I done fudged up


"I done fudged up. Bad."

That was the text I sent to Editor Liz this morning. The text was more colorful.

I booked my flight to Washington, D.C. for the CRT conference a week before I took a 7-week sabbatical to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Everything seemed in order and I congratulated myself for being so organized and efficient.

This morning when I arrived at the Portland Jetport at 6:15 for my 7:30 flight, I felt cool and collected. After breezing through security, I moseyed over to the BK Lounge for my customary pre-flight French toast sticks (I get them every time I have a morning flight).

After, I sauntered over to my gate and realized something was amiss. The screen read, "Charlotte, N.C."

"They must have made a mistake," I thought. How embarrassing for them.

I walk (cool as a cucumber) over to the departures board. No flights to Washington, D.C.'s listed there either, at least not in the next hour. Perplexed, I go back over to Gate 10 to talk to the friendly-looking woman behind the American Airlines desk.

"Hi, I think I have the wrong gate. Could you tell me where to go?"

::looks at my boarding pass::

"Oh. I'm sorry. You have the wrong time. This flight is leaving 7:30PM"

::glass shatters in my brain::

Fortunately, she was able to book me on the next flight out, but the shame had already permeated through every cell in my body.

How did I not double check the time before I booked my flight? How did I do this again?!?!?!

Fun fact: When I booked my train from Santiago to Madrid, I forgot that Europe operates on a 24-hour schedule. Imagine my surprise when I realized my 5PM train to Madrid left 12 hours earlier and I had 13 hours to get there before my flight back to the U.S. took off. I got a last-minute flight, but had the plane been full, I would have had to make an impromptu, 8-hour road trip, in a country I am not qualified to drive in. Good times.

The people who correctly booked their flights queuing up for Charlotte, N.C.

Once the gravity of my error completely washed over me, I let it go. Lesson No. 466 I learned on the Camino: You'll get there. It may not be when you planned on getting there or the way you planned on getting there, but you'll get there.

See you in a few hours.