March 27, 2009

Behind The Scenes Exclusive

As I mentioned before, I work for the airlines here in Missoula. I am officially titled a Cross-Utilized Agent. What this means in humanspeak is that we're trained to do it all. I am a Customer Service Rep, a Gate Agent, a Ramp Agent, and I work Operations and everything in between. On any given day, like today for example, I may check you in, board your flight, and marshall you out. So I thought that I'd give a little behind the scenes exclusive in the airline world... namely, the do's and don'ts of airline travel.

Don't show up any less than half an hour before your flight, because we're not letting you on, no matter how much you cry and scream and drop the F-bomb.
Do arrive at least an hour before to save time for any unexpected problems.

Don't be rude... because you've just shot yourself in the foot for any extra measures.
Do go out of your way to listen when I'm speaking (hang up your cell phone) and obey.

Don't try to connive us - we've heard every excuse in the book.
Do be honest - we can often make simple changes if there's a good, valid reason.

DO NOT board before your zone number is called (this may be my number one pet peeve). There are reasons for zone numbers, they're not there for giggles.
Do wait patiently (not breathing down my throat) for your zone to be called.

Don't have tunnel vision.
Do remember that you are just one of thousands of people traveling today and some of those people are on your very same flight and would appreciate it if you found your seat quickly and got out of their way.

Don't ask if we'll call your connecting flight and have them hold the plane for you (you're not the President).
Do be very patient and kind as we do our best to rebook you.

I think my most unbelievable passengers yet were two businessmen traveling together to ATL. I was working their gate and I had paged them THREE times that their flight was boarded and ready for departure. When we were past cut-off time, I finally closed the flight without them. About ten minutes after departure they showed up to their gate, and when I arrived back from closing out the flight, I was greeted with arm flailing, yelling, and accusations that I HAD COST THEM A TEN MILLION DOLLAR DEAL!!! You'd think they would've chartered their own flight... or just been there on time...

How about you... any crazy traveling stories?

March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...
... the women who have signed up to do the Esther study. I think it's going to be an amazing time of drawing closer to the Lord through His Word, and an absolute blast getting to know one another!
... that Matt and I have never had to go without food. Today we were able to go grocery shopping and did not have to worry that we would not have enough. The Lord has always provided for us.
... for the sense of smell that transports my imagination to exotic places.
... my parents - they have always unconditionally loved me. I know that I will be 57 and I will still be their little girl that they love and adore.
... babies - their smell, their soft skin, their cuddly-wuddliness, their innocent eyes, their gummy smiles.
... a blazing fire (even though it is March 26th and we're still lighting them).
... baked beans. Yum.
... mashed potatoes. More yum.
... the Lord's unfailing love.

March 23, 2009

I'm sick, I know. I'm sorry.

Many of you already know that I work for the airlines, and as a result, I fly a lot. Now, I'm pretty easily self-contained and stick to my own world. I bring my book and I'm lost in Sara-landia for the duration of the flight. But this morning, as our flight taxied on the runway out of Missoula, I had a moment of supreme boredom. And I kid you not, this is what passed through my head:
I wish somebody would just flip out right now and start screaming and calling for help. That would provide me with some mild entertainment for a few minutes.
Like I said, I'm sick and I'm sorry.

March 22, 2009

I'd Call Myself Helga.

So today began the Esther study kick-off. Holy macratoli. I hoped for.. oh, I don't know, 5 to 6 women.
(Sorry, quick side note - there was an earth worm massacre last night on our front step and Matt's procrastinating putting their squished, severed bodies to rest permanently in the trashcan...)
Ok, back on track. As I was saying... you know, 5 to 6 women would be fantastic.
Thirteen. Thirteen women signed up. And this brings me to my original point that I haven't actually made yet.

(Edited to add: we have a total of 26 women signed up)

The whole process of beginning this study has been a spiritual wrestling match for me. I've encountered intense fear. Fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment. I've come up against extreme discouragement and the sure knowledge of inadequacy. I've thought that surely I heard the Lord wrong when He led me to start this study. I've wrestled with what I've known to be true and what I felt to be true. That's a whole 'nother post in itself, but let me just say that it forced me to my knees, literally, as I cried out from an honest, desperate heart for the Lord's all-sufficient grace. There were days I had to repent and ask for His forgiveness because my flesh crept in, looking for a slice of recognition and esteem. There were days when I simply wept, out of sorrow and transparency, out of awe at His goodness. Because He is so good. All the time. Even in His discipline. He humbles me to save me from myself and the utter destruction of pride.
So at the end of the day I can truly say that I am Yours, Lord. All of me is Yours. Use my gifts, my talents, my weaknesses, my failures, my desires, my everything to glorify Yourself. May You be found recognizable in me.
And with all that said, if this were a real wrestling match...
I'd call myself Helga.

