No matter what you do or where you are you always need a back up plan or two or three. Today was a good example of if it could go wrong it did. It was also a great day because everything worked out perfectly fine, I completed my project, and I got home earlier than if everything went as planned.
Yesterday afternoon I was told I needed to go to a meeting an hour or so outside of San Diego. A travel freeze exemption was granted so I could attend this meeting. It was for a five million dollar project that had hit a snag. If I couldn't come up with a solution it would turn into a million dollar payoff and the project would be postponed. I was confident that I could make everyone happy.
I called the travel agent who booked a flight from Fresno to LA to San Diego. I was going to rent a car for my time down there. I had to leave the house around 4 in the morning. I called San Diego sister and planned on meeting her for a late breakfast before my meeting.
Grandson wasn't happy that I was leaving until I told him that I'd wake him up and he could get up over an hour earlier than normal. I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare which was good because the line to get through security was a lot longer than normal. With about 10 people in front of me they called for a bunch of passengers for my plane, me included. Not a problem. I got through security and headed to my gate as they were calling my name again.
Problem...I went to the wrong gate and by the time I realized it I missed my plane. I've never missed a plane due to my stupidity! I called the travel agent at 6 in the morning. I missed my plane, can you get me on another? I have to be at my meeting at 1:30. The travel agent said everything was booked according to her screen. I asked the person at the counter at the airport. She could put me on standby. That won't work. I have to get there by 1:30. If I don't get there the project gets postponed and we have to pay a penalty. It's a million dollar issue. I can drive, it's a seven hour drive and I have 7 1/2 hours, so I hopped into my fully fueled truck and headed down the road. The truck was full of food, clothing, fuel, and a weapon or two. I was ready to go.
As I drove out of the airport I called the travel agent. It was now 6:30 in the morning. I'm sure they weren't thrilled with me! Can you get me on a flight from Visalia, Bakersfield, or Burbank since I'm going to pass those airports on the way down? I got a call back. Yes Bakersfield will get you to San Diego. Your car will be available once you get down there. So I drove to the Bakersfield airport, checked in through security once again and I was on my way. The travel agent called again to say I couldn't get a flight back today. How about if I drive the rental car back from San Diego to Bakersfield, pick up my truck in Bakersfield and drive home? Sure, why not?
I got to San Diego, picked up the car, drove to the meeting, got everyone to agree, drove back to Bakersfield, swapped out the vehicle, then drove home. I got home over 30 minutes earlier than if I had flown home.
Why am I telling you this? By not paying attention to a small detail (what gate I was supposed to go to) I had problem after problem after problem that needed to be solved. Fortunately I had a good travel agent who was able to help me out, although if that didn't work I would have just driven. I didn't need to worry about the cost so changing plans at the last minute wasn't an issue. I was instantly able to come up with a back up plan and a back up plan for that back up plan. My plans, which were so set in stone yesterday afternoon, became very very fluid.
I learned a good lesson that not paying attention to just one small detail can cause a tidal wave of problems. This was only a monetary problem, it wasn't a medical or safety issue. All turned out just fine.