Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ha-Ha! You missed!

I always joke around that God hasn’t struck me with lightening yet – so I must not do too many bad things. Today’s experience in the Atlanta Airport made me reconsider that idea.

I was expecting bad weather when flying to day – but figured I’d experience it in my home state. It wasn’t until We were 90 miles outside of Atlanta when the captain of the plane informed us we’d be in a holding pattern for the next 30 minutes or so because of “serious weather conditions” in Atlanta. Planes couldn’t take off – so we couldn’t land. Hello figures 8’s for 30 minutes. Ground conditions improved, planes left – and we landed.

Just as I walked up to the display screens to figure out which gate I’d be flying out of – the screens blinked off. Like a bunch of cows we stared at them for a few minutes before an airport employee said, “Maybe you haven’t noticed – but this whole section of the terminal is dark – we’ve just been hit by lightening and lost power. You’ll need to walk to the other end – where there’s another set of displays to see your departure gate. A quick look at my watch showed I had 5 minutes before my scheduled departure. I trudged to the other end of the concourse – only to find my gate was right next to my landing gate! It said it was on-time and the plane was there.

I trudged back. To see a full waiting area – and no lights, no TV’s and no flight displays. I confirmed with some other passengers this was indeed the Memphis flight when the desk agent appeared. She picked up the PA system and announced that although the plane was at the gate, and had been serviced and refueled, we couldn’t board … because there was no electricity to move the jet way out to the plane. She had no idea how long it would be – maybe we should go eat lunch, make new friends or go for a walk!

After another 30 minute delay – electricity was restored, the computer databases reloaded so they could scan our boarding passes – and we boarded the plane. ONLY to push way from the jet way and sit on the run way for another 30 minutes while we waited for our turn for take off.

Those of you who know me well might think I was in a “high-hover” by this point – but I wasn’t. You see – even thought some people would take lightening striking near them as a near miss … I knew it was secretly God helping me out. How do I know this? Who do you think has been whining (err praying) to him about not having to set up the booth at the convention center? *raises hand* My delayed arrival was enough to ensure I was off the hook for setting up – and my co-workers would have to carry out those duties.

What I didn’t realize? Was how close God was listening to my prayer request. Not only did I land late enough to avoid the setup, I have also avoided having to wrestle with the damn display. It seems God managed to help UPS loose our booth between Texas and Tennessee. Our CEO isn’t very happy, but this redhead is!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I dunno! When I flew into Atlanta last Sunday, I left the house around 1:30 PM, left Cleveland on time, got into Chicago seven minutes early, but it took an hour to get to the gate. This was about 4:30 PM
I missed my connection. Went to stand in a line of about a hundred people who'd missed THEIR connections.
Finally, I saw that several of the kiosks were open, so I left the line and found that quote "It was TOO EARLY to check into my seven PM MONDAY flight! (24+ hrs later!)
So I got on the phone, got a live warm body who booked me on the next (7:35) flight to Atlanta.
Great! I'll get in late, but not too bad. Left the line of one hundred fellow road warriors and went to wait at the gate. They kept changing the departure time until a quarter to midnight the plane took off.
By the time I got to Atlanta, got my rental car and drove to the hotel, it was nearly four in the morning... I left a message for the guy who was supposed to pick me up at the hotel at 6:45 and told him I'd meet him at the account! -alacrityfitz