Half Good/Half Bad - W11.D6
Friday, July 09, 2010
I woke up at 4am yesterday morning. (Did you know they have one of those in the morning, too?) By 6:15am I had finished all morning prep and was headed to Columbus to catch a flight to NY.
The flight into New York went wonderful. I actually enjoyed flying (for once) and it was clear most the time so I got to watch the world go by under us. I think I drifted off to sleep a couple times. *lol* Once I got there, I made a quick change and grabbed a cab. The cabbie was great! He was aggressive, but not crazy (hard to come by! *lol*) He dropped me off in front of the building at just after 2pm and I had just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat. (I had researched earlier and knew there was a pita place on 14th street. YUM!) Got a really healthy pita with grilled chicken, hummus, grilled eggplant on a whole wheat pita. It was SOOO good! A little too early for my taste, but too hot to just wait outside, I headed up to my interview. (BTW - I'm standing outside the pita place with my suit on and some girl comes up to me to ask me where the pizza place is around there. *lol* She thought I was a local...that's so cute! I laughed and told her I had no idea! *snort*)
It went brilliantly. The VP seemed very happy to meet me and it seemed to me that I had all the qualifications they were really looking for in that position. She kept mentioning my journalism background and a small amount of PR-type experience from my other job. I asked a lot of questions about the job, and it sounds brilliantly wonderful. Like...perfect job. I WANT this job. I want to work for this woman. She's wonderful. The job is wonderful...and a real starting point to where I really want to be the rest of my life.
Problem? The pay. It's entry level pay. Suckage! But, if I put in two years or so, I could eventually move to something better paying, something more up to the place I have always dreamed of being. So for now, we wait. We see if they make an offer and then we try to figure it out. Whether we can do it. Whether it's worth it. Whether there are sacrifices I can make to make it work. We wait and then we decide.
It was all great. I finished my interview, walked to Union Square and sat down for a while to de-stress a bit. Then bought a Metro Card and took the subway through Brooklyn and on to the Air Tran to get to JFK in plenty of time for my return flight. All was well...and then they canceled our flight. It all fell apart after that. I ended up dealing with some really horrible girl at the Delta counter who gave me a ticket to Cleveland leaving at 9:10pm. She told me I could drive an hour to Columbus in a rental car. No big deal, right? HA! Cleveland is 2.5 hours from Columbus! She told me this was my only option other than spending the night at a hotel and flying to Minneapolis and onto Columbus the next day at like 4pm. She was horrible. She didn't try to find another flight (there was one on another airline that left at 8:55pm, btw.) She didn't offer to find me something out of LaGuardia. She made a Korean guy cry. She was HORRIBLE. I tried to talk to someone else, but my flight (for Cleveland) boarded before I could. The girl basically shrugged her shoulders at me and told me "tough luck." (BTW - totally their fault. It was a mechanical issue that canceled our flight.)
I figured I'd get to Cleveland and try to figure it out. And then I spent half the flight without a seat belt. Yep, you heard me right. I asked the flight attendant for an extender when I first got on the plane. "Don't worry honey. I've got you. I won't forget you. I'll see if we have any extra, and if not I'll give you the one I use for the demonstration when I'm done." And then she forgot. She did her demonstration, and then sat down and turned off the cabin lights. I tried to wave her over, but then we were headed down the runway. And then taking off. And then the pilot decided to keep the seat belt light on because of the storms, which I could see out my window, over the wing (which freaks me out already, btw). And then she finally decided to give out drinks...VERY slowly. And I was in row 15...in the back. Once she got to me, I was a wreck. I cried so much and was shaking. I nearly had a panic attack on that plane. Once she got to me she asked if I wanted a drink. I held up the undone seat belt and said, "Can I have a seat belt now?"
It was the most horrible hour of my life. Honestly. And while I hadn't intended to complain when I got to Cleveland, by the time I got there, I figured it was necessary. The guy at the Delta desk looked shocked to hear that I had no seat belt. (Yeah, really? I'm sure the FAA and TSA would be pretty peeved too!) They eventually got me a cab to Columbus to make up for the mechanical issue on the flight out of JFK (which they didn't even pay the cabbie the full fare...which made me angry!). I slept most of the way to Columbus. The cabbie was very sweet, and I tipped him what I could. Then I drove the 2.5 hours home.
I got home this morning at 4:30am. This means I was up for more than 24 hours with only a nap for about an hour and a half to two hours. SO tired.
Today I'll be writing an article about my trip. (How silly of them, to screw with a journalist...who wants bad press that bad?) After that, a strongly-worded letter to Delta customer service...and maybe a little sharing with the FAA. I'm not sure what I'll do, honestly. I just know that I don't want this to happen to anyone else. I realize I'm not a priority member, but that doesn't make me a piece of dirt. I realize that I'm overweight and need a seat belt extender, but that doesn't mean I don't deserve the respect and SAFETY that other people have by right. They have extenders on those planes for a reason. I always ask and never assume anything. I've never had any problem before. But here I was, unbuckled..and the girl managed to squeak out an "Oh, I'm sorry" and that was that. I don't want another overweight person to go through this. (Delta SUCKS at dealing with overweight passengers, btw.) This girl helped a bunch of other people feel "more comfortable" and all I wanted was the basics.
Think just what could have happened (I did for over a half hour without a seat belt). There MUST be a reason for seat belts on a plane. I thought about turbulence and how, if we were bouncing around, I could injure myself or fling into another passenger and hurt them. I did not want to hurt anyone on that plane. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed. I felt like it was my fault. And then I realized it wasn't.
Sometimes this weight thing is a challenge. And I'm working on it, and I hope to one day not have to deal with issues like this. But I will not stand for someone being treated differently just because of what they look like. I work for an anti-discrimination agency right now. I was in the Columbus Council on World Affairs when I was younger. I have stood against racist comments from others, or someone being treated differently because of where they're from, what language they speak, what race they are, what sex they are, etc. How come it's not okay to treat someone horribly because they are a minority, but it's okay to treat someone who is fat so horribly...to deny them basic safety precautions. Why is this issue argued again and again, but nothing is ever done about it?
*sigh* I'm angry and saddened. I *hate* that this overshadows the beautiful day I had before this last flight.