*sigh* I like Chicago - I really do. I spent a couple of really nice days here, a few years back. The fact that those nice days were interspersed among three largely miserable months culminating in my separation and eventual divorce cannot fairly be blamed on Chicago. I love the architecture, the art, the food's good, Lake Michigan's freakin' impressive. . . I really do love the town.
I really don't love being STUCK in the town. I'm here for a health care conference for my employers, the DC branch of Wolfram & Hart, LLP (no, not really). Conference is a mixed bag, but overall useful. Ends at 4 on Friday, my flight out is at 6, I figure that's cutting it close but doable.
Not. . . quite. I get to the airport at 5:30 (for comparison, my ride from the airport TO the hotel three days ago took half an hour - today it took an hour and a half). I can't checkin, and they won't let me on the flight (even though it's delayed, and doesn't actually take off until 7:00). I get on the standby list for the next flight. After about 2 hours of waiting, it's cancelled. So's the flight after that. And the. . . you get the picture.
So, we (my coworkers and I) stand in line to get a cab, and ask the airport staffer at the head of the line where the nearest hotel is. "There," he says, pointing across the street. Hokay - we walk across the street. Stand in another line, to find out that the hotel is booked solid (by the 5000 OTHER people who've had their flights cancelled before us. So we call the hotel reservation line, get reservations at the next closest hotel with open rooms. Go to the valet outside, ask for a cab. He says "There's a shuttle bus to that hotel over there," pointing across the street. (If you sense a theme, you're right - Chicagoans are a sadistic lot with out-of-towners.) So, we go across the street and wait at the shuttle buss stop, as bus after bus pulls in and out of the stop. After about 15 minutes of this, one of my coworkers goes back to hotel #1 to check on the shuttle bus schedule. "Oh, there isn't a shuttle bus to that hotel." *%#^*#^&. "OK, how about calling us a cab?" "Oh, no, we don't deal with the cabs here - we only use limo services. You have to go back to the airport to catch a cab." "Well, how about calling us a *%#&%#*#& limo service, you idiotic mass of malformed proteins?" "Well, ok."
So, after 5 1/2 hours of waiting in various lines for various people to fail to what they get paid to do (run planes, trains, and automobiles, not to mention hotels, properly), I'm in a Hilton Suite somewhat larger than my apartment. With wireless internet that actually works. The day is looking up!
And, tomorrow we get to try this game again. If, as the saying goes, adventure is someone else having bad things happen to him far, far away, I am truly living someone else's adventure. If you would like it back, please feel free to come to Chicago and GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE.