I woke up earlier than necessary and began my “big day.” I moved from my bed to my couch, turned on my computer and began my bone healing system. I caught up on my Daily Show and Colbert Report while chatting with Big Sexy about his vacation time while I am visiting Phoenix.
After stimulating my bone I headed for the shower. This was to be my last shower for a while without the assistance of a removable showerhead and transfer bench. I believe the length of my shower time will increase greatly due to the lack of these two items. I washed, shaved my face using a handheld mirror, than dried off. Without putting my brace on, I headed to the bedroom to select my travel attire. I briefly considered a shirt and tie or even a sport coat in the hopes of being upgraded to first class, but I was just grateful to work my way into a comfortable pair of jeans.
Dressed to travel I headed to the kitchen, made a bowl of cereal and headed for the couch. As I began to eat a good friend stopped by to say goodbye and wish me well on my travels. I apologized for eating during our brief visit, but she is a friend and understood that it was almost time for me to be picked up.
Jon arrived on time and I headed out my door with a sweatshirt, a backpack, my bone stimulator and crutches. We headed to the airport with Sophia in the back seat providing the music along the way. Jon would not allow me to retrieve my bag by myself and helped me unload my items. We said our manly goodbyes and thanked him and his daughter for the ride.
I love Maui’s airport (OGG). What makes it so special, like most structures out here, is that it is open to the elements, you can count the luggage carousels on one hand and it does not have many distractions as you head to your gate.
I waited on line for assistance with my seating assignment. The Hawaiian airlines lady was kind enough to place me in a bulkhead seat (the row immediately behind first class), against the left hand window in order to protect my left leg. The porter arrived with a wheelchair and took me directly to the front of the line at the security checkpoint. I informed the TSA agent that I had called yesterday and spoke to the supervisor about not allowing the bone stimulator to be x-rayed. After some raised eyebrows and simple questions, the Exogen unit was hand searched…and so was I. I was not forced to stand on one leg like a flamingo this time as the agent had me remain seated in the wheelchair. Everything cleared, including me, and the porter took me directly to my gate. I tipped him and told him that I could use my crutches to get myself onto the plane and that if he needed to go help others I understood.
I sat, looking out the window towards Haleakala, with my leg propped up on my backpack in the seat next to me. I sent a few texts, answered a missed dialed phone call and then it was time to board. As I began to head down the jet way there was a gentleman with a booming voice speaking to the attendants at the service counter. He looked kind of familiar, but I did not dwell on it and headed onto the plane.
As I settled into my seat, the man I took notice of boarded the plane. He had a seat in first class (which is all of six seats on the island hopping flights) and he was giving the flight attendants a hard time because there was no room in the four overhead compartments in first class, thus he was forced to walk two rows further back to put up his bags. As he continued to act like a spoiled child I suddenly realized where I had met this man before. I do not recall his name, but he works for a large hospitality corporation and is one of the bigger fish in the pond. I had been introduced to him several months back at a resort awards ceremony. When I asked him what he did for the hotels he summed up his role by referring to himself as a seagull (a pigeon when he is on the mainland). He justified this description by explaining he usually flew in, shits on the hotels (meaning he creates more work for everyone or stirs things up to help improve the properties) and then flies away. I remembered this description, rather than this man’s name, because I got a kick out of how he described himself so bluntly.
I sat quietly in my seat, watching this man garner attention in the most unflattering way, all the while thinking what an ass he is making of himself. This man works in an industry that is all about positive experiences and excellent customer service, meanwhile he could not stop complaining long enough to see that the flight attendants were doing everything at their disposal to help him.
After the 20 minutes flight landed and everyone filed off the plane I spoke to the flight attendant who took the brunt of this man’s verbal abuse and told her she did a great job dealing with him and that he worked in a similar field, but was not in touch with the customer service side of the hospitality industry.
The next flight, from Honolulu to Phoenix was long, but manageable because the great staff at Hawaiian was kind enough to place me in a bulkhead seat…again. I also had nobody next to me, so I was able to extend my leg onto the vacant seat.
We arrived in Phoenix 45 minutes early, but because they had no gate ready for us, we sat on the tarmac for 30 minutes. I picked up the rental car and was on my way to Dad’s house by 12:30am. I was exhausted from the big day, but was happy to see my Dad.