Traveling Chick

wrong place, wrong time, walletless {gbd part two}

When traveling for work, I typically fly into the airport, rent a car, and spend 2-3 days driving around the city, going from meeting to meeting. We have an extensive database for tracking office addresses, as well as other useful information. Typically, while setting up an appointment, I confirm that the office address I have on file is correct. Sometimes, I don’t.

Recently, on a trip to Dallas, I made two huge faux pas. I left my hotel around 8:15, and arrived at my destination at 8:35 – plenty early for my 9:00 meeting. To kill some time, I sat down in the lobby and pulled up my email correspondence with the man I was about to meet, just to be sure I didn’t need to remember anything in particular about our conversation.

While doing this, it dawned on me that my wallet was not in my bag. I had managed to leave it at the hotel, but luckily I would have time after this meeting to swing back and pick it up. No problem, since 99% of offices I visit validate your parking tickets anyway (and in fact, I had been to a meeting in this building before, so I knew for a fact they validated).

After a few minutes of reading my email, I noticed something that made my heart sink like a stone. Right there, in the email he sent me weeks ago, I saw it: a different business address than the one I had. I couldn’t believe it! My phone said it was 8:50. Thankfully, the correct address was just a couple blocks away…but I didn’t have any money to get out of the parking structure.

I gathered my things and got to my car in no time flat, pulled up to the parking attendant, and put on the saddest face I could manage without actually crying. I explained my “situation” and how I was going to be late and how I was SO SO SORRY and how I would call him with my credit card information if it helped. He told me if I had been there less than 10 minutes it would have been free, but I’d been there for about 16, so it was $1.60. I repeated my groveling – so sorry, very late, no money, SO SORRY – and with a look in his eye that said “you suck,” he opened the gate. I thanked him profusely as I ran away…well, drove away…to my meeting.

…which I was on time for, while my alumnus was 15 minutes late.

Thanks for reading part 2 of The Good, The Bad, and The Delayed.

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