It was 6:25 am when I left San Francisco to head to Vermont to keynote the women’s conference Zest Fest. My Virgin America flight to Boston went smoothly enough, and in spite of the gusty winds, dense fog, and heavy rain, the plane landed with just a few bumps. But it turns out I only had an hour to transfer to my connecting flight, a little puddle jumper that would take me to Lebanon, New Hampshire, where the conference coordinator would pick me up and drive me to Fairlee, Vermont.
Unfortunately, because the puddle jumper airline didn’t have luggage transfer privileges with Virgin America, that meant going to baggage claim, picking up my luggage, checking in with Cape Air, going back through security and making it to the airline in time (good luck!)
Fortunately, my bag was the first off at baggage claim, and I’m a pretty fast runner, so I made it to Cape Air just in time to find out that my flight was delayed…probably indefinitely. The plane was still stuck at another airport where the weather was also bad. And puddle jumper Cessnas just don’t do so well in bad weather.
So, luggage in hand, I found a bus that, for $38 and three hours of driving, would drop me at the Lebanon, New Hampshire airport with unexpected free WIFI as a bonus. Problem solved.
The bus arrived as planned, I got on, they took my luggage, and I settled in with my kale chips. Only the bus driver dropped us at the bus station and told us we had to go in to buy tickets. So I went in, bought my ticket, and when I came back, the bus was gone. With my luggage.
By this time, it was 7:30 pm. It had already been a long day, and I was tired and looking forward to relaxing in my lakefront hotel before speaking at the conference. So, in my old life, this is right around when I would have started truly melting down.
I remember a time about five years ago when, after a 72 hour call shift, this poor kid at a grocery store couldn’t manage to swipe my granola. And I just lost it and ripped him a new asshole. I remember saying, “If I did my job the way you did your job, there’d be dead people everywhere.”
That’s when I knew I had to quit my job.