Monday, 17 May 2010

A vaguely off-topic tale of frustration and nail biting: I hate flying!

Well, in theory I love it. It's just become a nightmare over the last few trips.

In March there was PG East in Philadelphia. And the BA cabin crew decided to go on strike. Cue purchase of a (refundable) backup ticket at vast expense, and then days of nail biting until it became apparent that my original (on-refundable, but much cheaper) flights would go ahead just with reduced on-board service. So the US airways ticket got refunded, and I enjoyed a couple of salads for lunch. Not to my usual taste, but probably more healthy than what I normally favour!

In April I planned to take a trip to the EnterpriseDB Massachusetts office in Westford. Then Eyjafjallajökull erupted, and the ash came.  Four more days of nail biting, before it's confirmed that my flight is canceled. Excellent service from BA though, and within 30 minutes I'm rebooked for the beginning of May. The office will just have to wait.

So in May we have attempt number two to get to Massachusetts. Which went without a hitch. Amazing. Well, except that the ash returned briefly whilst I was away causing another minor scare. Oh, and a mixup with my ride from the airport which quit waiting for me 22 hours before I arrived.

Second trip in May is PGCon. And late Saturday afternoon I hear on the radio that the ash is back. More nail biting. Constant refreshing of websites like the Met Office and NATS. On Sunday night, the Air Canada flight from Ottawa to London is delayed by hours due to overnight ash in the early hours of Monday morning, and by the time I wake up its been cancelled entirely which means that so is my flight as the plane is now in the wrong place. Luckily, I woke up at 5:30AM, by which time no-one else had noticed the flight cancellation and I managed to get a seat on the Tuesday flight (tomorrow). The ash is now gone, the CAA have relaxed the flying rules again and things are looking rosy.

So what's next? Well, in June I'm visiting our New Jersey office just after the planned second batch of BA cabin crew strikes are due to finish. Well, were due to finish. Now, BA have managed to get an injunction to prevent the strike going ahead as planned because the union screwed up the ballot (again)! I can already see what's going to happen; they'll take two weeks to re-run the ballot, then give BA a weeks notice of upcoming strikes, the second of which will coincide perfectly with my trip. D'oh!

Oh well. I still love being paid to work on Postgres and pgAdmin; it would just be nice if the travel were a little less stressful :-)

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