Captain’s Log 5,225
I made it home last night. Tumbled into bed just after 11:00 and went out like a rock.
People have interesting perspectives on how I perceive my job. I went on a business trip. Plain and simple. I had no car. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with absolutely nowhere to go.
When I arrived at the hotel on Monday night, all the kitchens were closing. People asked why I didn’t just go out for food. No car. No idea where I was. It was very dark. I was exhausted. I ate a banana. That held me until I could eat a $9 bowl of Rice Krispies in the restaurant the next morning. Eggs and potatoes cost $19.
I met up with the team after breakfast and we carpooled to the Henry Ford Museum. The place is enormous, and our conference was held on the far end of the campus almost a mile from the actual museum. By the time we were finished for the day, the museum was closed. Went back to the hotel for another meeting where my simple dinner that I couldn’t even eat cost me $48.
I packed on Wednesday morning and checked out. We carpooled back to the Henry Ford Museum for another session (with luggage). After the session ended, I schlepped my luggage almost a mile to the front door of the museum where I met up with my niece.
We did NOT go into the museum! I did not arrange to see my niece so we could spend the afternoon looking at cars. I wanted to spend my pre-airport hours engaging in quality conversation and adventures with her. Yes, seeing the cars would have been wonderful, but when you get the chance to spend time with family you love, you do it. Period. End. To hell with the museum.
I am not myopic about my job. I am not one of those people who organizes my life to see all the cars I can possibly see. My job is about PEOPLE. I work with the people who enjoy the cars. I work with the people who have memories about driving or owning cars. I am focused on the CULTURE of the automobile and how it has shaped and continues to shape our destiny.
Most everybody at the conference felt the same way. We all just wanted to leave. Seeing more and more cars was not appealing to us. When you work in the museum industry, you need a break from museums. Really, you do.
Getting on the plane was actually more of an adventure than I ever care to repeat. Apparently, my return flight was booked in such a way that I was pegged as a “cheap flight.” News to me. I didn’t consider an almost $400 RT ticket “cheap,” but Delta pegged me like that and wouldn’t even assign me a seat until the plane was ready to board. I was asked to step away from the desk more than once as they were assigning seats to other people obviously not as cheap as me. There was a funny young man behind the desk and I tried to bribe him with Cheetos into giving me an upgrade. He couldn’t, and when the senior gate agent arrived, it was made very clear to me that I was a cheap pariah who shouldn’t even be allowed to fly.
Delta got a Yelp from me.
What a bunch of crap. I booked a RT from San Diego to Detroit. First half was on American. Wonderful. Great stuff. Second half was on Delta. Because that leg was “cheap,” I did not get a seat assignment until five minutes before boarding. Because it was a cheap seat they assigned me a crappy middle seat. The plane was definitely overbooked. They then tried to get me to volunteer to fly the next morning for a $700 voucher and a hotel. There were seats in first class but they refused to put a cheapskate like me into one of those seats. I didn’t even realize I was a cheapskate until someone explained it to me. Get a deal on your ticket and sit in a shitty seat. So they would rather pay me $700 and put me up in a hotel then let me sit in first class. I held my ground and I was seated on the plane. But never again. This fiasco tonight convinced me to never fly Delta anywhere for any reason.
Not that it will matter to them. But I felt good making a fuss.