There is nothing I enjoy more than telling a story about a funny or embarrassing situation that I got into. Fortunate for me, this happens frequently. Two weeks ago I was asked by my boss to attend a seminar in Chicago on C-stores. This is a big initiative for the company and I was excited to go. Shortly after the request my boss sent me all the information I would need to register for the event. I eagerly hopped on line registered and called the travel agency to book my flights. Pretty simple stuff, right?
Friday morning came early and I drove the Little Rock National airport to catch my 7:15 am flight. As I sat in the airport eating my Little Rock Sunrise (bacon, egg, and cheese bagel) I was feeling rather smug about myself and excited about the day of travel that laid ahead. I took the 90 minute flight and landed in Chicago at 9:00 am. The meeting started at 11:00, so I decided to catch a cab and head down town to walk around and explore while I waited. The meeting was held at the Willis Tower (old Sears Tower) and this added to my excitement about the trip. In fact, I took a picture with my phone and sent it to a number of family and co-workers.
In order to go to a meeting in the Willis Tower you have to have your name registered with their security and you need a ticket to go up the elevator. Upon arrival, I went as the instructions indicated to the front desk and told them my name and the purpose of my visit. The lady politely checked her system and found my name and function to be missing from her list. I thought this was odd, but easily overlooked it. She proceeded to call 3-4 people asking questions about the event I was to attend. No one had a clue. She granted me passage to the 66th floor where I could further discuss my issue with the Metropolitan Club (the location of the meeting). I went through security and up the elevator to the 66th floor. I found the Metropolitan desk and began pleading my case and purpose with the young receptionist. I pulled out a reservation sheet I had for the course to prove my belonging and rightful passage. Upon review she could only utter one phrase “Sir, this meeting is next Friday.”
In an instant, my stomach went into my throat and I turned razorback red. Did I really just travel via plane to Chicago, taxi to down town, elevator ride to the 66th floor for a meeting that was not going to happen for 7 more days?!? Well…that is exactly what I did! I felt like and idiot!
How does an adult with a college degree, reasonable intelligence, and is marginally responsible make a mistake like that? I have no idea. Fortunately, I have a wonderful boss; who once he stopped laughing assured me that I could come back to work on Monday! The only thing worse than calling your boss after a mistake like that is calling your wife. She graciously told me that I indeed was an idiot and that I would never be allowed to book a family vacation.
So what happened next? I got a cab back to the airport, caught the next flight back to Little Rock and was home by 3:30.
This was the image I sent to everyone about 20 minutes before I discovered my mistake.