Tag Archives: smartphone

Well connected

This was my first full week at home in a while. In the last month or so, I’ve spent 15 days in airports, some 20 airports in all, counting connections. You might say I’ve been going at terminal velocity.

Or you might say I’ve been on an extended hub crawl. (Okay, I stole that pun from a recent issue of the US Airways in-flight magazine; being that they graciously plugged my blog last year, I owe them attribution.)

This last wave didn’t yield epic tales, as previous trips almost always have. Thankfully, this time I’m left with just a few bits of footage, which remain stored in my mental DVR:

  • There was a medical emergency mid-flight. The crew called for a doctor to tend to an ailing passenger. The woman beside me—who had noticed the clinical trial data I was reviewing in preparation for moderating a medical program—tried  to volunteer me. “Aren’t you a doctor? Can’t you do something?” I wanted to tell her that if a doctor emerged, I’d be happy to introduce him, but that’s all I was qualified to do. Instead, I said nothing.
  • Before an early flight, I watched as a woman poured Starbucks coffee into a child’s sippy cup. I was horrified, but didn’t say anything.
  • One morning I stopped for breakfast at an airport restaurant called Real Food. I ordered a pancake and bacon. When I went to cut into the pancake with a knife and fork, it was so hard that it snapped my fork in two. I couldn’t even get my teeth through the bacon. I was tempted to accuse the manager of serving Pretend Food but instead I threw my breakfast Frisbee in the trash without saying a word.
  • At what I assume was a pet-friendly hotel, I watched a dog drop his business in a carpeted corridor and walk away nonchalantly with its owner. Not a peep out of me.

No, I’m just a frequent flyer who sits quietly in the gate area listening to the Bluetoothed blowhard (there’s one at every gate) loudly putting together the big corporate deal. And I shake my head at the Smartphone Sallies who fight over the last available outlet, scrounging for electricity as if it were crack cocaine.

My personal addiction? Airport jewelry kiosks. This credit card bill’s going to be a doozy. I already know these impulse buys are irresponsible, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say anything.

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Filed under Travel

You rang?

How many of you remember the episode of Seinfeld in which a parking valet left a certain something in Jerry’s car?

Fortunately, that didn’t happen to me.

The other night, I met a friend for dinner at a wine bar in busy downtown Bethesda, Md., where valet parking on every block is a zoo.

Around 10 p.m., I claimed my car from a most grumpy valet. Perhaps he deemed my 30 percent tip insufficient. His shoulder could not have been colder, his good riddance reeking of ‘tude. Like the Seinfeld valet, but in a different way, this guy was a real stinker.

I got in the car, pulled away and tuned in to an oldies station. Nearly halfway home, I heard some unfamiliar music within a familiar song. I thought maybe it was an alternate recording with an edgy backbeat.

The music persisted. I turned off the radio, but the music continued to play.

While driving, I carefully patted my surroundings and came upon a cell phone. I knew it wasn’t mine. (My ringtone is my cousin’s two-year-old granddaughter yodeling.) The music stopped before I was able to answer it.

I deduced that the villainous valet had left this valuable in my vehicle.

There was no choice but to do the right thing. I pulled a U-ey and returned to the restaurant, where I found a frantic fellow fumbling for his phone.

When I got out of the car, waving the attendant’s smartphone, his attitude changed.

In retrospect, I kind of wish I had done one of two things: change his ringtone to something like “You’re No Good” or ask for my tip back.

What would you have done?

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Filed under Food, Rants and Raves, Technology and Social Media