Friday, December 5, 2014

Why can't I? Ch 2

"So, what does the GS Desk know that we don't?", he asked. I was thinking exactly the same thing. Our situation must be a little graver than we'd been told. I reassured them both that I'd let them know right away if I learned anything more and quickly finished my welcomes in the rest of the cabin, offering follow-up drinks as I went. (This, too, became an issue as the pre-departure kit had been removed and our liquor was still in bond. Ugh.)
When I returned to the galley, I noticed that a water service had been started in UE. Then Scott, the ISM, stuck his head around the corner and said we should get all of our catering supplies back into the original carts and carriers. It looked as though we would be doing an a/c swap. I began doing just that, fully intending to return to 8D and E to let them know the latest when...
"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the Captain..."
We were on an aircraft parked at E4. There was another 777 waiting, already cleaned, at E18. Despite 30 years of previous experience to the contrary, what I observed was one of the most orderly and timely widebody aircraft swaps possible. The caterers did an excellent job of quickly, carefully moving our prepped supplies (I didn't lose a drop of milk from either of the 1/3-full cream pitchers!), customers methodically made their way between birds, and the crew was allowed onboard the new plane almost as soon as we arrived at the gate. That NEVER happens!
As we approached E18, I saw 8D and E standing in the Group 1 queue. I tempted fate and walked over, "This is going as smoothly as I've ever seen, gentlemen. I am cautiously optimistic about your chances." 8D smiled, of course. You can imagine the look on 8E! I asked, "May I ask what you have plans to see tonight?"
This is when 8E really surprised me. He turned and had immediate diarrhea of the mouth! "Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss. Curtain is at 2000..." He went on and on about how they'd looked forward to it, how they'd booked and paid online and were continuing an annual tradition of a different opera in a different city each year, etc, etc. I listened as my crew filed past to go onboard. When I had a chance, I mentioned that my partner, Philip, and I were doing practically the same thing in AMS in an annual tradition of our own. "We were planning to see Wagner's Lohengrin but didn't pre-purchase the tickets becasue we didn't want to take a chance..."
The look on his face was priceless. He went from angry to "I knew I shouldn't have been so impetuous.." in a split-second. That was my chance!
"Try not to beat yourself up about it. We're making good progress here. Looks like we might not be as late as we thought!" All the while I was thinking, "Who in their right mind would book and pay for something important and expensive scheduled within a few hours after an arrival from an international CONNECTION?!"
"Well, I'll see you onboard in a few minutes." With that, 8E smiled. It wasn't a big, all-is-well-with-the-world-smile, but it was a good start.
To be continued...

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