Behold, The Power of the Internet

Brian Regan has a routine about not knowing just when to use the “You too” phrase, like in situations where a cab driver tells you to have a nice flight (You too!) or when a waitress tells you to enjoy your meal (You too!).  This is a problem that I can strongly relate to, in fact, I experience a great degree of elation when I manage to stammer out just about any phrase except “You too” in situations like that.  Last week I learned that apparently that is not the only phrase I experience difficulties with, it would appear that I am unfamiliar with when it is appropriate to say thank you.  “Goodbye, Derrik.”  “Thank you.”

I’m proud to say that I didn’t have to go look at a single house this week.  Last Sunday Leslie and I made an offer on a house in Schenectady (home of the world’s highest property taxes… really, in fact, I think that is what is on their Welcome sign).  Monday afternoon, after a couple of rounds of back and forth, I went in and was able to sign a contract on the house.  I spent the rest of the week finalizing the paperwork and we have our inspection scheduled for today.  All in all, things have moved very rapidly, as we had hoped they would.  If everything goes well we could close on the house as early as October 17th and seeing as we were fortunate enough to find a house that had been recently renovated, the house is move in ready, no small thing when you consider that it is over 60 years old.

This afternoon we had our inspection and while there were a few items of note that needed to be addressed there weren’t any huge surprises… unless you consider the power to the outlets and the garage door (detached garage) were on a switch that was located in the kitchen in the house, the lights (in the garage) however, were not.  Most of the house’s electrical, while if in pretty decent condition, was a mess and needs some work.  Fortunately, I happen to have been born in a family of electricians…  Actually, wiring the garage door opener up to a switch in the kitchen (just the power mind you, not the actual opening and closing of the door) is exactly the kind of quirky thing that has slipped by some of my family in the past. *cough cough* I might be better off handling this myself.

It has been another very busy week at work, even without the added pressure of house hunting.  I have thoroughly immersed myself in the second phase of a project in North Carolina that I initially ran at the site level back in 2011.  In addition I am beginning to learn the true art of juggling as I have been tasked with another project in California that will likely have a commercial operation date (COD) prior to the end of the year.  On top of that there is a third project on the horizon that could likely be starting up before the beginning of 2015.  This is actually huge for us since the segment of the business I hired on with is actually pretty small, and at the time of my interview they only had one project that was on the horizon!

"I don't know what you are talking about mom, I don't smell anything!"

“I don’t know what you are talking about mom, I don’t smell anything!”

Last night I was able to witness first hand just how empowering the internet can be as a tool to consumers.  As I got back to the hotel room last night I was notified via text message that the first leg of my flight home into Chicago had already been canceled due to an “air traffic control” problem.  Naturally I called United to rebook my flight home.  Because a number of flights into and out of Chicago had already been canceled I spent quite a while on hold; once I finally got a hold of a representative she asked me to wait as she looked up alternate routes for me.  As that wait time stretched out longer and longer I decided to get online and look up alternate options myself, just to see if I could get home anywhere close to the same time.  Imagine my surprise when the lady told me that she could not find any flights out until Monday while I was simultaneously looking at 2 different route options that would have gotten me into Lubbock within an hour and a half of my original arrival time.  I politely told her that Monday was not going to work and that she needed to search for other airline options;

“Sir,” she replied, “I already am.”

“That’s funny,” I said, “I’m looking at a number of flights that would get me into Lubbock tomorrow, either one of these two American flights would be perfect.”

“Well, I don’t know why I can’t see them; I’m going to have to put you through to our Help Desk.”

After another ten minutes on hold I was finally connected to another representative to whom I then had to repeat my whole story.  After giving the gentleman the flight numbers for each leg I was looking at (Albany to Reagan, Reagan to Dallas, and Dallas to Lubbock) he was able to locate the route option I wanted.  “Oh, I’m sorry sir, I cannot book this from here, I’m going to have to call US Airways directly.”  At this point despair started to seep in.  After another eight minutes on hold the rep finally came back and I prepared myself for the worst.

“Ok sir, you are all set, your flight to Reagan departs tomorrow morning at 0610.”

“And you got the other two legs of the flight booked as well?”

“Yes sir.”

Well, that was unexpected.  Now, as long as none of my flights fall out of the sky or disappear mysteriously while enroute to Australia I should be home today.  Whew!

I will say this, if I had to fly on a Saturday I sure picked a good Saturday to do it as both Georgia Tech and Oklahoma have bye weeks this week.  I haven’t had the chance to watch a whole lot of college football this season, but is has been wonderful being back in a country where I at least have the opportunity to watch most of the games I want to watch, and for that, among many, many other things I am extremely grateful.

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