Monday, February 27, 2012
Get in Line Stupid
Im okay with that. I use the ATM. I use the night deposit. I send checks by mail. I try not to stand in line, only today the ATM is out of order and the sign slapped on the dark screen directs me to a second machine in terminal C.
C is a problem. I heave a sigh, enter the credit union and line up behind an airline mechanic. He turns and smiles. "So," I say, "where do you think terminal C might be?"
His brows lift. "We don't have a terminal C. Terminal C closed about five years back."
"Exactly." I mutter as a teller waves him over.
Now I don't need cash, I could use my debit card, but misinformation bugs me. I'm on a mission.
The teller doesn't smile. I wait for him to glance up. "So," I say "according to the sign on the ATM, the other machine is in terminal C? Miami doesn't have a terminal C."
He frowns. "Terminal E."
"The sign states C."
"E." His voice is crisp, his enunciation precise and I realize I'm not making an impression. So, either he doesn't care or he hasn't listened.
"Fine." I spin on a heel and head for the exit.
"Don't worry," says the mechanic as I pass by, "you'll get used to the airport."
"Oh I know the airport, now I'm going to get my glasses and see if that sign states C or E."
He laughs. "Oh I'll bet it says C."
Out at the ATM, I pluck a pen from my purse, look back through the glass doors and waggle it at the teller. I change the sign from C to E and head to the next terminal. Ten minutes later, cash in hand, I wade through security and join the queue at Starbucks.
"Chai latte with soy please." I pass the clerk a ten and smile. "So how's your day?"
He gives me a bland look, reads my name tag and scribbles on the cup. He looks over my head. "Next."
Okay, fine. I don't need pleasant, I need tea, a quiet corner and a few minutes in time out. When the drink arrives I thank the barrista and move on.
When I'm settled, I sigh, lift the cup to my lips and ...
After a moment, I swallow the mouthful of warm unflavored soy and pitch the container in the trash. Whatever. If I lose it now, I'll never make it through the day without copping an attitude.
I head for the gate. Maybe the plane is early. Maybe the cleaners are finished, the water tanks are filled and the coffee pots are clean. That's a lot of maybes, but I'm hopeful.
So much for hopeful.
"You're late." Snaps a woman as I approach the counter. She has two toddlers and an oversized rollerboard.
I check my watch. "No," I say, "I'm early. In fact I'm so early I'll come back after this flight leaves." I give her suitcase a long look, raise one brow and wait for her response. She huffs and turns away.
Like dominos this flight delays mine. I walk past Starbucks and down the terminal to Dunkin. A family of four picks through the donuts so I skirt past them and head for the coffee. Extra large, with cream. A woman slips in behind me and mimics my actions. Damp curls are stuck to her brow and her glasses tilt to one side.
The cashier smiles and I point to both coffees.
"Oh," says the woman behind me, "you don't need to do that."
"Oh I do," I reply, "I've had enough of the airport. This is a desperate attempt to stay happy." I lift my cup. "So ... how's your day?"
She rolls her eyes and we start to laugh.