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An Off Day In Paradise?

An Off Day In Paradise?

on Nov 15, 2013 in Blog, Travel Log

Traveling isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. We have a lot of fun and exciting days, but we’re not immune to the “bad” days—days when things just don’t fall into place. We sometimes find ourselves wasting a lot of  time and energy on non-essential activities. As we travel, I am continually striving not to sweat the small stuff, however when all the small stuff starts to compile, it’s easy to have an off day; even if we happen to be in paradise. For me, yesterday was one of those days.

We decided to take a work day to catch up on our ever-growing list of tasks; many of which were long overdue. I woke up in a good mood and made some great progress in the morning striking things off my list with ease. However, somewhere in the middle of the afternoon, my progress slowed and unexpected hurdles arose. By night fall, I was in a huff, cranky and ready to give more than a few people an ear full.

Here are the small things that got under my skin and derailed what could have been an otherwise productive  day!

Keyboard Malfunction

I am a PC girl. However, to keep things simple on this trip, I am traveling with an iPad mini with a Belkin keyboard. Yesterday afternoon my keyboard started to give me issues. It is almost as if random keys at different intervals get stuck. Thus I end up with a line full of the same letter or spaces that should not be there. It’s such an added time drain! I found myself continuously stopping to make corrections due to the phantom key strokes.

It appears to be random and the deleted key was also demonstrating this behavior. Thus what should take me a couple minutes to type is requiring nearly double the time due to the malfunctioning keyboard. It was much more of a nuisance than anything else.

Name Correction

A few months back, I booked tickets online through Air New Zealand. A day later  I still had not received a confirmation email so I spent  30 minutes on hold trying to confirm our booking. They did confirm my reservation via phone but the email confirmation took almost three days to arrive.

Yesterday, while working on our upcoming travel plans, I noticed that my middle name was misspelled on the reservation (probably a fat finger error on my part). However, what should have been an easy, quick call to correct it turned into multiple phone calls, extended wait times, and, in the end a complete waste of time.

In short, after nearly 40 minutes on the phone, they corrected my middle name. A while later, I received the confirmation email and found that my last name was now misspelled! A few phone calls later (due to calls being dropped from poor wireless internet), I finally was able to get everything corrected. I had to spend well over an hour of my time doing something unexpected, that was not on my original list of objectives for the day.

Misaligned Priorities

Like everyone, we are consistently trying to balance demands. Work days, like what we planned for yesterday, are very much needed. We have accumulated a significant number of unexpected tasks that are also vying for our time. It is easy to find ourselves distracted and letting lower priority items take precedence over other more critical or time consuming projects. What we have learned is that Kevin and I also do not necessarily prioritize things the same way. Thus I found myself frustrated due to a misalignment between my perspective on the critical path versus what Kevin chose to achieve during his dedicated work day. This just added fuel to my mounting frustration of a day.

Missing Laundry

After weeks of hand-washing our laundry, we decided that it was time to take it to the laundromat. We saw signs around town advertising laundry service for the low rate of 40 baht per kilo. That is about $1.25 USD for 2.2 pounds of laundry. I was almost over the moon excited to have clean, machine-washed clothes without any effort from either of us! We gathered our belongs into a hotel laundry bag and made the trip across the street.

Everything was great until I picked up our laundry in the evening and took inventory. I was missing a skirt! Are you kidding?! I am only traveling with only pair of jeans, a pair of capris, a skirt and a sundress. With the warm Thailand temperatures (and humidity), the missing skirt is significant

Luckily this was the only missing piece and I traipsed back down to inquire about my missing skirt. Unfortunately, the shop owner was not much help. He apologized, but needed to contact the laundry service in the morning. I left feeling frustrated and not very hopeful of ever seeing my skirt again.

Bathtub

By this time, I was worn down by the events of the day. I decided that a nice, hot bath would ease my mounting frustrations. That is until I discovered that the bathtub would not hold water. I proceeded to pick up the phone and call the hotel staff. After a series of misunderstandings: no I do not want more bottled water; no, our hot water is not broken. Ugh! Obviously, things were  lost in translation. I slammed down the phone and left in a huff to try and find someone that could understand.

After speaking with two more people at the front desk, I finally found a woman who empathized that I wanted to relax in a hot bath and the tub was not cooperating. She sent housekeeping to fix the situation but after assessing the situation, they notified “Engineering”. Engineering arrived a few minutes later and declared the issue fixed. But, after a quick test, the tub still leaked. The engineer left presumably to find a new stopper and after twenty minutes, I came to grips that a hot bath was not in my future. The engineer eventually returned but the new parts didn’t fix the issue. I sent the poor man away even more frustrated than I was an hour earlier.

Delta Sky Miles Credit

While in China, we flew on a Sky Miles partner. I provided my Delta frequent flyer number when making the booking. However, the mileage credit failed to post to my account. I submitted an online request to Delta. If only it was that easy!

Unfortunately, Delta cannot access their partners’ systems and require additional information to process the request. After a short battle trying to get attachments to work on the iPad, I responded with the requested documentation only to receive another email asking for the same information again plus another document.

In the grand scheme of things this was very insignificant. However, the additional 30 minutes I spent here  took me away from the much more important tasks on my list. I was frustrated with the senseless process as much as I was with myself for not prioritizing my tasks appropriately.

Late Night Door Bell

I finally decided enough was enough and it was time to cut my losses, crawl into bed and start fresh the next morning. Just as I settled into bed, the door bell rings. It is now 11:30 pm. For the life of me I can not figure out who would be at our door. I made my way to the door to found a bellboy attempting to deliver luggage. I clearly articulated that he was at the wrong room and he pulled the door shut on me as he apologized.


I fully realize that in the grand scheme of things, each of these were petty, non-life threatening events. However, when combined and added to the stress of trying to dig out from being behind, it made for less than a perfect day. Thankfully there is always tomorrow!

I woke up this morning to the shining sun, a nice workout, a hot shower, a tasty breakfast, a great view from our “office”, confirmation of the Delta mileage credit and best of all, my skirt! The laundromat found it and my faith in the smiling people of Thailand was restored! Things are definitely looking up!

    1 Comment

  1. You are missing the wedding of the century. I just looked at their schedule and it is to go until 3am. The music is right in our room it seems. Met a Scottish couple who said we all should get free dinner on the house. Yet to be seen.

    Can’t say there are 300-400 people here yet and it starts at 4 pm.

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