Newark Airport, Friday morning. I show up at the jetBlue terminal packed with a single change of clothes, a digital video camera, Cintra Wilson's Caligula for President, a wad of cash, and more DV tapes than I assume is legally allowable for a mere transcontinental weekend. I give the lil' aqua colored lady behind the counter my reservation number as was provided via email from Airlinegetaways.com.
The email appeared serious. It included flight numbers for an Orlando changeover, lame insignias, and a total of the tax/fees en cured. At the top of the letter appeared the passenger code. All in all - bland, normal, and professional.
Well not so much because the passenger code didn't work. There was no "edge" on their list of passengers. I'm immediately thought "How MBT -- Ã¢â‚¬ËœI'm' no where to be found." They were even nice enough to get me two other uniformed persons to enter the code and shake their heads. Well - I didn't leap across the counter and scream myself into a coma. Instead I called the travel agency, I was connected to Mumbai. Then told my credit card was declined. Not a total shock. However -
"Golly. Why didn't you notify me that my card was declined?"
"We did sir."
I check my e-mail after each meal. They didn't. They sent me a confirmation number in its place. With a list of the total tax/fees en cured. A bill. Nothing else.
Despite the initial crippling disappointment, I went back to the New York and demanded to use my vacation days in some exploratory manner. Hell, if it happened it happened - let's see the whys beyond the fact that I ignored Bank of America and hunt for a bigger picture. Well I didn't find much BUT I ended up showing a film at an art gallery in Newark and recording a noise album with a bunch of kooky hooligans in a pre-colonial outpost on the Hudson River, which may have solidified a friendship or two.
The kicker is the travel agency called. Told me I owed them.
That's right. I owe them somehow. For the email, I guess. But that didn't even cost a stamp. Or paper. Or ink. Apparently it didn't even cost thought. It was obviously a computer error. I suppose I'm paying for no reason.
Consider now, I didn't get a ticket, nor did I transfer in Orlando, arrive Austin, and fly back two days later. Now those involved in alternating between retail and making physical artsy things all day are known to be a little - distracted. Even odd or borderline incomprehensible. You might even be able to pull the wool over their occupied imaginations, however I didn't even get to ride the long automatic flattened escalator floor. I guess I'm going to have to gently whip out the "I wanna talk to the smart person" (anyone who'll think outside the programming and use logic) routine and methodically explain why I plan I'm not compensating a travel agency that deters me far off from my expected destination.
So all in all. Not horrible. Hilarious. And not at all what I expected . A new lesson.
With an Ã¢â‚¬Ëœexpect nothing' Zen like vibe.
Till the next talk, Tom.
Think amore, ya'll.
"It's just data."