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Charlie's Soap

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Monday, August 6
Schmelta wasn't ready when I was

I went to NYC over this past weekend for BlogHer.

"Oh, me? I was in Manhattan over the weekend."

That cracks me up a little because we all know I don't actually go anywhere other than Atlanta for kids' sporting events.

Yes, I thought I was done with the ATL when Busy Girl graduated, but now it seems that I'm back on the I-75 corridor for a whole new generation of soccer this weekend.

But, back to BlogHer.

As usual, it will take me a bit to put the words together about my time at the conference.

This year, my words may be different, so I want to select them carefully. However, I will say that I relished time spent with good friends, but it's left me with a whole lot of thinking to do about my place here in this digital world.

However, my trip there made me wonder if it was one of several hundred hints (that I ignored) the universe was throwing at me not to go to the conference.

Perhaps at this point, you're all Condescending Wonka and thinking, "Travel stories about a conference I didn't attend? Please tell me more!"

Eh, sorry.

I bought plane tickets out of Chattanooga (about 2 hours away) because oddly enough, it was cheaper than flying out of here. Schmelta Airlines connects in Atlanta (about 2 hours from Chattanooga with traffic), so I arrived in plenty of time to catch my small plane there.

Chattanooga only has 3 gates in operation, and after a lengthy wait in line for a simple bag drop, the ticket agent cast his doubt about me flying out anytime soon because the plane was broken, so he booked me on a flight that left about an hour later.

That flight made my connection in Atlanta pretty tight and if you ever fly with me, you know I'm destined to be at the farthest gate possible, but I didn't have much choice.

I proceeded to the gate where I interrupted the gate agent picking out plastic letters from a box in order to update the departure board who confirmed that I probably wouldn't be going anywhere at all, but did Johnny tell me about the ground transportation?

Nope, he didn't.

Shortly after that, I found myself waiting in a van (an outside company) with 2 other people to drive to Atlanta to make our connections. "Whatever", I thought to myself. We'll make it if we hurry.

We sat and sat some more. Finally, the driver tells us we really need to leave, but he can't go without Schmelta's permission and that he couldn't be the one to go talk to them.

He said that this kind of thing happens every day with them, and they make people wait until the van fills up.

Somehow, I was elected to go inside and convince Schmelta Johnny we needed to leave and leave NOW.

I went back inside where I was told (without him even looking up) that I had to get in the ticket counter line to talk to him. I did for a while, but I glared at him loudly enough to cause him to finally ask me what I needed.

I calmly told him we needed to leave and he said it would be, "a few minutes" and proceeded to continue ignoring me. I then asked him how many more people we were waiting for, and he didn't answer.

I was still about 3rd in line and I uncharacteristically got a little loud and lost my cool maybe just a smidge and asked him just how long a Schmelta minute was.

He was unaffected, but the lady in front of me was a tad surprised.

Then? Johnny tried to tell me the driver "doesn't want to leave until the van is full."

Oh, no he di'int.

There may have been some head bobbing and finger wagging on my part at this point.

Bud from the van (a very sizable human) came in to back me up and Schmelta Johnny told him, without looking up, it would be "a few minutes"

At that point, Schmelta Johnny was expecting us to quietly wait in the van, but we instead chose to wait next to Schmelta Johnny's ticket station.

Oddly, it became time to leave.

Vic the driver was great. He busted me, Bud and Chris outta there in a flash, and we were on our way to the ATL.

As we settled in, I pondered how I had just driven 2 hours to catch a plane in Chattanooga to get to New York and now my first connection is actually a van and I'm hurtling south with strangers.

Vic saved the day and got us there on time, where I OJ Simpson-ed my way to the gate (I ran through the airport, I wasn't looking for the real killer) only to find out the flight was delayed for weather.

We eventually boarded and got to NYC in good time where we landed nicely on the tarmac where we remained for an hour because the "gate was broken". But, I did eventually make it to the city courtesy of a delightful guy who was like a Middle Eastern Ray Romano.

However, I will say that Ignoring the signs of the universe became much tastier at Stand4 Burgers with Liz, Jenn, Melisa (with one "s") and Michelle once I got there.

10:46 PM |


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