It is damn near a truism that when you have to do something at the very last minute that its not a question of what will go wrong but how many things will go wrong. I totaled up a list from the trip, to pick up hard drives as part of a datacenter migration, I’m currently on:

  • Almost miss the airport exit because I’m describing url disambiguation to Dv while racing to the airport. And by almost miss, it was a “YIKES” moment.
  • Arrive at the off airport parking service I’ve been using since 2003. It does not exist anymore (acquisition). Take my directionally challenged self to another lot.
  • Fall asleep in the terminal and end up finding out that:
  • the gate has changed
  • I’m the last one to board
  • I can’t take my carry on luggage which has the hard drives in it that I need for the project I’m on. Transfer hard drives and cables to my pockets while they are trying to close the door; otherwise my luggage will be lost and I’ll be hosed.
  • Connecting flight delayed.
  • Half hour wait at Laguardia (at 11:30 pm) for my bag (and, naturally, there was actually four empty overhead bins; no need to force me to check a bag)
  • Get rental car. Discover that economy is short hand for “DOES NOT HAVE AIR CONDITIONING” and “NO USB PORT” to charge phone
  • Drive.
  • GPS first takes me in a circle.
  • Then it dies completely and have to switch to my iPad. Yes I pulled over, stopped and restarted it with the car in park.
  • Get within 2 miles of my destination and I95 goes down to a dead stop. Spend 30 minutes going the last 2 miles of a 40 mile drive.
  • Find out that the bridge under repair that is stopping traffic is parallel with the exit I need. I get off just as the speed gets beyond a turtle like crawl.
  • Get to the hotel and find out that no one is on the front desk after 11:00 pm. Dial 0 and get a call center who then has to call the night manager. Argh.
  • Wait 15 to 20 minutes for night manager to arrive.
  • Get into the room. Discover water leaking from the ceiling and parts of the ceiling falling into the tub.
  • Sleep. Blissful sleep.
    • Wake up and discover more of the ceiling in the tub. Shower in abject terror of the tub from the floor above falling thru the ceiling and crushing you.
  • Realize that no one you emailed for an address (24 hours ago) where the data center you need to be has responded. Curse violently as you realize that you’re within 5 miles of your destination after a 1000 + mile trip and you do not know where to go. Solve problem by realizing that you’ve shipped hardware to this location. Text your partner and have him text you an address. Get back a nice link to an iPhone map. Happiness.
  • Realize that the map doesn’t give you the street closest to you with that name. It, instead, grabs a street with the same name in Brooklyn. Oy.
  • Discover that the discs you’ve painfully reformatted were, actually right from the start and you’ve just added an hour plus of reformatting to what is going to be a violently long day.
  • Gratefully accept a rfid badge so you can goto the bathroom or get a soda without having to worry about getting back into the office. Use it exactly one time successfully and then find that it appears to be active but isn’t. Wonder about passive aggressiveness on the part of your hosts …
  • Get back to hotel. Pass out figuring that at least you can wake up for your kid’s bed time and read him a story over Skype Video on your laptop. Wake up and realize that the hotel wifi is, well, borked: 36 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100.0% packet loss. Not a good sign. Off to facetime… And facetime is a disaster…
  • Wake up. Get to client. Get hard drives. Travel to airport and then:
  • Miss the exit onto i95 south and get onto i95 north instead thus committing you to a trip to the next exit in rush hour
  • Miss your turn onto the airport. iPhone GPS goes into “rerouting…” indefinitely. Realize that you’re in a patch of Astoria Blvd where the iPhone cannot connect to the internet
  • Find the airport by driving towards airplanes landing and then luckily finding a National rental car shuttle that you can follow home
  • Have your first flight delayed but be able to get onto the preceding flight. Except that now leaves at the same time as the original so sigh…
  • Call your partner and get told that because of a machine configuration issue, you’ve had an unpatched security hole that will lead to a very high (and unexpected) bandwidth bill
  • Find out from your hosting provider that again a hard drive that you just flew 2,000 miles round trip to get is dead.