I woke in Denver on my wife’s birthday. She is in Cincinnati—our home. This is the second year in a row that my job has put my out of town on her birthday. However, the way I arranged my return flight should have put me back home somewhere near seven in the evening. I still would be able to wish her a happy birthday and give her a hug on her actual birthday. Good plan. Or at least it was an acceptable plan. That is, until the guy at the airport checking me in said, “Your flight has been cancelled.”
He delivered this news in a very non-emotional matter-of-fact kind of way. I thought he was joking at first. His demeanor didn’t really bother me, but I sure would have liked a little more sympathy. “Sir, please accept our deepest apologies. Your flight has been cancelled and we understand the emotional anguish that we have placed upon your life. Allow us to guide you through the numerous options that we will present to you. It is our sincere desire to find a solution to your dilemma that meets your expectation—an expectation that we understand is justifiably high.” That would have left me thinking, “Hey, this airline cares about me”. Instead I got, “Go stand in that line while we figure out what to do.”
I turned around to see “the next line”. There were about fifteen people who already received the cancelled flight news. They were all just standing there with the same look on each of their faces. A look that said, “We are mentally preparing for our scalding hot water enema.” Bend over, here it comes.
The airline came up with two options. Option One: take a flight leaving an hour later to a nearby city and then get on a three hour bus to drive to reach the original destination. Option Two: take a flight that leaves seven hours later to the same original destination. I choose option two. Have you ever had such a long delay in an airport? I already turned in my rental car, so I was trapped.
Rather than wallow in my misery, I got to thinking about how things could have been much worse. By thinking about worse case scenarios, I can make this current debacle seem insignificant. Let’s rewind the clock a bit and replay the events to observe just how fortunate this path actually is. Consider this:
“Hey dork, your flight is cancelled. Go get in that line over there and maybe we will think about helping you.” I turn around to see a line of people actually being subjected to scalding hot water enemas.
You see. It could have been worse.