baby face, my voice was cracked to the point where I could barely hear it. Apparently my poker-face is ok but my voice decides to play octave gymnastics when I get anxious. I sounded like any 12yr old boy going through puberty, deep choked gasped words in between squeaky high-pitched chirrups.
I gotta say folks, I’m not dealing with today well.
Silver lining, got 3 separate offers for Christmas if I don’t go home ( Thank you TallMan, Sita, and King, I’ll be taking someone up on their offer if the worst happens).