Monday, January 12, 2009

There are so many things...

to write about, and sometimes I don't know where to start. Sometimes I have racing thoughts, although medication does help slow that down, most of the time. I will say to myself, "Self, today I will write about this subject, or that subject," and by the time I get around to it, I forgot what I wanted to write about, and have a head full of topics trying to rule by committee. And there is no clear cut majority. So, I have to make a decision, and then I'll say, "shit, that really wasn't what I wanted to write about, but I'll do it tomorrow." Then tomorrow becomes today, and then yesterday, and my mind is spinning like a ballerina on a case of Red Bull. Oops! Reality is weirder then fiction sometimes.

I changed the title of my blog, as I got tired of reminding myself that I had a brain tumor. Hey, I already knew that. People tend to identify themselves with something, like I'm a teacher, a dentist, an anthropologist, an insurance salesman, or whatever, but it tends to be their job. Ask anyone what or how they are doing, and they'll tell you about their job, school, the weather or something superficial, rather then speaking the truth, like they're a little depressed/happy/excited/lethargic/etc. today because of this, or that. Unless of course they are hypochondriacs, in which case they'll have every fucking symptom in the book, and have WebMD on speed dial, or the only thing they have bookmarked on their PC. My last housemate is like that, as is his sister, and I believe it is a mental health issue for them. Well, my job is being a "brain tumor patient". My life revolves around doctor appointment, labs, MRIs, traveling to Denver to see my neurosurgeons, more medical tests, and on and on. My part time job is my other physical ailments, like degenerative disc disease in my C-Spine, titanium in my neck, with more to follow, and problems with L-5 and S-1. But I know that I am more then that, and I don't have to sound morbid and be the victim all the time. So, that is why I changed the title. Sure, these things are not going away in the near future, but I don't have to use that to identify me. Oh no, I'm not going to go there anymore. I promise, but that doesn't mean I will never discuss it here, instead I will discuss it as I see fit. The funny thing is, that in my real life, not my internet/blogger life, I very rarely talk about this sibject, except with a fellow apartment complex neighbor who also has a brain tumor, and is a veteran. Her tumor has been resectioned, and the VA docs made a few minor errors, like the screws coming out of the plate in her head, but other then that, we can identify on a lot of levels. She is a nice lady, and we talk about our shelf lives, and even have a good laugh about screwing up their mortality statistics. I know, it sounds a little crazy and sick, but it helps keep us sane.

One last thing I forgot to point out during my critique of NWA was my return flight back to Wyoming. One positive about the trip was that it was on time. That was amazing. But on the second leg there were some issues on Flight-NW 3269, that was from Minneapolis/St.Paul-Int'l, MN. to Casper, WY. The departure date/time was December 29, 9:35 pm, and the arrival date/time was December 29, 11:00 pm. So, there are the flights specifics, but that wasn't the issue. Again, and I repeat again, it was customer service. I have a carry-on bag that I bring with me that contains specifically all my medications, (12 different bottles/types divided equally in 2 gallon size ziplock bags. The bottles are all laid on their sides, and side by side, and there is no double stacking.) my camera, which is small, and maybe a few granola bars. It is a small gym bag, and when pressed flat it is about 4 1/2" - 5" in height. I have occasionally thrown my Gonzaga University Pullover in there, which can be rolled up to the size of a softball if necessary. On my flight to NY, I flew the same type of aircraft, a CRJ, which is a 50 seat, twin jet aircraft, with 4 seat rows, 2 on each side, and overhead bins, although they are not quite as big as the bigger aircraft, and I have flown this specific aircraft many times, and my carry-on always fit up there with no problems.

NWA regulations about carry-ons are as follows:

Northwest allows you to carry one piece of baggage on board the aircraft plus a purse or briefcase or laptop computer or small backpack. The carry-on baggage must be of a size and shape to allow for storage in overhead compartments or underneath the seat in front of you.

Dimensions:

  • Cannot exceed 45 linear inches (9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches)
  • My bag is 30 linear inches ( 13 inches by 9 inches by 8 inches, and the reality was that the height was only 5 inches maximum. It was smaller then a small backpack.)
Northwest Airlink flights operated by Pinnacle and Mesaba on CRJ aircraft allow each passenger to bring two personal items onboard. As always, items must fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.
Personal Items are defined as:
In addition to your carry-on bag, customers may carry on a purse or briefcase or laptop computer or small backpack. Dimensions of the additional item must not exceed 15"x11"x6". At least one carry-on item should go beneath the seat in front of you.

The above is from NWA's website under carry-ons. Ummm, I see some interesting stuff here.

But Flight 3269 had Nurse Ratchet as its' lone flight attendant. She was in her late 50's, early 60's and had obviously seen a lot of airmiles. After going through the gate, the NWA employee said nothing about my carry-on, as he was also gate checking some of the carry-ons because they were too big for the overhead bins. Not mine though, as he said it was fine. I was about the 10th person to get into the aircraft door, and as I was about to board, Nurse Ratchet said, "You can't bring that duffel bag on board, you have to gate check it," and I said, "First of all, it isn't a duffel bag, it's a small gym bag, and secondly (Here is where I pull out my veteran who is disabled card.) I have all my medications in here as I am a disabled veteran with an inoperable brain tumor, and I may need my medications." and she says, "I don't care, it's a duffel bag to me, now go gate check or you can't board this aircraft." Well, the Gestapo had spoken, snapping her gum the whole time. I went back to the gate, and asked the gatekeeper for a gate check ticket, as Attila said I must gate check it. I really didn't refer to her as Attila, I was just thinking it. So, I got the gate check ticket, and the gatekeeper said, that lady, referring to Nurse Ratchet, is a witch. I would have used a "b" instead of a "w", but he was just being politically correct. I walked back to the aircraft's door, which now had a long line and I waited my turn to board. As I boarded the aircraft, Nurse Ratchet was there with a shit-eating grin on her face, and I said I did as you told me, but if I have some medical issue that requires me to use a medication immediately and can't get to my medications, well, me or my heirs will see you in court. She didn't say a word. As I got to my seat, which is always a window seat, I had to ask the person next to me to move so I could get in. I was in seat 5a, and I watched as the rest of the folks board the aircraft, and it was funny because some people were boarding with carry-ons that were 2 to 3 or even 4x's bigger then mine, but Attila said nothing. She just stood there and continued to chew on her gum, like a cow chewing it's cud. And this lasted the entire flight. Quite unprofessional I would say. She did avoid eye contact with me the entire flight, as I think she realized that I was pissed. But she probably didn't give a shit.

There are a few reasons why I didn't want to give up my bag, with them being, I had my meds in the carry-on, including narcotics, and I don't trust NWA with the security of my property because they are fuckups, my pullover was in the bag, and who knows what the temperture would be when we got to Casper, my apartment and car keys, along with my checkbook were in the bag, and finally, I don't trust NWA at all with anything of mine, including my life. I will never, I repeat never ever fly with them again, because they suck as a company that is suppose to deal in good customer service, and the reality is, they don't give a fuck about the customer.

NorthWest Airlines Sucks! Period! NWA Customer Service Sucks! Some NWA Flight Attendants Suck. Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I can move on at light speed....

In a land far, far away, I sat gazing off into the eastern sky and...

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