Paris was a whirlwind one-day zoom in and out of the office. Which is actually in Antony, which is quite some ways from Paris itself, so I never had a glimpse of anything remotely Parisian, though there WERE macarons in the airport, which I restrained from. The plane was delayed an hour which meant my taxi pick-up wasn't there when I arrived at 10:30 pm and after fruitless waiting, phone calls, frustration and just plain ridiculousness, I gave up after an HOUR and managed to find another taxi that would get me to my hotel. My French colleagues commiserated and told me French taxi drivers are the worst.
Training was well-received though I was nervous about the second one and talked too fast...work is stressing me out beyond belief. Not because of the training, necessarily, just the amount of work coming in which is heaping all over me and my team. I don't know why I feel such responsibility to deal with it all. Working weekends and evenings is not helping as it seems to barely keep me from the breaking edge of catastrophe but I never really feel like I'm even close to caught up. My boss is well aware of the problem and is trying to figure out a solution, so guess until then I will just continue to cope.
The airline personnel at Orly airport were also ridiculous and should call up those taxi drivers and go bowling. When I went to the gate, after checking in and going through security, there was a sign above the gate saying that the 9:35 pm flight to Copenhagen was BOARDING NOW in big red flashing letters. I had been going to ask at the gate if they could switch me from the aisle seat I had been given to a window seat so I could try to sleep, but if we were boarding now there wasn't time for that. So I got in the line that stretched from the gate around the corner to another gate. But after 15 minutes of standing there, I overheard someone else asking if the line I was in was the one for Copenhagen, and a man some ways in front of me answered that no, it was for the flight to Nice. HRM, okay, I thought.
So I went back to the original gate and asked why the sign said boarding now for the Copenhagen flight if it was not, in fact, boarding now. Gallic shrugs were the response. Okay then, I asked, can I please switch my seat for a window instead of an aisle? Non non, the plane is full, madam.
Sigh. So I sat down and waited until they actually began the boarding process, only to send us around to that other gate and let us stand THERE for another half an hour before actually letting us board the plane. I was in row 16, exactly in the middle of the plane. Every seat around me was full all the way to the front of the plane. We finished boarding and took off and as soon as we reached cruising altitude I unbuckled my seatbelt, stood up and turned around to go to the bathroom at the back of the plane. And what to my wondering eye should appear? EMPTY SEATS ALL THE WAY BACK.
Super sigh! I asked the attendant if I might move to an empty row and was told immediately that it was no problem. So I got to lie down, which I don't think I've done on an airplane in a hundred years. But alas, I never did manage to sleep.
I wonder what they were thinking of when they were assigning seats, that they packed everyone into the front half of the plane instead of spacing people out in window and aisle seats throughout, which is the usual practice. It seems dangerous to me to cause the plane to be front-heavy, but maybe it doesn't matter?
Anyway, it was planes, trains and automobiles all the way home and I got in just after 1 a.m. The next trip hopefully won't be so crazy as I'm not flying so late either way. I just need to get through this week with my sanity intact and then it's off to Madrid and Turin!