But Steve .. 24 Hours is just not enough time!

Gross Point Blank .. BrokenI just knew this was going to happen. I rented Gross Point Blank from the Apple iTunes Store a month ago thinking, “hey this would be great to watch on the way back from LA.” Unfortunately I had to work on the flight and I never got a chance to watch the movie. No problem I thought .. I still have another 29 days. But .. what I failed to consider was how fast 29 days can pass.

So yesterday when I checked my email after I boarded a flight from Boston back to NYC, my iPhone reminded me I only have 2 days left to watch this movie before it will be deleted. My big presentation behind me I kicked back and started watching the movie. Which for anyone who has an iPhone or iTouch knows .. is a really enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, the flight was only 45 minutes so I only got up to the part where John Cussack goes back to his home town only to discover that his parent’s house is gone and replaced with a convenience store. I figured .. I’ll watch the rest of it tomorrow. ERRRRRRRR! Wrong answer. I let 24 hours pass and the movie was gone.

I am sooooo .. not so happy. I understand the need to set a time limit on movie rentals but would it have killed the movie studios to let Apple set the expiration time to 48 hours vs 24? I mean really? Would it have hurt?

BTW .. if anyone can tell me what happens at the end of the movie I’d really appreciate it.

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Air travel ain’t what it used to be!

Photo 74_thumbnail.jpg I am trying to remember the exact moment when air travel really started to really suck for me? And I don’t mean because of of the increased security or the fact that they now charge $5 for the same sandwich I refused to eat for free. I could plan around those inconveniences. I mean when did the airline industry completely forget that they are in a service business and that communication is the best way to manage customer expectations?

Case in point. I am sitting in the US Airways terminal at Laguardia airport watching my “confirmed” flight leave without me. Why is it leaving without me? Well let’s see. It appears that the 7am flight to Syracuse, NY was cancelled so all those people were given priority on my flight. Unfortunately, my flight was not empty so they had to “remove” some of them to make room for the people who’s flight was cancelled. I unfortunately fall into that category. Those who were bumped were given priority on 11:40am flight.

Now if you were on that 7am flight I’m sure you are very happy that you were serviced and given priority. I personally would expect the same treatment. Actually, what I would expect was what the airlines used to do. They would send someone out to the hanger, charge up another plane and locate a local crew to fly it. It appears that planes and crews are no longer kept around in case of emergencies in this micro-managed world of ours.

What really turns my milk sour is that my personal inconvenience could have been minimized to a large degree. After all .. the airline HAD my cell phone number AND my email address but they failed to use them to communicate the flight changes to me. I mean .. I would have been unhappy that I was bumped but at least I wouldn’t be stuck in the airport sitting in a smelly food court drinking bad coffee. And don’t even get me started on overpriced airport internet access.

I guess the real question is .. when did I become Andy Rooney?

P.S. .. I just looked up and my 11:40 flight has been pushed back another 45 minutes. No announcement .. just a updated departure time on the gate’s departure screen. Nice.

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I Got Pranked!

Big surprise in my hotel room 6Being a consultant I am used to dealing with the unexpected. These “surprises” are usually in the form of last minute customer requirements, flight delays, faulty projectors and defective laptops that spontaneously burst into flames. Imagine my surprise however when I got back to my hotel room late last Tuesday night to discover that my team mates “pranked me”.

A little background. For the past 10 days some team members and I worked diligently on a customer Proof of Concept presentation. Most of the team had been working in preparation of the event for several weeks where I was coming in to learn about the project and lend some final preparation assistance. What started as a 1 day trip to Dallas, TX turned into a 10 day trip to Los Angles, CA. We worked days, nights and weekends getting all the presentations and programs to work in sync for the big event.

The night before the presentation we had a client dinner scheduled but we also had submitted some last minute color printing to the local Kinko’s. Our Creative Director, Kerry, agreed to handle the job and since both he and Kim were scheduled to leave for home early the next morning, they agreed to pick-up the job and bring it back to my hotel room. I in-turn would bring it with me in the morning to the customer presentation. All appeared to be good .. or so I thought!

I find myself even now asking the question when they planned to get me. Did Kerry ask me for my room key knowing that that he had devised this scheme, or had the thought occurred to him after he was standing with the printed material in my hotel room. One thing is for sure … I never expected to return to my room after dinner to find my hotel room covered with neatly lined up tri-fold brochures all standing in a line, one after the other across the entire hotel room, like little paper solders.

Big surprise in my hotel room 1 Big surprise in my hotel room 2 Big surprise in my hotel room 3 Big surprise in my hotel room 4

Big surprise in my hotel room 5

I was also not prepared to explain the sketch he left on my bed of a gorgeous brunette kissing me which I discovered at the head of my bed. Even now Sharon is looking at me suspiciously.

The moral of this story … Never let your colleague pick up the printed material at Kinko’s while you go out to dinner and party with your client. For if you do … you deserve everything that happens to your hotel room in your absence. Thank goodness he didn’t find the mini-bar key and clean me out of my private stash of macadamia nuts!

Thanks Kerry & Kim for a great surprise and a really good laugh!

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