Monday, June 10, 2013

The 45-Minute Waiting Area

I didn't think that there were people ruder than those I've met in my son's carline at his school. I was wrong. The people in the “45 Minute Waiting Area” at the airport are by far worse.

What's up with the 45 minutes anyway? Is that some magic time that represents how early most people are? Does it mean that when a flight arrives at a certain time, it's going to be 45 minutes until your pick-up-ee is standing at the curb ready for said pick-up? Or does it mean that there's some secret parking enforcement surveillance that will come after 45 minutes and send you on your way? Why not just call it the “you-won't-find-a-spot-here-because-I-used-up-three-so-that-my-girlfriend-could-watch-the-planes-land area”?

Or we could call it the “yes, I see that you're signaling and about to pull into that spot, so that's why I'm accelerating around you, will cut you off, and take that spot. Or “the I don't know how to park, and neither does the guy two spots away, so the spot between us will only fit a motorcycle.” Or maybe it could be the “if I drive up close enough to your bumper you'll move the extra 6” so that YOU'RE on the guy in front of you's bumper and none of us can move, should we get the magic call.” Pick one. Or name it all of them. Just don't make me wait there again.

When we finally did get the call (an hour after arriving), four cars had to move because they'd parked us in. There wasn't a lot of room left to maneuver. The parking lot had become like one of those 4x4 sliding puzzles where there are 15 tiles and you move them around to put them in order, only someone shoved a 16th tile in there and now nothing's moving...

(photo credit wikipedie free images)

The fun wasn't over, though. After we picked up our friend, I was to drive her car home. She'd injured herself on her trip and couldn't walk. I also had to find that car. All was fine until I hit a dead end at West M. I was going for West N. I'd been heading down the alphabet from C just fine (I am rather familiar with the alphabet, right Gary?). Then no N. I wandered around a bit. Reminded me of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer is carrying the air-conditioner, Elaine has the goldfish, and Jerry ends up urinating in public.

Finally the airport parking enforcement (aHA! Please, head out to the waiting area from hell and kick some of those yahoos outta there, would ya'?) truck comes driving along. I flag them down and explain that I need N but the garage ends with M. One of them turns to the other and says,

Do we have an N now?”

Yup, it's in the other pod.”

OK, how do I get there?”

Oh, he'd better take you. It's kinda confusing. I'll stay here and finish up.”

So I get into the enforcement truck, and the man ATTEMPTS to help me find her car. We drive around for quite a while until he figures out how to get to “the other pod.” It's close by, but seeing it and finding a road/path to it are two different things.

We finally get over there, after several tries up and down the ramps, and we actually find the car! I was so relieved, and thought that the hard part of my day was over. But no, because the friend we picked up ended up needing the ER, so that's where I spent the night. But that's another post, if she'll let me. I was THIS close to laying down on the tile floor at 4:30 a.m...I'm too old to stay up that late. Especially after braving the waiting area, and the parking garage, and worries about my friend's health. I need a nap...


Do you have any travel/airport/parking lot horror stories? Or would you rather be in carline?

22 comments:

Glan Deas said...

This "45 Minute Waiting Area" is so good story of you. I like this. I am also a writer and coffee lover.

Regards,
Kopi Luwak

T. Drecker said...

Some days it's better when the day is done. Glad you survived ;)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Good heavens above Tina - that is just awful .. apart from having a friend who is injured. Oh gosh - I'm sure places around are just terrible, especially in the rush hour etc .. but I'm not sure the English would be allowed to get in such a pickle!

However finding garages can be a nightmare .. but that's just worth bearing in mind - checking where something is ... even if it appears obvious A-Z .. or Z-A as Gary does ... parking garages are a lottery to find the car ..

So pleased you're home - sincerely hope your friend will be ok .. and hope that you get some sleep - lots of it this week ... look after yourself -what an horrendous time.

Cheers and lots of thoughts -Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

I think that really does qualify for 'day from hell'. It makes you wonder how they expect people to find their cars if the people who work there don't know their way around. I hope your friend is better now.

Loved your parking lot descriptions. We've been cut up over a parking spot before, and it is really NOT funny!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Anything involving the airport is going to be hell.
Never heard of a forty-five minute wait area. Think it would just be easier to park in day parking and pay the two bucks.

Sharon said...

It annoys me when everyone stands up and pushes impatiently after the plane lands.

