Rolling over I began to cough, damn cold waking me up, and glanced at the clock. 11:38am…11:38AM!!!! nononononono…..NOOOOOOOO!! It CAN’T be ELEVEN in the morning!!! I jump out of bed alternatively mumbling and yelling “no.” How can it be 11:38am. Never in my life, no matter how sick, how hung-over, have I slept clean through two, yes two alarms. My flight left at 10am, the plane is gone, gone, there goes New York, there goes the interview for the internship, my career…wait…it’s New York City. Planes have to go there all the time! Frantically I dial 411 and get the number to Airtran. Oh, God bless Airtran, the best, and I mean the best airline in the U.S. Pacing I press the numbers for English, for flight information…for oh, hell, just connect to..
“hello?” A wonderful young man on the other end of the line.
“Hello? Oh, God, hello, I need (coughing) so sorry to cough in your ear, got a bit of a cold”
“No problem. How can I help you?” He patiently waits as a lung pleasantly tries to remove itself from my body.
“I need to get to New York, I had a reservation for this morning, and I missed it, God, how could I have missed it..” I mumble a near frantic rant.
“Ok, well, do you have a confirmation number?” Still patient, calm, a god among men.
“Yes, umm (more hacking) it’s DOZVCX.”
“no, D, as in dog (coughing) sorry”
“That’s fine Ok, got, it but I’m not seeing a reservation.”
“Right, well it was through a travel company so maybe try my name..” I spell my name out to him while pulling on a clean shirt.
“Ok, got it, you need to get to New York”
“Yes, I have an interview tomorrow..can’t believe I slept through two alarms.” Choking back another cough, stepping over the cat, I struggle to pull on my black pants, socks and boots.
“you live in New York?”
“oh, no, well, I’d like to but I have to make my interview. I’ve been sick..” I blush at the half truth. Ok, I have been sick, mornings are the worst, sore throat, congestion, this damn cough. Of course I’m not going to mention to him that I managed to drink, despite the cold, until close to 4 in the morning thanks to my last Saturday in Memphis and a poker game at tidy’s..
“I can tell, you sound sick., well can I put you on hold?”
“Sure.” I brush my hair, my teeth, through both brushes into my bag.
“Ok, there’s a flight at 2:15pm which will get you to New York by 8 tonight.”
“great, that’s fine, thank-you.” So relieved I stop filling the cat bowl with way too much food.
“And I’ve taken off the ‘no show’ so that will be $50 for a change of flight time.” So calm, he waits through another round of coughing.
“Ok, I’ll pay anything, I have a credit card here…” only $50? Did I hear that right? $50? No new flight costs, just $50?????
“well you’re all set.” I push the cat inside shoulder my bag and close the door, keys, keys..got them.
“Thank-you so much” Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.
“And drink some hot tea, with lemon for that cough, and this sounds weird, but my mom always put a small bit of voldka in the tea, it’ll clear you right up and help that cough.” Oh bless you airtran and your employees, and their lovely moms.
“Thank-you, that sounds perfect, and thank-you for saving my life!”
“No problem, good luck on the interview!” Thank-you thank-you, thank-you