I have to tell you a story and you have to promise not to laugh. Because I am really, really embarrassed about it. In fact, I think it's good enough to possibly bump one of my top three most embarrassing moments off the list.
Go ahead, go click that link and laugh WITH ME, not AT ME. I'll wait.
Are you back? And yes, I KNOW there were only TWO embarrassing moments there. The number one most embarrassing moment of my life is still private. And no, it has nothing to do with sex. Or drinking.
When I booked my tickets to Singapore, I had the option of taking a direct flight there only if I left on a Saturday or a Tuesday. Since we had already scheduled the two days of training I was going there to hold for Tuesday and Wednesday, I decided I'd rather leave early even if it meant sacrificing a weekend to travel, so that I'd have an extra day in Singapore to sightsee. I could have flown via Bangkok but the additional travel time that meant was not at all appealing, and I figured I could zone out for 12 hours on a plane to Singapore as well as I do for 9 hours for the US. I'd have my Spotify and book and crossword puzzles and in-flight movies to pass the time, after all.
So, I booked the tickets and noted that I was arriving at 6:30 am on Sunday, May 26th and departing again at 5 minutes after midnight on May 31st. So I would be able to spend some time in the Singapore office just working and being able to get to know my South Asia marketing colleagues, plus I thought maybe if I got enough done, I could leave work early on Friday and go see some sights before I had to be at the airport in the evening.
Everything went great all week. The trainings went well, and once I made my peace with the air conditioning (something I am no longer used to after so long in Sweden), I managed to feel like my jetlag was under control about halfway through the week. On Thursday night, I met up and had dinner with jes6ica and her husband Lennart for a fun couple of hours (they were in town on business, too!) and on Friday I got up and went into work kind of sad that it was my last day in Singapore.
I figured that if I left work around 4, I could spend several hours touring around the Gardens by the Bay and doing some last minute shopping and having dinner before I had to be back at the hotel by 9:15 pm to pick up my suitcase so I could get to the airport by 10 pm to check in.
But during the afternoon, some sort of weird alarm signal went off in my brain and I suddenly got a very cold, very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Five minutes after midnight on May 31st...
I dug through my bag and found my ticket information. It said:
My flight home was on THURSDAY NIGHT, not FRIDAY NIGHT. Five minutes after midnight on May 31st was first thing in the MORNING ON FRIDAY, not late in the evening on Friday and it was now around 3 pm. ... AAAAUGH!!!
I swear, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I grabbed my phone and went into a conference room and called the travel agency in Sweden, who were just coming online...in their Friday morning. When I should have been arriving home.
Sure enough, the ticket was non-changeable and couldn't be rebooked so they had to book me a new ticket to the tune of too many kronors with too many zeroes after them and then I had to call my boss and try not to cry while I explained what I had done. She was very understanding and both she and the travel agent told me it was an easy and understandable mistake to make and the travel agent even told me it "happens a lot".
If it happens a lot, why in god's name don't they put some kind of large print NOTICE! OBS! KEEP IN MIND on the ticket information?! GAH.
The only thing that made me feel any better was that when I called Anders to explain to him why I wasn't already home, he told me that he had made almost the exact same kind of mistake once when he booked his first flight to Asia a few years ago. I didn't even tell any of my Singapore colleagues what I had done, I was so embarrassed, and I begged my boss not to tell anyone here. But now I'm telling you, because after all, HAHAHA! Geez louise. Me and numbers. We just really don't click, do we?
And I didn't even get to Gardens by the Bay because it was pouring rain and lightning-ing and thundering all afternoon. But I DID get home. Finally.
What I missed...at least it's a reason to go back, right?
(photo by jes6ica)