Friday, March 16, 2007

Out of Sorts

This morning I see the sun calling and to put the top down on the new car. I take off for work to a dance version of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy. I think that got under my skin.

As I'm pulling on to southbound 101 from Army, AKA Caesar Chavez, I see a woman hitchhiking. She's got no bags, is clean and dressed normally. I pick her up. She initially asks to go to Sequoia National Park, but I say I can't take her that far, and she asks for the airport. Is explain I'm going to San Bruno and she says fine. And we're off.

As we start to get going, she seems silghtly distressed and anxious. She tells me her name is Simone and I introduce myself as well. She isn't into answering any questions which is fine, as her answers seem off. I'm try to figure out if she is either on drugs (which seems unlikely, as her behavior is unlike many drug addicts and her clothing isn't that of a chronic user), or off drugs which makes me want to take her to a pharmacy. Finally she casually says that she hears voices.

"Oh. " I try to sound casual, like I hear that all the time. I'm getting anxious - what do I do with her? My dad is a psychiatrist and, as a teen, he'd kid me about calling in a 5150 - the police code for taking someone into custody who is a bit, um, touched or having a tough time. I was imagining the call: "Dad, Hi!"..."Good, and you?"..."Listen, I've got a crazy person in my car, what do I do?"


As it turns out, she also thinks that she is going to be assassinated. Hmm, I just hope it doesn't happen while in my new car. Terrible of me, I know. But as we're stuck in traffic, she's getting more nervous, so I'm waiting to see a black car filled with extras from the cast of The Sopranos, their guns poking out of cracked windows speeding by and letting loose.

She wants me to put the top up on the car. We're going 65 mph. That isn't an option.

But nothing happened. I offered to drop her off at the Airport Car Rental place - it has a tram and she could take that over to the airport, but "that won't work" she tells me. Really? I refrain from asking, "Why not?" We agree to drop her off in the downtown of South San Francisco. I'm hoping for the best for her.

While I felt quite rattled, but not as rattled as I felt 20 minutes later when I saw my quota, nothing really happened from this micro-adventure. I can't quite call it an adventure either, as the ex-husband had drilled into me, "It isn't an adventure until something goes dramatically wrong." For me, nothing went wrong.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Virgin Disaster

So Greg and I have booked tickets to go to London in April. We decided to try Virgin Atlantic due to their great reputation. Now, we realized, after booking the tickets, that we couldn't to the trip when we had originally thought. So, we do what rational people do, we called the airlines and attempted to change the tickets.

I should note that I'm typing this blog entry with the phone cradled against my ear. We're on our 3rd phone call to Virgin. Initially we called to change the ticket from a $750 round trip to a $550 round trip. We thought we'd be able to cover the change fee with the drop in ticket price. How shocked were we to find out that if we changed tickets, that we didn't get credit for taking a cheaper flight. No, we lose the difference between the flights and still have to pay the change fee - putting me out $1,000. If we were to switch to more expensive tickets, then we have to pay the difference.

Just hung up after spending 30 minutes on hold and not being put through to a manager. While waiting, I found a better flight and they then tell me, after 30 minutes on hold, that I can't change to the webfare. Their answers change every 5 minute and there doesn't seem to be anyone responsible. Amazing.

Such a nightmare and I still don't have tickets booked again. At least I know that I'm wasting their resources as well as my own.