North Carolina & flashing security

Last week, I went to North Carolina for training. The training was about data de-duplication using EMC Avamar.

In retrospect, I think I most of you stop reading after that sentence. Anyway, I rented a car from dollar.

They had a problem with my registration (surprise?) so I was given a convertible instead. Somehow, I pulled it off that I was upset (it was only in the high 80s, low 90s for the three days, so convertible was perfect), so they gave me the GPS for like $8 dollars a day.

The hotel was 10 minutes from the airport and the training facility was 5 minutes away, in between the two.

I thought my training trip couldn’t get any better…what are the odds that I would get lost? Well…the odds must have been good because I got lost 7 times during the trip. (If you count the number of times I went out, the actual odds were 7:10, since I went out 10 times. I think I did that odds right..who knows..) .

You may ask, how do you get lost? turns out the GPS was off by about 1/2 a mile.

Fast forward to Thursday, last day of class. My flight is scheduled for 5pm est that day, from Durham to La Guardia. The GPS device had gotten me late to class the last two days. By this time, I already know how to get there. Class starts at 9AM. I went to bed at 3 AM, had the alarm set for 8 AM. Wake up, shower, start packing. 8:45 AM EST. Go to the front desk. $8.98 room service charge. I start arguing…there was no room service! 8:55 AM EST. Finally figured out what happened. I went running & swimming the morning before. I went into the cafeteria, grabbed a cereal box and a water and proceed to leave. The lady that was in charge of the cafeteria started yelling at me (in a Deep Chinese accent) how I had to sit and have milk with my cereal. I explained that I was going to work out and did not need to sit down. Finally she said OK. I asked her to charge it to my room. $7.00 room service charge :)

Anyway, I leave at 9:10 AM (10 minutes late already). Get to EMC at 9:15 AM EST. They started lecture already, but I have to have my bagel and cream cheese, so I get into the class at 9:30 AM. Lab starts at 12 PM and then class was over. I finished the lab at 12:08 PM. They have catered lunch, so I eat lunch, say goodbye to everyone and look at the clock. 12:30 PM. Breakdown to follow:

12:30 PM EST. Check internet, find a 2PM EST flight to JFK. I figured I can probably go standy.

12:35 PM EST. Leave the facilities, have to return convertible with full gas AND get money from any ATM

12:40 PM EST. GPS in nearest gas station. On my way there.

12:45 PM EST. Lost looking for gas station. Once again, GPS told me that I was there, when all the roads are trailer homes. (Sidenote: I always seem to find ghettos and trailer homes wherever I go…weird) Start driving around…

12:50 PM EST. Find gas station, I filled up the tank

12:55 PM EST. GPS in neareast Bank

1:00 PM EST. GPS told me to turn into a parking lot, no bank around…

1:10 PM EST. Found ATM. You may ask why not go to the nearest one after I miss it on GPS.

2 reasons. 1) GPS doesn’t allow me to change it while I’m driving. 2) Source is already off, so it believes I’m starting at the wrong place.

1:20 PM EST. On my way to the car rental place. GPS successful this time

1:30 PM EST. Arguing about dents in rental car….are you serious? look at the paper where I marked them up!

1:40 PM EST. Get in rental car courtesy bus to airport.

1:45 PM EST. The bus driver is still waiting for more passengers. I tell the guy I need to make a 2PM EST…two people get on the bus. He says i’ll make it. We leave

Sidenote: A normal person would say…”This is post 9/11….no way you are getting that plane”. I’m not normal….I think I still can.

1:50 PM EST. Get to my location after two other people already dropped off..Guy wants a tip, even though I carried both of my bags…I look at him and start running.

1:53 PM EST. Get to ticket counter, explain my situation. Girl at the counter says I won’t make the plane…says I have to run non-stop. I tell here I can make it. She looks at me and probably assumes I won’t make it. She gives me the standby ticket anyway.

1:55 PM EST. Start running…telling myself I have been training for the tris, have 3 kids, so have been lifting about 20-30 lbs weights for years.. Just look at me going to the beach…bags and kids. Mile walks with sleepy kids..etc.

1:56 PM EST. Security check…I have a laptop, two bags, my shoes, two sets of keys, blackberry, iPhone, headphones. Put it all in through the belt. Walk through the metal detector. BEEP

1:57 PM EST. Took off my jewelry, belt. BEEP

1:58 PM EST. See the guy with the wand coming…quickly remember that I have a compact kit made out of metal in my wallet. Put wallet through scanner, walk through… problems. Wand guy didn’t walk fast enough to scan me.

1:58:30 PM EST. I push everything into my bag, slip on my shoes, start running. This is one of those moments when you make a split-second decision that can come back at you. This is when I took the belt and threw it in the bag.

Things I’m thinking:

“You have been can make it…”

“It’s like the OJ commercial..jumping over bags..”

“2 minute run is nothing”

1:58:50 EST: My pants are a bit baggy…I try pulling them up with one hand…Security lady makes an announcement about picking up all your belongings and getting ready on the side…I look at here and start running.

1:59:30 PM EST. I’m extremely tired, running full speed. Side effect of training is weight loss and a smaller waist….I have no belt…PANTS START FALLING DOWN. Now, I have one backpack on, one small carry on, on wheels, no hands free for my pants. I keep on running. I can take care of the belt in the plane.

2:01 PM EST. I see the gate…start yelling to hold it. Pants falling down..sweating like crazy, one hand on my pants, other on carry-on. I get to the front desk…I asked if I made it. He says “You would have missed it by 30 seconds.”..

Then he says it got rescheduled. (Sidenote: I should have seen the line when I was running…the plane was delayed, but I didn’t know. I should have seen everyone looking at me like I was crazy. Common theme in my life)

Now…a short, overweight hispanic…sweating profusely with pants falling down may stand out in an aiport….Security starts walking towards me…I’m yanking my pants. “Do you need any help?”

I said no. Went to the bathroom, cleaned up a bit.

I hung out at the gate..made the plane as a stand-by…..2:25 PM EST departure

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