BlogPendant Automation Diary – The Week That Was

Pendant Automation Diary – The Week That Was

By Gary Stokes
December 18th, 2022

Pete K. and I made a visit to Dallas this week for his first ever business trip. We arrived at BWI Airport and learned that the departure for our non-stop flight was delayed 5 minutes but our arrival in Dallas was delayed almost an hour. This was unusual, so I asked a gate agent the reason.  She relayed that due to awful weather, including tornadoes, in Dallas earlier in the day, the system was backed up and we would be taking a less direct route than normal.  This meant that our flight would be over 4 hours, but with an A4 boarding position I was confident it would still be a comfortable flight.  That was until the gate agent announced that it was going to be a “completely full flight”.

As planned, I made a beeline for the aisle seat in the exit row with its extra leg room, and settled in (Pete sat in the row directly in front of mine).  As fellow travelers proceeded down the aisle, a guy asked to go past me to sit by the window. He was a relatively big guy, not tall but broad.  We had an engaging chat for a while about our respective world travels, and then settled in to see who would be joining us in the middle seat. After a minute I had the thought that it would be nice if someone about 130 pounds or so were to choose the seat between us. Then I blundered by actually saying it out loud. That’s when the universe had a good laugh at my expense.

Watching the aisle, I noticed a very large guy, with a belly that would make Santa Claus very proud indeed, beginning to approach. You can probably imagine the feeling of dread I experienced as his eye settled on THE seat. He then announced to everyone in the vicinity, “I think I’ll take that seat right there!” His extended finger was aimed you know where. I cringed as my brilliant strategy was exposed as an abject failure.

Four excruciating hours later, as we entered the terminal, the guy that sat at the window and I shared knowing looks, and inwardly thought about our collective misery and wondering what we had done to deserve it. Whatever it was, I was hopeful that I had now fully atoned for it, especially with a return trip to BWI coming the next day!

The next morning, after a workout, I stepped into the shower in my hotel room. Mounted on the wall of the shower was a metal rack containing a bottle each of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. The way the bottles were placed in the rack made it difficult to work the pump to get the viscous liquid to come out. After getting only a small amount of  shampoo to come out, I tried my hand at the body wash. After getting some of it to come out, I noticed that the shampoo and body wash looked and felt identical. I turned my attention to the conditioner, and it, too looked identical. This made me very suspicious as I was reminded of this classic scene from the Marx Brothers movie, Horsefeathers. I guess I’ll never know for sure if I body washed, shampooed, or conditioned myself in the shower that morning. Only the hotel’s version of Chico Marx knows the secret.

The good news is that my return flight went to plan. I sat in the same aisle seat in the exit row, and was soon joined in that row by two average-sized women. I had a brief moment of panic when I noticed just how many very young children had boarded, expecting a chorus of cacophonous caterwauling to punish me for not being squished in my seat.  Much to my relief, the kids were quiet, leading me to the conclusion that some genius had invented this product for flight attendants to dispense during the boarding process.

So that was the week that was. Next week we’ll share the story of Pendant’s annual Christmas party. Come back and see us.