Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Uh, some guy answered your phone

Nothing really exciting happened today, so I'm telling this story and will just let Michele shoot me later. I'm going to take the blame for this, so maybe I'll survive.

About 8:50 this morning, Tina called down to my desk. "Would it freak you out if I asked you to go get Michele at the airport?"

"No, not at all. What time does she come in?"

"10:00."

"Oh, I guess I better go then."

Usually, it takes a while to get a gate at DFW, so I figured if Michele was waiting on me, she wouldn't be waiting long.

By the time I got up to 183, nature was calling, but there wasn't a good non-ghetto place to exit off, and I missed the Starbucks. I was really hoping to find a place because I hate driving around the airport in circles looking for the signs when my eyeballs are floating.

I don't mind it, but anyone who has ever driven around DFW airport knows the place is pretty insane to get around when you have to figure out which terminal, followed by which of the exits that split off without well labeled signage, followed by which set of gates, followed by arrival vs. departure, etc., etc. etc.

OK. Frontier Airlines. Terminal E. Gotcha. Around the crazy curve, watching the yield signs, whoops, they didn't yield, is this two lanes or one? OK. Gates E1-E9, I'll whip around arrivals. Nope, that's all Continental. Follow the signs for airport exit, but don't exit airport. OK back around, nope, I want E Terminal. Gates E10-18. Let's try this. Nope, Alaska, Air Tran, Delta. Airport exit without the exit. OK, Gates E19-38. This has to be it, yeah, Frontier, duck in the departure garage instead of arrival because I really need to park. (God bless my bladder!) Crap, nothing on ground level to park, and I didn't turn to at the beginning to go up a level.

Exit garage, oh, that's a do not enter. There's the exit airport sign. OK, back around to Gates E19-38. There's the departure exit for the garage again, screeching tires as I turn to park, dad gum it, why is everyone at the airport filling the parking garage? OK, this parking spot will have to do. There's the stairs towards the terminal. Up or down? Down looks closer.

Grab my cell phone, "Hey, Michele! I'm here, are you out of the terminal?"

"Yeah, I'm up here waiting at arrivals."

"Well, I'm down at departures, going up to the terminal because I have to have a potty break. I'll have to come around and meet you."

Have you ever noticed and few and far between the restrooms are on the baggage claim side of the terminals at DFW. Sheesh.

So, anyway, I come out and meet Michele. I offer to go get my car, but she says her suitcase isn't heavy so we can just walk through the garage to my car. So we have to go down two short sets of steps in the garage. Bump, bump, bump - Michele's suitcase struggles down the first set of steps. She thought she heard something drop, but looked around and didn't see anything.

We pack up the car, head out, have to stop and back up because of the bad signage that marks exit vs. park arrows, but finally manage to get out of the parking garage (there was one night I left the airport and thought I was going to die of old age figuring out how to get out of the place). Airport exit. Watch out for that set of cars! Construction people need to move. South exit, not north exit. Finally clear. Pick a toll booth, pay our $1, yes we want a receipt for our business expenses, and we're on the road.

We get a few miles, and Michele looks for her phone. Here, I'll call your number with Michele. We listen, Michele thinks she's going to have to crawl over the seats to check the suitcase. I don't have the phone glued to my ear because I'm trying to hear for her phone, but all of a sudden, I hear a man saying something, but I'm not sure if it is a recording or what.

I'm now exiting, so we can look in the back or turn around on Beltline in Irving. Thank goodness we weren't but a few miles away. I say, "Michele, here, you call your phone back. A man just answered."

Sure enough, she calls back, "are you answering a phone that is not yours? Well where are you?" Her phone was at lost and found at Terminal E, Gate 35.

Back to the airport. Back to Terminal E. The right exit of the two that fork off of the left exit. Good grief those people didn't yield! Past E1-9, past E10-18. Watch out construction people! There's E19-38. "I know who has it, and where to find him," Michele says. "I said, was it that guy in that funny frontier hat?" I ask. "Yep, that's him." Michele runs in and quickly retrieves her phone (someone found it on the stairs in the garage).

I didn't realize I was stressed, but while I am waiting in the car, I start the hair twirl thing with the hair on top of my head in the spot near the back. I can't fight the urge to do the twisty thing.

OK, back on the road. South exit, not North exit... We get to the toll booths. "Michele, which one did we go through last time because I don't want to go to the same woman." She laughs and hands me another dollar. Knowing we will have two receipts now, I tell her she'll just have to claim one of them as a stupidity tax on her expense form, and she can claim it to be my stupidity. Michele was quite excited when their was an Asian woman in the booth rather than the African-American one that took our money the first time. (Maybe no one noticed.)

So, this was my adventurous morning. Michele was quite apologetic, but it wasn't her fault. If I hadn't been in such desperate need of a pit stop, I would have just pulled up at the curb and would have been on our merry way.

But then, if it weren't for all of that, what would I have blogged about tonight?

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