Why, oh, why do I continue to fly? Why not just stop travelling, or stick with driving. Ignoring the fact I'm more likely to die driving than flying, or even riding a bike to work, I can't stand flying and am tired of being stressed out by the experience.
Let's start with the lines. There are hundreds of people in these lines. Each of them doesn't want to be in this line. Each of them is trying to get through the line as fast as possible.
So, what do I do in the line? Two hours of sleep where I woke up every 15 minutes meant I was the one who held up the line. I'm the one who took three times longer than the five people behind me. I'm the one who didn't have my ID out when I needed to. I'm the one who didn't plan ahead. Not enough sleep makes me completely inefficient. To all of the people who also showed up at the airport with only five minutes before the baggage cutoff happened, yeah, yeah, it's my fault: show up to the airport earlier next time.
Next up after baggage claim? The security line. The security line where people with no power in life, having never earned the right to that power nor the respect necessary to receive that power, are in a position to dominate the people who come through the security checkpoint. If a person talks back, or, heaven forbids, asks a legitimate questions (like, who do they work for and what right do they have to ask for my identification?), they'll be detained, possibly missing their flight, all on the whim of the idiot security checkpoint personnel.
Fact, you don't have to show your identification to fly, and, even if you did, you would show it to a TSA employee and NOT a random person who asks for it. Check their badges - if it doesn't state TSA and you ask to see his identification, you will guaranteed be searched and detained and harassed. Try it some time. You can make it through to the flight without showing any identification.
Another reason to hate the security lines is because the identification check is a joke. Next time you check in online, save the ticket as a PDF or image. Then, next time you need to go to the gate, edit the ticket, putting in today's date, print, and off you go.
And the no liquids or gels over three ounces rule? Don't declare them before you go through the x-ray machine. 75% of the time, they'll make it through fine. If they don't, declare ignorance and throw them away.
Yeah, annoying, worthless actions called "security" piss me off.
So, after checking my one bag, then making it through the security line, I went to the gate counter to see if there were other seats available. Flying across the county in the middle seat, with little sleep, is not a fun thought, so it was a reasonable request. As I approached the counter, two people rushed in front of me.
Fortunately, I was tired, and didn't immediately pushed them back. They were both receiving new boarding passes, presumably to sit in first class. I waited until they were done, and explained I was in the middle seat, were there any window or aisle seats available? In full liar mode, she immediately looked down at her screen, played with her hair and, in sharp contrast to the bellowing words she used moments before with the previous customers, spoke very softly, saying there were no seats available at all, I would have to stay in the seat I was in.
I was too tired, and at this point completely angry, to answer, including the two boarding passes you JUST ripped up, did you bother to frackin' look at them?
So, I spent the five hour flight sitting in the middle seat. Fortunately, I spent the first three hours drifting in and out of sleep, and the last two buried in the slides for my talk. Turns out, after I looked up from my slides, one of the two fellow passengers asked me about them. We chatted about computers, work, websites, ultimate, exercise in general and other topics. The conversation was quite enjoyable, broken only by another pleasant conversation with the other fellow passenger sitting to my other side.
The two of them nearly, close but not quite, made up for the horrible start of the day. I managed to secure a business card from one guy. The other one, all I know about him is that he lives in Maryland and works for N.I.S.T, which we joked meant National Institute of Something Technical.
I'll be glad when this day is over, as it'll mean I'll be in Boston, will have met Emily and had an opportunity to chat with George.
Oh, and go to bed. I am so tired.