NO PENCIL?!

Hello Humans!  I am on vacation!  Like real vacation and going somewhere – not just this I don’t have to go to work or school!  It’s been nice.  I was home for a few days and of course I had to hit up all the good food places.  Our flight was supposed to leave yesterday night around 8PM, but around one, my mom gets an e-mail saying the flight is cancelled.  WHAT?!  NO!  So of course I do my thing and try to find out why it’s cancelled.  I check the radar, we’re good.  I check United’s site and it only says cancelled.  Odd.  Usually it gives the reason.  So of course I call them and I get connected to this genius who asks me if I want him to look for another flight for us.  No, I’m just calling to say “Hey, our flight was cancelled.  Cool.”  He finally starts looking, but of course, everything is already overbooked.  Then we get a call while I’m still talking to this guy as he attempts to find a flight on another airline about how we were rescheduled for a flight on Friday afternoon via ORD (that’s Chicago).  NOT ACCEPTABLE!  There’s a reason we booked a direct flight for Wednesday night.

After about an hour of dealing with the guy I was talking to, the only information I got was that the flight was cancelled due to crew delays.  Which turns out to be good for you as a passenger.  If you’re not aware, airlines have a much higher obligation to their passengers when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to airline misfortunes and not weather.  When it’s weather, good luck getting anything done.  But as Genius told me, it was crew.  After still not being moved to a direct flight on any airline for the next two days, I asked to speak to a supervisor.  At this point, I’m well aware that Genius can do nothing and his supervisor is in the same boat flight wise, but now I’m annoyed, my patience is shot, and I am fed up.  Not only do I want a direct flight, but now I want some type of compensation for dealing with everything.  Genius (btw, the guy was attempting to be nice and do his job, but he was SLOW.  And he was kind of an idiot.  He kept asking me if I wanted him to check if a different flight was available.  I mean…  that’s kind of the whole reason why I called in the first place…  Anyway) kindly points out that his supervisor won’t be able to do much in terms of a flight either, but I knew he couldn’t authorize any kind of credit, etc, so I opted for the supervisor.

When I finally got a hold of her, she had an attitude.  I guess I would have an attitude if I had to work with pissed off people all day.  Wait..  hmmmm…  Some days working in an Admissions office….  Anyway, she tells me that her minion has done everything she could and she wasn’t sure why I wanted to talk to her.  I kindly brought up the whole “You’re wasting my time, money, vacation etc” bit and that I wanted to see some kind of acknowledgement on that.  Well of course her first reaction was to get defensive.

“The flight was cancelled due to storms.  We’re not concerned about compensating passengers at this moment, we are simply trying to get everyone booked on other flights.”

“Storms?  Your colleague just informed me that the flight was cancelled due to the crew.  Plus I’m looking at the radar now and there are no storms in the area of either flight path.”

“Oh.”  You could hear the disappointment in her voice that I was slightly more intelligent than the population that just accepts what you tell them as truth.  “I see.  Let me check the actual reason the flight was delayed, one moment please.”  WHAT?!?!?!  THE ACTUAL REASON?!?  Why don’t you just tell me “Hey, I totally just lied to you, but you called me out, so I’ll go find out the truth.”  No excuse.  None at all.  I was already annoyed, but that just threw me over the edge.  She finally admitted that it was due to crew and offered $75 vouchers per person.  Fine.  I would’ve settled for first class seats to our destination, but $225 isn’t too bad either.  Now for our flights.  We ended up being rerouted in that too, but it actually worked out better.  We were planning on driving the extra two hours North for the day, but now we land right there.  And it was direct.  And we didn’t have to get a hotel for the night yesterday.

But I’m still furious that the agent lied to me.  Not a way to run customer service, United.  As a former employee of United, I was extremely disappointed in how this situation was handled.  Previously dealing with Continental and working for them first, I feel that it would’ve been handled much better pre-merger and with Continental.  Sigh.  At any rate, we’re on a plane and on vacation!  More later! 🙂

Humans

I’ve been wondering a lot lately why we like the people we like.  Not just in terms of love, but platonic ones as well: the guy you met on the train one day or the person you’ve called your best friend since you were nine.  Why do we like the people we hang out with?  Are they that much more interesting than us?  Do they have something that much more to offer that we need their presence to get through life? I’m not really sure, I’ve just found that at times, I absolutely love being around people and other times, I want nothing to do with them.

