Thursday, January 17, 2008

Greetings from Hamburg

I feel bad. I've been remiss in my blogging and for that I should be scolded. So even though, in a more real way, I should be working, tonight I shall also blog a bit.

Being in Hamburg Germany sounds like reason enough to blog. I mean, it's a new town to me. Except for one lunch meeting 5 years ago, it's my first real trip here. And so according to others I speak with, this is exciting.

And yet once again, the only excitement or story-worthy part of the trip was ... the airport. Specifically when I got to Schiphol (Amsterdam) and intended to take my carry-on luggage to the automated check-in and then walk onto the plane. Two machines and three humans later it was finally noticed that my ticket was for Friday afternoon, not today. I was booked to be right on time for my Saturday (???) business meeting?

I blame my frequent flier program for ultimately getting me here. I went to the airport ticket desk to make changes. The lines where HUGE! And you had to take a number. There was no way I thought I would make it. At that moment it was the scheduled boarding time for my intended flight.

But technology can be beautiful, if you're on the correct side of it. I watched the man in front of me press a few buttons and get his number to line up. He looked at the resulting paper stub and the numbers on the board and just sighed. It was going to be a while. Then I stepped up. The machine asked me if I was flying business or economy. "Economy". And it asked me if I was a member of the frequent flying program. "Yes". And then it asked me if I was an Elite member. "Damn Right"!

My number printed. A-3041. *bing* Next on the board, A-3041. I walked right past the line of weary economy class travellers and straight to an agent. The whole process of changing flights took minutes. Barely. And I was at my gate in time to have to wait for boarding. Huh?

Maybe I'm setting my standards too low, but I'm pleased. Heck, I'm ecstatic! Tomorrow's software demonstration probably won't go very well. They rarely do. And the customer seems to be asking for a lot of stuff we don't offer. They always do. But in the end, however it turns out or however happy or unhappy the salespeople are I'm going to be pleased. Heck, I made it! I physically got here. Anything else that goes as planned is just icing on the cake of business travel.


quilly said...

You know, I came by not looking for a new post, but to see if you are still alive. It's been awhile.

I Dive At Night said...

LOL! Alive and well and home and ... mentally distracted of late.

Isn't life beautiful Quilly?!?!

Minka said... were the germanz. Did you hear some beautiful accents?

I Dive At Night said...

Minka, I'm beginning to really like Germanz. Everyone's polite, service and food are good, transit rocks, and the language is (believe it or not) easy. It's so much fun to speak in a language you've never studied!!! (Don't ask me to write it though.)