notes from the office

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5:48am - woke to hear, on the radio, that all flights into the UK were suspended.

5:49am - realized that my boss, MY BOSS, was leaving for London at 6:40pm.

6:01am - sent off a slightly frantic email to the agent.

6:02 - 8:02am - washed up, got dressed, blahblahblah, got into the office.

8:04am - open email to discover boss and Other Important Person have been emailing re travel to London for two hours.

8:05am - call agent.

8:09am - call agent again. Check flight to UK.

8:30am - call boss. Flight not cancelled YET.

8:40 - 9:07 - do actual office work.

9:07 - start looking around the internet for pictures of volcanic ash.


9:25 - I don't know. Doesn't look SO bad.


10:20 - Maybe "it will pass."


10:27 - Maybe not.

10:35 - boss arrives at work. Energized by the excitement of not knowing whether or not he will be able to leave for London, with all of his luggage in hand, he requests timely "Ash Updates."

10:45 - now dubbed Ash Watch '10, we are jovial about the possibility that his flight will not be cancelled.

10:46 - 12:15 - we proceed with "work as usual" and pretend he is, in fact, traveling to London. Make several calls to agent who is unable to get answers from the airline.

12:15 - 1:15 - lunch.

1:15 - call agent. Use the "I'm not kidding" voice and request, nicely, that she demand airline re-book boss on SOME FLIGHT EVEN CLOSE TO LONDON.

2:00 - agent calls. Can boss fly via Canada on Air India?

: is Air India a good airline????
agent: NO.

2:15 - agent calls. Is boss willing to fly west to, finally, arrive east?

2:17 - not for $9000.00.

2:17:30 - and that's ONE WAY.

2:40 - agent calls. Would boss travel through Germany to arrive in London. On Saturday?

2:43 - wait? Did she say Saturday?

2:45 - he would! he can! Is the ticket still available?

2:59 - YES. BOOKED.

3:00 - 3:20 - a period of general hilarity ensues. Many jokes amongst several co-workers re Ash Clouds and traveling through Germany to arrive in London. Energized and feeling victorious, boss buys cookies from vending machine.

3:20 - realize, suddenly, that entire itinerary must be re-typed and printed and hotel and car service and UK counterparts must be alerted to change in plans.

3:25 - 4:25 - emailing, calling, printing, discussing, re-figuring UK meetings with nagging suspicion that boss MIGHT arrive in London and MIGHT NOT be able to leave. Is volcano supposed to just STOP?

4:25 - give boss revised itinerary.

4:26 - 5:15 - have a look at dozens of emails, answer phone calls, sort mail, route contracts, check in with Youngest and K.

5:15 - boss sends me home. He's good like that.

5:34 - arrive at station. Trains cancelled. Trains combined. Trains going local. Text K, text Middle, wait for Middle.

6:24 - depart station on local/combined train and endure seemingly endless ride home - AM SURE IT IS DUE TO VOLCANIC ASH.


Crazy Mom! said…
Oh, what the ash!
Anonymous said…
6 to 5 and pick-em , your boss is stuck in germany.

Did anyone call it an Ass Cloud?

I heard what happens when the ash gets into the engine of a plane. It's scary. It also pits the windshield of airplanes and the pilot can't see out his front window. Also a little scary.
Ali said…
Hubby was meant to be flying back to the UK today from India. Just as well he got waylaid, because if it was due to an ash cloud, I'd be pretty irritable. Though not as irritable as those folks in Iceland sitting under the volcano.

We do not handle travel problems well in this country. Hope your boss makes it.
Julia said…
Our airports just closed too, despite the remarkably sunny weather here in Prague. Can any of you guys in the UK actually see the ash?
Jess said…
Eh, don't get your ash in an uproar.
Fannie said…
My “I’m not kidding” voice tends to be slower and calmer than my usual tone. Using it eases my temptation to use very.bad.words. I’m just sayin’.
Paola said…
So? Did he get to Germany? Or UK?
Maybe he's in Italy! Let me know I might have Fabio throw a dinner for him.
It's the ash talking.
ssheers said…
The people on our local radio station call it a "pain in the ash."

The front page of today's Washington Post says that the last time that volcano erupted, 187 years ago, the eruptions continued for more than a year.
Anonymous said…
OMG. I am super stressed out by all of that. I ADORE the recap. The frenzy, the fretting, the eventual fun with it. HOWEVER, I don't think he should go at all. Postpone. Force majeur! Act of God! These things call for a day off.

PS) Air India is not necessarily bad, but the flight attendants are notoriously cranky. And fat.

Anonymous said…
I would vote in favor of a video Skype conference, else he may be stuck in London (or Germany) for A YEAR unless he comes home on the Queen Mary (or whatever ships are still floating).
Unknown said…
well your boss is lucky!

I'm stuck in Italy and I've got friends from California stuck in London...

We think we're so powerful and yet we're still puppets in nature's hands..
Anonymous said…
I admire your fortitude--you didn't let this kick your ash. Ash Watch '10. You kill me.
The Coffee Lady said…
It's odd, being up here in the north of England, nowhere near an airport, hearing from people elsewhere in the UK about how different the sky looks without vapour trails. And now here you are in the US, blogging about it.

Odd. Our sky is the same. No-one we know is exciting enough to fly.
Caterina said…
I enjoyed the post. Even though the situation must be a bit of a headache.

"don't get your ash in an uproar"
"It's the ash talking."
"but the flight attendants are notoriously cranky. And fat."
"he comes home on the Queen Mary (or whatever ships are still floating)."

Ha! Totally enjoyed the comments!!!