|You arrive at the airport, realizing that you have less than half an hour to catch your connecting flight, and quickly glance up at the information board to find the gate for your connection. You breathe a sigh of relief when you note that the gate for your connecting flight is right behind you. How convenient! You also note that your connecting flight seems to be running about twenty minutes late, which is great because that means you can stop at the bathroom and maybe grab a Peppermint Hot Chocolate at Starbuck’s. So you take your time, eventually making your way back to the gate about twenty minutes prior to departure. You realize that everyone around you seems to be going to Sioux City – that’s not where you’re going. Although you’re positive that you’re in the right place, you ask the attendant at the gate desk.
“I’m headed to Small Midwestern City. I thought that flight should have boarded by now?”
“It did board. In fact, it’s leaving now,” the nice woman responds.
You panic. “But I never heard an announcement…”
The gate attendant smiles. “That’s because the flight to Small Midwestern City boarded at a different gate on the other side of the airport.”
With a sinking feeling, you realize that instead of reading the “Departures” information board upon arriving at the airport, you read the “Arrivals” board. You feel like a complete idiot as you are rescheduled on a flight leaving five hours later.
So you wait in the airport for your eighteenth flight in two months (ugh), feeling a bit hazy due to the cold medicine you took just an hour earlier. You rewrite your job talk (have I mentioned how much I adore my laptop computer?), confess your idiocy over the phone to your husband (who laughs his head off), and wait for the next flight.
To top it all off, it’s your birthday. But despite the fact that you’re stuck in the airport and will arrive at your interview location well after midnight, you realize that these 31 years have served you well, and that you can laugh at situations like this because you know that – eventually – everything’s going to be just fine.
(Written yesterday, 12/14/05, as I sat in the airport.)