I returned in the middle of last week from a particularly fine New Years celebration, which we spent, again, with my good friend Ali Campbell by Loch Lomond. There are few things as fine as a New Years spent north of the border, and there was much dancing, carousing and a thoroughly good time was had by all.
It has to be said though, the high point for me was the purchase of our own Whisky Locker at the hotel. There are a limited number of these set across the back of a truly magnificent bar area, each one containing a bottle of the owners preferred whisky, which they can then unlock and ‘sup’ at their leisure, whenever they want.
The one Ali and I purchased raised a few envious eyebrows as it used to belong to some chap called Gavin Hastings who I’m told was half decent at Rugby and something of a national treasure…
In fact, everything was going swimmingly until we arrived at the airport for our return flight…
I was initially slightly concerned that we might be a little late for the return journey, but as it turned out, I needn’t have worried as we were in fact early … by a whole 24 hours.
I hate to point fingers but the tickets had been booked for the wrong day. Normally I would not have worried … just found a hotel and extended our stay, but as we had places to be and people to see – we were kind of stuck with having to get back.
The airline in question (I won’t mention them by name but their logo is the same colour as the new US president elect) obviously turned us away at ‘bag drop’ but were perfectly happy to let us change our tickets provided we handed over the kind of sum that would ordinarily secure us a small car.
After a brief ‘chat’ with the lady behind the desk pointing out this was not going to happen, we were informed we could actually just buy some tickets that day, and would be much cheaper to do so online.
‘She Who Must…’ jumped to the task immediately, as she had admitted that the initial cock-up had been entirely her fault. Conscious that we were now well and truly against the clock she lost her temper with her phone several times while she feverishly tapped buttons until the tickets were secured – and we joined the queue again…
…only to be told the newly purchased tickets had also been booked for the wrong date as well.
So, we now have 6 tickets for a flight we don’t want to be on, and the flight we do want to be on is leaving very soon … I now must admit to being less than impressed by the whole situation and am now figuratively banging my head against the wall…
‘She Who Must…’ pleads with Easyjet to change some of our rapidly growing ticket collection, and bless them they finally give in and we get to security 15 minutes before the gate closes. This is fine except for the fact we’re stood next to a sign indicating a 20 minute wait from where we were.
I, by now, had apparently turned a lovely shade of purple so ‘She Who Must…’ dived ahead using various persuasive tactics (and possibly tears) to convince them to let us through quickly … and we charged through only to have to wait for another 30 minutes because the plane was late.
This prompted ‘She Who Must..’ (who was regularly updating our now very amused friends and family on Facebook) to follow up her “Tim gradually calming down………” post with “Tim is NOT gradually calming down…” a situation which persisted through various amounts of parking idiocy back at Gatwick and right up to the point when I was sat at Lowe Towers with a glass in my hand…
The message here is very clearly (as I mentioned last week) about proper prior planning and not trying to do things in a rush … I know on rare occasions we are left with very little alternative but to do things ‘on the fly’ but most of the time we should be checking in advance we have all the boxes ticked, as trying to rectify them at the last minute can be very costly and lead to further mistakes and descend into chaos.
Whether it be something as simple as fluffing a flight booking, or something as major as missing one of the key elements in your entire project, a simple ‘sanity check’ either by you (or better still by somebody else – as you may have looked at it so many times you can’t see the wood for the trees) can alleviate a whole host of potential disasters
Until Next Time,
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down