Connecting the dots: A story about finding the good in a difficult situation.

How a simple trip to Las Vegas turned into a way to see the how my perspective has shifted in my life.  I have to say that I did not go through this process with grace and calm until I had a good night’s sleep and a shower.

I had this trip for a work conference booked 2 months in advance, or so I thought.  The conference was booked, the room was reserved and I was prepared to learn as much as possible.  I woke the morning of the trip opened the app to check –in to my flight and I had no reservation.  What?! Where’s my reservation?   I searched a million different ways and nothing!

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I called American Airlines and they said there was a reservation, but it was never completed, so it was cancelled.  I stopped packing and went to work and got on my electronic access to schedule travel and remembered that in December my work credit card number had been stolen and they issued me a new card.  Ah, that’s why, the old card information failed and the trip cancelled.  Why didn’t I get some kind of an email or notice about this? No, time for that now, I thought.

I rebooked my flight for the same day and the return flight was an hour later than originally planned (dot) and the price only went up by $111.  I had to explain what happened to my boss and the controller and they basically teased me about being so worried about $111.  So I breathed a sigh of relief and continued on with my day.  The trip there and checking in was fairly uneventful.  The conference itself was GREAT!  I learned a lot.  I made some great connections.

Now when it came to the hotel stay the first morning I was awakened at 6 am by on-site construction right outside my window.  I was annoyed, but let it slide.  The next Morning was the same thing and I actually said out loud, At least they aren’t doing this overnight.   I know better than to say stuff like that out loud.  The last night, the night after I said that, they started construction at 5 pm and went until after midnight. (Jack hammers and all)  Now by this time I had reviewed my bill on line,  and other “accountant due diligence” and determined that they had down-graded my whole group so that rather than getting a saving on the room of $50 a night we were paying an extra $40 per night than what the rooms we actually got would have cost.  Then on top of this they were charging a $28 a day “Room Revenue”, which ended up being a “resort fee for access to venues, Wi-Fi, pools etc. ”  Never mind that they advertised free Wi-Fi, but the pool was empty and I had construction outside my window.  They charged me for mini bar charges that I didn’t use. (They hadn’t checked the mini bar before I checked in).  My financial dander was up and I marched down to the front desk and addressed the financial issues.  The night time construction hadn’t happened yet.  I had the mini bar charges removed, they explained this mysterious “Room Revenue” and I found out that I would have to discuss the room rate issue with the convention coordinator; they couldn’t change that for me.

I had to call my boss to explain the extra $28 per day so my expense report wouldn’t have to go to the CEO for approval.

I did mention to the conference coordinator how this hotel had handled their conference attendees and they were very interested to know what happened.

The last night was when the night time construction started, I called to the front desk to complain and they offered to put me in a suite clear on the other side of the hotel for the last night, turns out that is where we were supposed to be to start with.  I asked when they were going to stop and explained that I didn’t not want to change rooms at this point.  He called back and said it would be around mid-night, what he failed to add was that they were starting up again at 6 am.  He asked what he could do and I said remove the resort fees and get me ear plugs.


I know. I know…I let them off easy.  I should have asked for a full credit of my stay, since they were breaking the noise ordinance in the city of Las Vegas, I found that out later.

So my cost was now back down to what was budgeted, the conference was almost over and we had an extra- long lunch.  So I went to the gift shop and purchased a keychain (dot), and I went and pulled out $60 to play craps with until the afternoon sessions began.  I laid out $40 of my $60 and was at the table for 45 minutes and had a great roll and walked away with $212 at the end of it.  I won $172.00. (dot)

I had a fairly uneventful flight home, until I got to baggage claim and started looking for my keys.  My co-workers had already gone their respective ways and there I was sitting at the airport at 10:30 pm slipping into a panic.

The airport is warm and I run hot anyway so I am sitting there sweating, unpacking and repacking my backpack and suitcase over and over hoping they had just tucked themselves away.  I knew I had put them in a tiny extra pocket on my suitcase and they were gone.  So the stress is now making me feel sick and its 11 pm.  I called my friend who was checking on my cat, who has my home keys, but no answer.  I called my faithful back-ups, Shy and Amy, who I woke out of a dead sleep.  They came and got me and set me up in their extra room.  They would be busy until about 11 am the next day, but could take me to the airport to get my car.

After a good night’s sleep and a shower, I called the hotel to see if they found any keys.  No they haven’t.  I don’t have triple A because, ah ha, I have roadside service through my insurance.  I called the Honda dealership to ask about having keys made, and found out that without any keys they need the car to make the keys with the correct chip in it.  Ok, called the insurance company and they hooked me up with an app where I can get the tow truck to come and find me using the signal for the app.   This sounds simple, get a tow truck to tow me to the nearest Honda dealership, get keys made and get my house keys and go home…easy peasy.  Except, thParking Spotere is an issue with the clearance and turns in the airport terminal parking.  After Progressive changing the towing company and our guy showing up, it took 2 hours of just maneuvering to get my car out.  One and a half hours waiting on the truck.  That driver worked so hard and was able to get me out of that garage I tipped him $100.00 (dot) p12744710_10207909305404942_1328322907772387519_nart of my winnings.  He was a sweet guy with a sweet little boy.  I got to the dealership around 4 pm and service closes at 5 pm.  I walk in and this new sweet guy helped me with the key situation.  He said he will try and get me in, but he wasn’t sure he could.  I shared a little of my experience and he promised he would get me in.  Then he pulled up the vin on my car and saw that there were 3 recalls on my car, and he said: I’m going to put you in a loaner, you have 3 recalls on your car and you could die.  Did you hear me DIE!   (dot) So they put me in a loaner, free of charge and I was able to stop and get my keys and gate access and get home by 6 pm.

So here are the stories behind the dots that I can see at this point.

  • The change in flights put me on a different return flight, it turns out my original return flight had mechanical difficulties and was delayed until after the flight I ended up on. WIN!!
  • If it weren’t for the construction I would have paid and extra $84 for my stay which was credited.
  • If I hadn’t gambled then I wouldn’t have won the extra cash I needed to tip the tow truck driver. The rest almost covers the new car keys I am having made, for the key chain I purchased, not knowing I would need it.
  • If I hadn’t needed to get new keys, I might not have taken care of the recalls on my car until it was too late. I am thinking God maybe preparing me for something that I am supposed to live through.  I don’t know, but it is interesting how things work out.

Lessons learned:

  1. Take Supershuttle to the airport.
  2. Give a friend extra keys to not only my home, but also my car.
  3. Being nice and having a positive attitude can get you through any situation in a less painful way. The tow truck driver and the service agent at the dealership could have left me high and dry if I was being difficult.
  4. Have faith that this could all be happening for reasons you are unaware of and may never know why.
  5. Be kind to everyone, you never know what they are going through. Thank you to the woman at the airport who asked if I was okay  and if someone was coming to get me.  It did help me get through that evening knowing a stranger would have helped me.