I usually have to mentally prepare myself for being around people. When I wake up, I go to work and I know I’m going to have to have some type of interaction. Luckily, the humans I work with realize morning is not my cup of tea and let me do my thing. My roommates have all been pretty good about this too. My roommate from Italy loved the morning as much as I did and we developed our own routine of grunts and nods to get ready for the day. Life was good. By noon, I’m ready to deal with humans. But by the evening, I’m done, I need my Lauren time. Leave me alone. Of course there are exceptions, but not many.
But a lot of the people I know and have come to care about don’t seem to operate under these same conditions. Its difficult for me to comprehend sometimes. Do you seriously need that much company all the time? Or is it that the people you hang out with are that awesome? Granted, the beings I associate with are all pretty awesome, but I still don’t want to be around them 24/7. I love you, but why? Can someone please explain why it is we like other people? Chances are, they’ve all done something terrible- I think we all have our faults and it’s part of being human. But why do we feel that need to be there for each other? To want to be around certain people all the time (once again, I’m not just referring to romantic relationships in this)?
Just a little something to think about! Hakuna Matata!

Mission: Complete

Have you ever felt like someone was sending you a message?  Not in an evil way or anything crazy like that, just in a bizarre, fated kind of way.  Fate.  An interesting concept.  Maybe crazy.  Maybe completely sane.  Who knows?   Whenever I think of fate, I think of the animated Disney’s Hercules movie and the three Fates.  The most vivid scene that comes to mind is when they are about to cut the cord on Hercules’s life, but then it turns gold and it cannot be cut for he is immortal.  A strange scene to imagine at the idea of fate, no doubt, but what comes to mind nonetheless.  And then I wonder if we are here living a life that has already been assigned to us or if we do have our own choices.  Maybe we’ve already made the decisions we are going to make way back when, before we were ever born and now we’re just enacting them out.  A journey that only fate could bring us to.  Or is it all a hoax?  There’s no such thing?  I don’t know.  I think I’m more prone to believe the first over the latter, but I could be wrong.  Free will has to be somewhere in there which is why I think I’m more for the idea that we’ve already picked out the paths we will take and now we’re just experiencing them over “I was destined to do this because somewhere, at some time, someone arbitrarily decided this would happen to me.”  But I digress.

Messages.  Every now and then I get this feeling that someone is trying to tell me something.  When I’m doing something I’m not supposed to, I automatically question myself: “If Mom finds out, how much trouble will I be in?”  Maybe that’s just my conscience, but then there’s the other stuff.  The bigger things.  When I think about my friend that is no longer with us, I’ll get a text from someone else in our group asking how my day is going at that same time.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  But I attribute “coincidences” to God (my personal belief –  if you’re not religious, it’s my blog and you’re entitled to your own beliefs) at work in these moments.

Friday will mark two weeks since my grandmother’s funeral.  It is hard to say goodbye to people when they go to their final resting place, and yet, it was made slightly easier for me when the priest said his homily at the funeral mass.  Fr. Raj started off by talking about  the readings.  Standard homily.  But then his message shifted to talking about my grandmother and her life.  He didn’t know my grandma, but I’ve found from working in my church that priests have a homily saved for funerals.  Regardless of if they knew the person, they have a list of sorts that they go through that basically covers what they think is helpful:  “Our brother/sister lived a fulfilling life.  He/She must move on to be with the Lord now.”  As I’ve said, I’ve worked in a church for years with multiple priests.  Each one of them had the same spiel for a funeral mass with an “Insert Deceased’s Name Here.”  By no means am I trying to discredit a priest and/or what they say.  I know their words can be extremely comforting during those times.  It’s just that there’s not a lot of new stuff to be said about someone who has passed away.

When Fr. Raj started speaking, I was expecting this very thing and he started off saying exactly what I’ve heard at hundreds of funerals before.  But then I was astounded.  “On Earth, we have astronauts.  They go to space and they have their missions.  And once they complete their mission, they have to come back to Earth.  Our sister’s mission took her 96 years to complete, but now she has done so and it is time for her to go back to the Lord.”  OK, those may not have been the exact words, but you get the idea.  The entire time Fr. Raj spoke, my family was looking around at each other amazed.  Our faces must have been a sight to see at any rate.  After the mass, my mom went up to Fr. Raj to ask/tell him about his homily.  He told us that no one ever mentioned to him that I was studying to be an astronaut or anything along those lines.  What made him make that analogy?  God.  My grandma.  Fate.  Maybe you don’t share my thoughts on that, but you have to say that it is something else.  Remarkable that it hit so close to home.

“They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.  Death cannot kill what never dies.” – Williams Penn