Everyone will still end up waiting at the baggage carousel anyway so what is the rush?

http://shazlex.blogspot.com.au/



Brian Miller said...

geez.
i am sure there are plenty from my travels but i have not had enough coffee yet. ha. mostly lost luggage and buying new clothes at walmart which is not as easy as it seems...ha...yeah i would just park i think...

JoJo said...

My ex complained about the cell phone lot being packed at SeaTac, but I only had to use it once when I picked up Russell in 2011 and there was plenty of room that day. Your experience sounded like quite a horrible ordeal! I hope your friend is OK.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The guy works in the parking area and he doesn't even know how to get to section N? I might've hurt someone at that point.

Andrew Leon said...

Who's Carline? :P

Actually, when we have had to use the airport (which has been a long time), we've done everything we could to avoid involving cars in that transaction, so I don't have any stores like that.

However, "Do we have an N, now?" is awesome.

I'm also getting too old to stay up like that; unfortunately, lately, my cat seems to think that he needs me awake with him all night long and to hold his paw while he goes potty at 3:30am. True story, almost.

Lucy said...

Airports drive me crazy and people seem to be on their worse behavior at them. Not sure what a 45 minute waiting area is all about but it doesn't sound good or smart.

Lucy from Lucy's Reality

Andrea said...

a day of waiting? hell on earth!

LD Masterson said...

Um, on our flight from Chicago to Dayton last week, we pushed back from the gate right on time only to be told that some thunderstorms were rolling through and we'd be on the tarmac for a bit. Ninety minutes later the pilot said we'd probably have to head back to the gate because the law forbids them from holding an occupied plane on the tarmac over a certain length of time. I was expecting the flight to be cancelled and, since it was late in the day, probably a night in the airport. Then the pilot came on and said we had a tiny window to take off and for everyone get back to their seats and turn off their phones. NOW! I've never seen a plane load of people scrambling to comply like that. But we made it.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Airports in general equal nightmares in my mind. Don't think I ever had a normal experience, only frustration beyond belief. Sorry to hear about this waiting ordeal, and your friend. You'd think something should/must be done about this kind of a mess in an airport, but I'm afraid not.

Nicole said...

What an annoying experience! I haven't been in an airport in a long time and try to avoid it as much as possible because I am not fond of TSA, but that's another story...

Interestingly enough, you managed to describe the waiting area fiasco and the quest to locate the right "pod" in such a way that one can only sit back, laugh during those "I understand her frustration" moments and shake one's head in disbelief that this stuff even occurs in our ever evolving...(dare I say it) civilized society.

The sum of this airport trip is basically what happens when people are too wrapped up in their own "stuff" that they have to do that they forget about the fact that other people have "stuff" to do as well, which warrants a little courtesy; yeah, a little courtesy wouldn't hurt...especially from those who take up spaces for the most dumb reasons such as watching planes land (sorta reminds me of being on an elevator when running late to work or to a doctor's appointment, etc. and somebody wants you to step aside so that their kid can push the button. OMG!). Oh, spare me the nonsense!

Of all that you said, the puzzle with those squares brought back some fine memories :)

One bright side in all of this was you being able to help your injured friend. That's a plus!

~Nicole

Jo said...

Typical bloody airports if you ask me. Glad you got out of there in the end, sorry your friend had to go into hospital straight away though, hope she is OK and you have had a chance to catch up on your sleep.

Rachel said...

I have many airport/travel stories, but that would be longer than your blog post so I'll just skip that. However, I'm sending you bunches of virtual hugs because it sounds like you really need it. Unless you don't like hugs, in which case, virtual puppies?

M. J. Joachim said...

lol - Airports can be so much fun, can't they? Many related stories ...had to be there type thing, others just purely frustrating like when you go to pick up your husband in the drive thru area. He's right there, bags in hand, coming through the door and the security guard says, "You have to move. He's not close enough to the curb yet." Literally stopped traffic to let me enter and drive around again. Yea, sometimes you just want to send someone else to pick up the passengers, right Tina?

Damyanti said...

No such horror stories in Singapore-- but definitely a few in India in the last two months. It is good to be back reading your blog, Tina.

Gina Gao said...

I actually really like flights, but that's probably because I like traveling.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Tammy Theriault said...

What a long...annoying time.

klahanie said...

Good grief, human Tina, what a long, long, pawsting, sorry, posting.

Like some others, I've skimmed, sorry, thoroughly read your posting and I still haven't a clue what I read.

Something about the alphabet and airports. What a long...annoying time. Hang on, airports could drive the patience of the best of folks. That's what my human, Gary, has told me. I do know that if one flies "Blog Air", the situation at the airport is much better.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)