02 October 2009

Trip Home: Day 1

The vacation got off to a rocky start, thanks to the HR Department at the hospital. No one knows why (yet), but for some reason, they decided that the only person who was authorised to pick up the paycheques for our department was Linda. Which would be fine if Linda hadn’t been laid off in APRIL. Since April, three people have been approved to pick up our department’s paycheques, and that’s gone swimmingly well. But today... major SNAFU.

Some people didn’t understand why I insisted on getting my paystub before I left since I have direct deposit, but my reasoning was that if the amount was wrong, I wanted to know now when I was still in the same time zone as HR and my boss. Not, you know, 6:00 a.m. tomorrow when I’m trying to buy my way into some driver’s hauler or something (ha ha, I’m joking... or am I? lol). But really. I’m getting ready to go halfway across the country for nearly a week. I think I’m not being unreasonable on wanting to verify (as much as I can) that my pay will be in order before I leave the campus. Finally got the paycheque. Whew.

Got to the airport safely and on time, compliments of my friend Sarah. She caught me up on her life, and I caught her up on The Strike That Wasn’t (at least not yet).

There were only about five people ahead of me in line at ticketing, which I kind of expected since I wasn’t travelling on a holiday weekend or anything like that. The funny part was when it came time to pay for my bag (a $20 charge; thank you, US Airways). I decided to write a cheque. I’ve been writing cheques more and more lately instead of using my debit card. I’ve found that doing so forces me to think more about how much I’m spending rather than just “swipe the card, swipe the card, swipe the card.” When I’m writing out the amount (twice, even, per purchase), I’m really more conscious of what’s leaving the banc account.

Well, apparently, I’m the only person ever in the history of the world who has written a cheque to pay for a bag. Three different people had to be consulted on how to process my cheque. The woman was really nice about and apologised profusely many times, so I finally said, “Look, I really don’t care how long it takes, as long as I get on my plane tonight.” I can kind of understand not knowing where the account number on the cheque is; I mean, if I’m not thinking about it, I get the routing number and the account number on the cheque mixed up. But it turned into a farce when she asked me which number on the cheque was the check number.

Made it through security with no problems. They didn’t even question the spindle. And I brought my big, long, purpleheart wood spindle, too! I had asked Sarah for advice on how to best pack it, and she said she always just puts it in her fiber in her carry-on. I questioned her a few times about getting it through security, and she said she’s even spun on planes. So I took the gamble, and she was right. Yay!

So far on the plane ride (I’m about two-thirds of the way to KCMO), I’ve finished a book I started this morning and I cranked out my personal statement for one of my PhD applications. I’m not saying it’s perfect right now, but at least I have a nice rough draft typed out and ready to ripped apart by my friend Kristi, who has graciously agreed to help proof, edit, troubleshoot, and constructively criticize my essays/personal statements/letters of interest.

I was assigned to the last row of the airplane, but I got bumped to Row Six. I really don’t care whether I’m in the front/back/etc. But I don’t much care for the woman who is next to me. She has no concept of personal space. She has bumped into me several times without saying “excuse me.” She keeps falling asleep and snoring... loudly... with her mouth open... and she has horrible breath... and she keeps aiming it at me. Every once in awhile, she’ll wake up and put her forehead on the back of the seat in front of her and then just sit like that for awhile. I really hate her.

Also, I have been up since 3:00 a.m. CDT and I am scheduled to land 10:24 p.m. CDT. So that may have something to do with my crabbiness. I woke up an hour and a half before my alarm was set to go off, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Bah.

Update: She just woke up and she is SUCH a rude cow (sorry, I’ve been reading a LOT of Brit chick lit lately and this is an insult widely used). She decided to get up to use the restroom and just HAD to use the back of the seat in front of her for leverage, thus WAKING UP that passenger. And, again, didn’t even bother to say “excuse me.” I wish I had something I could put in her seat while she was away.

Tomorrow’s agenda: Race track for practice and qualifying, we’ll hit the Fan Walk (the area between the Cup garage and the NNS garage where drivers sometimes mingle with the fans, Hospitality Village, and Souvenir Alley. Then to Target so I can buy Mom and Dale a new cordless telephone/answering machine for Christmas. They get to have it now and set it up now, but they’ll open the box on Christmas Day as a reminder that it was their Christmas present.

Update: She must have found another seat. She just came and collected her belongings and left. SCORE!!!!!!!

Arrived airport. Luggage also arrived. About twenty feet from baggage claim, handle on suitcase broke. Yay.

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