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Nov 18 2013

#Skepticon, I wish I knew how to quit you

I’m in the midwest, I was going to fly to my home in the midwest via a stop in the midwest. I don’t know if you heard, but the midwest was a meteorological mess yesterday, so my flights were all cancelled, and I’m stranded at Skepticon. Which isn’t so bad, except for the part where I was on the phone, on hold, for over an hour with United, trying to rebook my flights. They play this short, twangy riff on the United jingle with electric guitars, over and over and over, while they make you wait for a real person. I would have preferred accordion music. It was raw torture, music that had to have been specifically selected to drive customers off the phone.

But otherwise, I just had an easy evening with the organizers and a few speakers who were also held over for another day, and now I get to wait for an airplane. Home and to work!

12 comments

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  1. 1
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

    The weather works in mysterious ways.

  2. 2
    amenhotepstein

    This has a rather Groundhog Day-like vibe to it. Keep an eye out for Andie McDowell!

  3. 3
    chigau (違う)

    As long as you have internets access, all will be well.

  4. 4
    Gregory in Seattle

    “It was raw torture, music that had to have been specifically selected to drive customers off the phone.”

    Yup. A lot of companies design their phone systems to be as unfriendly as possible, to drive people to websites and other forms of support that are much cheaper to maintain. You may have noticed the message every 60 seconds saying, “You are an inconvenience. Go to our website and stop being a pest.”

  5. 5
    birgerjohansson

    Amenhotepstein beat me to it!

    BTW since the Abrahameic religions stole so many ideas from the Egyptians, you should sue them…
    — — — — — —
    We had a local storm that felled a lot of trees the night of Saturday-Sunday. My mystic powers repelled the worst of it, but I see it popped up and made things worse in the midwest.
    BWAHAHAHAHA!

  6. 6
    ChasCPeterson

    I would have preferred accordion music.

    you got it

  7. 7
    Trebuchet

    It’s best to avoid Untied Airlines if at all possible.

    Meanwhile, that weather has resulted in six tornado deaths in Illinois. Cue the wingnuts proclaiming God’s punishment for gay marriage in 3…2…1…

    (Also posted off-topic at Ed’s.)

  8. 8
    gussnarp

    When I see “United” and “guitars” in the same sentence, I think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

    Is that their jingle?

  9. 9
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Three of those lost to the storm were only a few miles from me. Had the storm finished crossing the river instead of continuing east, we’d have gotten hit. It was bad. Police with dogs were looking for people trapped in their destroyed homes. It is a small community, everyone in the Metropolis/Brookport area will be affected by the destruction. Churches are accepting blankets and bottled water to give the survivors of the leveled town of Brookport. It flooded a few years ago and it weathered two ice storms. I remember the night we got our kids our friends were sandbagging the Brookport library. They’ve been through so much in the past few years. The rickety-looking old bridge to town is damaged and closed. They aren’t letting in anybody but first responders, residents and road crews. Schools are closed. I was up that way last night and there were bulldozers heading toward Brookport to clear debris. The community will come together, but I don’t know if the town will come back from this. I’m concerned about the homeless families. I know we’ll all pitch in and help. I just hope what help there is will be adequate.

  10. 10
    blf

    For feck’s sake, take the sodding TGV!
    Whilst not immune to weather problems, it is perhaps less susceptible, probably more environmentally-friendly, certainly less hassle, very probably cheaper, and far more comfortable. And (usually) city centre to city centre.

    (Yes, yes, I fink I once “promised” to stop humiliating USAlienstani’s thoroughly-backwards transport “system”, but some duck-shoots are just too inviting…)

  11. 11
    Numenaster

    Sounds like United is trying to break a few more guitars (thanks gussnarp for getting to the joke first, I appreciate you hunting up the video).

  12. 12
    David Marjanović

    Hm. My flight was delayed for several hours because the plane arrived several hours late – it had had to be exchanged because of a “mechanical problem”.

    Yes, it was United. And yes, of course I missed my transfer flight by several hours. But, while still in Springfield, I was given a boarding pass for a later alternative to my transfer flight, everything worked, and I arrived the day I had planned to arrive. I haven’t had to book an extra night anywhere, haven’t lost the booking here, haven’t had to pay for another flight, and haven’t lost a night in the next museum collection. :-)

    And (usually) city centre to city centre.

    The exceptions, for instance Aix-en-Provence, can be as far away from the city as an airport.

    On the other hand, passenger trains haven’t reached Springfield since 1967. *facepalm*

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