Monday, October 17, 2011

This is a slight exaggeration, but just picture me as Bob, and you will have a vague idea what my job has been like for the past two years. The difference is that Reagan and Chris take this guy's advice and no one ever takes mine.

I wish they really did offer PhDs in Peekaboo or Masters in "where's your nose" because I would totally rock that!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So, now I know what happens when there is a bomb scare on your plane

I got a super cheap flight to Ohio for the Columbus day weekend. I left Saturday early in order to get there before lunch time and left at 6 am Tuesday and came straight to work. The fare was cheap enough to justify going for just two and a half days. However, the half day turned into a bit less because there was a random bomb scare on my flight. I'll preface the rest of this blogpost to say that, clearly, I'm fine and it wasn't a real bomb. Read on, if you are still interested...

About 20 minutes from our destination, we began to hear a ringing sound. Someone alerted the flight attendant and said that she thought it was coming from the overhead compartment. The flight attendant opened the overhead compartment, put her ear up to one of the suitcases and determined that it was coming from a brown suitcase. She asked around to the people in the immediate vicinity if the suitcase belonged them. (it was above seat 17, I was in seat 16B, so I was one of the people to say no.) She then made an announcement over the PA system for the person with a brown suitcase in the compartment over row 17 to speak up. No one did.

The noise continued to sound on and off for the remainder of the flight. We all assumed it was someone's alarm clock. It was not an ongoing ring, but kind of came in and out, which I think new alarms do. More annoying than the ring was the passengers around me saying, "Ugh! that's so annoying!"

When we landed, the pilot came over the PA system and said that there was a "mechanical problem" so we would not go directly to the gate, but a set of stairs would be brought to us and we'd be shuttled to the airport by bus. My paranoia kicked in and I thought I smelled smoke, which may or may not be true because Valerie said she saw some smoke somewhere, but it wasn't coming from my plane. A few minutes after sitting on the tarmac, a policeman comes on board to tell us to evacuate but leave our bags behind.

When we deplaned, we saw a bunch of firetrucks and a bunch of official people walking around. That is when I finally realized that this was not a mechanical malfunction, but they were concerned about this ringing suitcase. We stood on the tarmac for about an hour, were yelled at to put our bags on the ground so that the bomb sniffing dog could do his thing, and then told we would be shuttled back to the airport to be rescreened.

After they went through every bit of our stuff and we were totally felt up by glove-wearing TSA agents, which took about an hour for them to do all 57 of us, we waited for about another hour to get our next directions. Among those of us waiting was Elvis Costello, pictured below. I did a google search afterwards and found out that that night was going to be his first ever show in West Virginia. After this ordeal, I'm sure it was his last!

A woman with a clipboard came out and started calling peoples' names to be interviewed in pairs. The first group of four was called up -- and at least two of them were brown. I was indignant!! Until I was in the next group, and I'm as white as they come. I went into a little interview room with another man from my flight, and the firemen/bomb squad asked us what our experience was, which we described. Then one of the firemen pulled out a cell phone and played the alarm, and asked if this is what we heard. We both agreed that it was. He told us that it was an older man from our flight, who apparently didn't know it was his phone. He said that even though they were pretty sure that this cell phone was the mystery noise, the flight attendant had claimed that she heard it after we were all off the plane. Plus, the suitcase was not being claimed. So... the mystery continued. Our interviews were concluded with the fireman saying, "What can I say? We're all going to be old one day." I agreed.

After our interviews, they came through and said that they still needed to identify the brown suitcase. They asked the group if anyone had a bag with a laptop and curlers. A few women said, "Do you mean a curling iron?" others asked "do you mean a flat iron?" the answer to both of these questions was "No" which led me to believe that they need more women in the fire department, because any woman knows that they could have just walked up to the three women on the flight that appeared over the age of 60, because those are the only ones that would be carrying curlers with them. However, still no one claimed this suitcase. Finally, they just said to forget the laptop, did anyone pack curlers. After about 10 minutes a woman remembered that she had indeed brought curlers with her on the flight. The laptop was in a neoprine case that someone placed on top of someone else's suitcase and they did not go together. Once the mystery of the curler-filled bag was solved, and they were able to conclude that the sound didn't come from the bag in the first place, but from someone's pants pocket which was not in the overhead bin but on his body, we were free to leave.... AFTER they brought all of our stuff in, everyone claimed their belongings which had been taken out of the overhead compartments and seat backs, and there were no discrepancies in claiming items. This is when everyone lost their sh** because some people argued that they didn't need to claim anything and they wanted to get on with their lives. Even though this was a concern to the people in charge, they decided to let it go because we had already been there for four hours on a false alarm and everyone promised that they would not come back the next day and claim that they had left an iPad behind.

So... to sum up, I lost half of my half-day, and we had to go through all of this because:
A. an old man forgot to turn off his phone and then didn't know what his own phone sounded like when the alarm went off.
B. an old woman didn't know what her suitcase looked like and/or what was in it.
C. a flight attendant was being overly cautious about something that clearly did not blow up our plane.

But it was worth it to see this adorable face...

and this one...

as well as this one...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Parks and Rec

Here's a good quote from this week's show:

Tom to Ben: You've got to throw some cold water on the situation. Start talking about nerd stuff.

Ben: Nerd culture is mainstream now. So when you use the word 'nerd' derogatorily, it means you're the one that's out of the zeitgeist.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Glee quote of the week 10/4

1. Coach Biest: "I kicked a fire hydrant when I heard 'Ace of Cakes' was cancelled."

2. Emma, speaking about her parents: "They're Ginger supremacists."

Number of the week: Mr. Schu & company "Fix You".