Monday, June 16, 2008

Third rotation underway

As difficult as the last few weeks in Houston have been, I would have liked to have stayed there a little bit longer. Lori and her family are still coping with the loss of her mother, and I know my presence helps them. However, the time had simply come for me to get to return to my work responsibilities on this side of the planet.

The nonstop on Emirates was booked, but my second choice - Delta through Atlanta - was available. For some reason, the travel agent couldn't get me a ticket out of Hobby this time around, so I had to fly out of IAH.

Interestingly, it turns out that Delta's Flight 8 to Dubai technically begins at Bush Intercontinental; the destination sign at the gate in Terminal A says "Dubai" along with "Atlanta." Of course, this is one of those "same flight in name only" arrangements: once I got to Hartsfield I had to transfer to a different plane with a different crew at a different terminal. In fact, a drawback to this arrangement was that I couldn't select seats for the trip out to Dubai on Delta's website because it couldn't process seat requests for flights that have different segments on different aircraft.

It sure would have been nice to have been able to select my seats for this flight. Although I did not end up with a middle seat this time, I did end up spending the entire flight from Atlanta to Dubai sitting directly in front of a woman with two young children, one of which was a fussy infant who screamed at regular intervals. What's worse, while this poor woman was stuck in coach with her two children, her husband was traveling in business class. He managed to come back and check on his family exactly once during the fourteen hour flight, and never bothered to help his wife by taking the infant with him even for a little while so she could sleep. What a douchebag!

Anyway, the folks at the office here are certainly happy to see me; they're facing the usual conundrum of too much work and not enough people to do it and, even though they were able to get along without me, my physical presence here is greatly appreciated. Perhaps one day soon that appreciation will manifest itself in a raise or a promition...

This is the third of what will likely turn out to be five rotations to Dubai this spring and summer. I'll be here this time through July 3rd.

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