If I can't be a good example

Post date: Apr 09, 2014 4:35:0 AM

Then I can be a terrible warning. I think it was Mark who gave Tony a fridge magnet with that saying.

It came to mind last night when it looked increasingly like I was never going to make it to the plane. Pretty sure my blood pressure rocketed.

It was always going to be tight . . . .

Conference scheduled to finish at 3pm; flight at 6:30pm -international flight so check in 2 hours before departure. Factor in that journey to Narita airport from Tokyo South where hotel situated was estimated at 1.5hours and I was concerned. Offered several times to organise my own transport but "No we have limo ordered. You and Professor Bevan leave at same time. You will travel together All will be well"

Session finished just after 3. I go to lobby. Stephen (Prof Bevan) has debrief time. Gets to lobby just after 3:30. Then the formal farewells. Important ritual - not fast. I am stressed but outwardly calm. Watching GPS which shows estimated arrival time - not good. Traffic not too awful but several slow parts - estimated arrival time getting towards 4:45 which was good time considering. We make it Narita airport terminal. Head inside to find Stephen in right place but I am not At this stage I am already 20 mins late. Have to change terminals but limo gone. No problem there is a bus every 5 mins - but I wait 10. Bus takes 10 mins; except at that time took 15. Eventually arrive at right Terminal - but Air NZ check in at far end of building - of course!!

By the time I get to AirNZ counters it was 55 mins after check in. I was certain that I was going to be calling Tony to say "Sorry not coming tonight". However the red sweating face; pathetic drooping figure combined with Business Class ticket and Gold Elite meant I got a "Glad you made it" and checked in.

Head straight to customs they said - so I did but the queues snaked for ages; ditto immigration. By the time I got through all of these queues it was past boarding time and I had 15 min walk to gate. But by then my bag was on plane - figured they would wait for me.

Got to gate to hear announcement "We apologise for delay - we are awaiting one crew member". So someone worse than me. Great I thought have time to go to lounge let Tony know all good - WiFi connection wouldn't work; their computers wouldn't log me on. By this time I was feeling victimised. Turned on work phone to text.

Plane eventually boarded - but we had another wait on Tarmac as plane had too much fuel.

I can tell you the glass of wine on plane was magic.

Made it back to NZ only an hour late. Looking forward to catching up with Maria& Tim tonight and Tony tomorrow.

It was by far my worst ever check in experience. May you never follow this example.