I’m sitting semi-patiently at the LaGuardia airport, waiting to head to Philadelphia and then to Baltimore, for the 2012 Out & Equal Workplace Summit. And of course, there’s a hurricane coming straight for Baltimore.
What is it with me and Big Gay Events in the middle of hurricanes?
When I planned a trip to New Orleans over Labor Day weekend in 2008 and discovered that it was Southern Decadence, the so-called gay Mardi Gras, I was excited… Until Hurricane Gustav barreled down on the city and forced an evacuation. (You can read about the weekend here, here, and here.) I still had an amazing visit, but it was the first time in my life (despite growing up on the east coast of Florida!) that a hurricane was a true troublemaker for me.
So this year, planning to go to the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Baltimore, I was all kindsa hyped. The Summit is an amazing event, and I’ve been privileged enough to attend it several times now with my employer. I’ve been working hard to organize my company’s attendance at this year’s Summit, having put countless hours in over the last six months, and we’re finally on the brink of the event — and now a hurricane is on its way.
The Summit runs Tuesday through Thursday, but our team has planned to arrive on Monday to get together, let our attendees meet each other, have some team building, and get ready for the start of the Summit on Tuesday. And naturally, Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday are when the wind and rain are expected to really hit Baltimore hard.
A few of us had planned to arrive on Sunday, so that we can get a head start early Monday morning on some strategic planning. Having a flight in on Sunday afternoon is certainly better than dealing with the storm on Monday, but weather impacts are expected as early as today… Which brings me to my five o’clock in the morning arrival at LaGuardia.
My flight to Philadelphia isn’t until 11:30, but there are daily flights from LaGuardia at 6:00, 7:30, and 9:15. They were all booked up, but I’m here to go standby in the hopes that I can catch an earlier flight to Philly. That’s step one — after that I’m hoping to catch an earlier flight from Philadelphia to Baltimore. All in the hopes that I can get on the ground before the threat of rain might possibly screw up my landing there.
I didn’t make it on the six o’clock flight… I was so close to getting on. There were four of us waiting standby, and it ended up that there were three no-shows. Alas, I was the one passenger out of four who didn’t make the standby list. Imagine my frustration!
And then, imagine my smug schadenfreude when I saw three harried passengers rushing past me to check in for the flight. Is it bad that I feel a little better that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t made it on?
And then, imagine my smirk fading a little bit when I realized those three people will probably also be on standby for the 7:30 flight with me… So they could have scooped me again.
[Edit: It turns out, I had nothing to worry about: I’m typing this update from my seat on the 7:30 flight. Hopefully I’ll have similar luck in Philadelphia with an earlier flight to Baltimore.]
Ah, well. I’ll get to Baltimore today, hurricane or no hurricane. And it’s going to be a great week, regardless. Stay tuned for more details about how we weather the storm, pun intended.