Thursday, June 23, 2005

On my way home again

What a day. I started the day not sure if I was going to finish my work in time to leave. I haven't mentioned this before but my return trip to the US was scheduled for tomorrow (Friday). Given that I've never before managed to return on the day planned it seemed superfluous to mention the fact. Nonetheless, earlier this week it was looking like a distinct possibility.

And then, of course, reality hit. When I got back to the hotel last night it was looking so unlikely that I sent off an email to the powers offering, reluctantly, to extend my stay, with the proviso that if they accepted it was up to them to call the travel agent and move my return flight.

By a strange quirk of timezones it turns out that both the foreign sites we travel to are uniquely ill-suited to the hours we work and the hours that our travel agent works. If I'm in France I can't call him within my working hours because we can't call international from the customers site. If I'm here in The Philippines I can't call him within his working hours because that's when I'm asleep. Well, I can call him if I stay up late enough or get up early enough but why not throw the onus back onto the powers?

Here's one reason not to throw the onus. I'm about 3 hours away from embarking on the long drive to Manila and I'm still not sure if they called the agent to move my flight. I'm assuming that, in the absence of notification, they haven't. A pretty big assumption methinks. So I'm hoping that, when I get to Manila International Airport at 6 AM I won't find that my flight was moved. If it was moved I get to spend a night or two in Manila waiting for the next available flight.

So back to today. There were a few niggling things that didn't work. I wasn't one of them for a change! I really want to get out of here; so much so that I forwent the odd smoke to ensure we'd dotted all the I's and crossed all the T's. We ran the demo again (the one I wrote about a couple of days ago) and it all worked. This was about 4:30 PM. So I sent off the obligatory confirmation email, shook hands all round and departed with haste. I didn't want to give em a chance to think of some new requirement!

Forty or so hours from now I should be home, if INS have sorted out my greencard SNAFU. Fingers crossed.

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