Carry on Walking Away

Yesterday my carryon luggage containing the
tools that I use to organize much of my life, walked out on someone else’s arm.
It was a frustrating experience.

First it was a cancelled flight. Then it was re-routing by way of Dallas instead of Chicago. But the most frustrating and upsetting thing was when my carryon luggage was taken off the plane by someone else.

I was headed to a speaking engagement and had packed the most important papers, a couple of books, my calendar and laptop in the carryon. It’s always safer this way, right?

When I realized what had happened, someone had mistakenly chosen my bag as theirs, and left theirs behind, I spoke to a steward. He wanted me to deal with it and gave me some suggestions. Thanks. Service today.

My imagination kicks in. I think, given security issues today, what if…but I didn’t let that go too far. This was a case of mistaken luggage.

A gate attendant is more helpful. But the thing is, the owner of the bag I’m now holding is scheduled for a flight for Lima, Peru in less than an hour. She’s probably hoofing it to the international terminal right now.

So he pages her. He calls staff at the boarding gate. She’s not to be found.

I’ve got a connecting flight to make. But everything of importance is in that bag. I suppose I can ad lib the presentation. But I can’t do that with the data for two other workshops, and the DVD stories, and then there’s my calendar with flight information, and most important, my laptop which has everything of importance. That’s the content of my life.

I’m thinking unkind thoughts about this woman. Her bag and mine are not that similar. Besides, wouldn’t you know by feel that the plastic handle on my bag isn’t the rubberized one on hers?

I think to myself it’s fortunate I backed up the drive recently and only a small amount of information is new. I could live without the bag for a couple of weeks. She’ll return to the U.S. won’t she? Did she have a one-way or round-trip ticket? How far is the international terminal? Won’t she have to go through security again? Then she’ll see she’s got my laptop. But will she return to this gate, or turn it in to security personnel? I’ll have to hang around here, miss my flight, maybe not make the speaking engagement…the alternatives are frustrating.

After a very long 45 minutes she returns, as relieved to see her bag as I am to see mine. A friend retrieved it from the overhead, she explains, and they didn’t realize it was the wrong bag until a few minutes ago. “That’s OK, I say,” unconvincingly (even to myself.)

We make the exchange, breathe deeply and part company. I go immediately to a nearby store. “Do you have an ankle chain and lock,” I ask.

Join the conversation!

Post a reply in the form below.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image