March 20, 2009

Umm, Yeee-ah. About That.

My irritation level just hit the milky way. So I mentioned in passing that jars and bottles that require The Arnold's arms really, really, really... tick me off. Now, when I said "jars" and "bottles" I should clarify that I really meant Vitamin Water. And I'm actually refraining from using Christian profanity, although I have to confess that my anger this morning did involve the use of the word "flippin'"... and might have been followed by other colorful choice Christian words.
I mean, what is the deal?? Every dadgum-single-isolated-time that I go to open a Vitamin Water bottle, I heave and I twist and I get a red face and... NOTHING. It doesn't budge. Exaggerate I do not when I say that this morning my arms were sore after all my attempts. Okay, I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. And I don't know who Vitamin Water thinks he is, but he obviously didn't know that he just met the most stubborn woman on the planet when it comes to triumph and victory. Let's just leave it at - I did get it opened... at the expense of all my joy and happiness for the day.
On a happier note, I'm trying a brand-spankin'-new recipe tonight, courtesy of my co-worker, Robyn. It's called BBQ Pork Ribs. For those of you who have not heard of it, it involves BBQ sauce and pork ribs. Scrum-dittily-umptious. I'll let everyone know how it turned out.
How about you - anything in your life that sends you over the edge? How about a great recipe?

March 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

So my former pastor's wife from Durango, Linn, began this quite a while ago, as a reminder to be purposeful about the things we have to be thankful for.
I am thankful:
  • That Matt loves me deeply and lavishly - tonight we're having a date night that he initiated and planned completely (homemade pizza and a movie in front of the fireplace)!
  • That the Lord is so faithful to conform me into His image, even in the painful refining times.
  • For my little kitty, Cyrus, who for some reason, brings us so much joy and makes us laugh all the time. We communicate. I know you don't believe me, but we do. I know what he's thinking and he's a good listener.
  • For my job that's allowed us to fly all over the dang place. How kind is the Lord to give me a job that satisfies my desires and need for travel and adventure?!
  • For an amazing family, both my own and my in-laws.
  • Chris and Gloria - we hang out all the time and never get tired of each other, and I miss them when I haven't seen them for two days.

That'll do it for this week.
What are some things you're thankful for?

March 17, 2009

Operation Ant Control

I've been in a feverish spring fever cleaning mode. Maybe in hopes that it'll actually make spring a reality, in light of our recent snowfall. And by "recent" I mean this morning. I've swept and cleaned our outdoor area (all the while fully expecting dormant black widows to jump out at my face in malicious attack). I had the whole emergency room visit mapped out in my head. First, who would I call? Matt? No, he's at clinicals, and he's unreachable at best by cell phone anyways. Gloria? Maybe, but if she's at work, she won't answer. Elizabeth? Yeah, that'll work, she's close and most likely home. Once I had my emergency room visit mapped out, I moved on to the cupboards. Threw everything away with an expiration date before June 17th, 1994. Arranged my spices. Swept, washed dishes, and cooked a fabulous Olive Garden knock-off dinner.
But today, in spite of my best cleaning efforts, Matt and I awoke to find our kitchen sink BLACK with ants. For those of you who don't know, I have a teensy, tiny obsessive fear of anything Insect. And all of Matt's patient assurances ("They're just ants. Gah.") were having absolutely no effect on my already stretched-to-the-limits nerves, due to my prior anxiety attack over the black widows. Which, by the way, never came to be, except for in my nightmares. So, due to this teensy, tiny fear, I contented myself to eat a bowl of cereal and bark directions at Matt, who worked tirelessly to rid our kitchen of them. And by tirelessly, I mean he got out the vacuum. He then proceeded, in all the eagerness of a novice ant killer, to spray the ant-killer can empty in our kitchen. Which meant that the 3 of us were cooped up in the office for a good hour, in order to salvage what remained of our lungs.
But now, my trust and security are gone. What if I wake up in the morning, and for the third morning in a row, we have ANTS? Hey, I just realized that ants could almost be satan. Does that mean anything?
So tell me your best ant solution.