2016 May 07
It’s been raining for a week, but it’s been a fast week. Making sure everything was ready to go took until today. Suits. Shirts. Basketball notepads. Electronics. Reading material for countless hours of traveling. It’s not easy to uproot and head across the world for a few weeks. Thanks to a terrific and loving family and the support of friends, I am off on a great adventure. Over the next couple weeks, I am going to try to convey what I see and do. I hope you find it interesting.Currently, I am sitting at the Philadelphia Airport. I thought it would be a good idea to get here early, get through security and have no worries. Do you want to know why security lines are long and slow? Because Spirit Airlines closes at 11:30 am and doesn’t reopen until 2:30. So, I will spend my buffer hours waiting at the baggage check in. Then lots of us will head to security at the same time. Jam up the line, worry about being late and grumbling about it. Why Spirit why?
So, just for kicks I decide to call Spirit and see if there is something they can do. Navigating the electronic phone tree was easy. Which button do I press for an abandoned work station? It took a few minutes, of which I apparently had plenty, but soon Hannah was on the line to help me. She really couldn’t comprehend that not a single Spirit employee was there. In fact, she repeatedly told me the situation I was describing was “impossible”.
The next passenger to arrive walked up behind me and asked if I knew when they would be open. I told him what I knew and he dropped is bag in the not yet formed line, and walked away to sit on a nearby bench. He clearly didn’t fully conceptualize the term “unattended bag”. The next two passenger arrived together and obediently stood behind the lonely bag. Each passenger voiced concern over the lack of employees and tight timelines. Each tried to call the posted helpline, but was unsuccessful.
Around 2:15, a guy wearing a blue, standard issue work shirt arrived. He open his work station and away we went. Security was a breeze, and the departure beer was cold. A fitting reward for waiting out the line crisis. On to Los Angeles.
When I had collected my bag, I ventured out to the taxi stand. I told the guy who hails the cabs where I was going he said, “Why don’t you just take the shuttle and save $20?” Oh, the shuttle. Cool. I’ll do that. Thanks. The shuttle stops a several places before leaving the airport and we pick up a couple tall guys along the way. I am sitting in the second row as the guys start to chat. Polite introductions, leads to small talk about international work experiences. They kibitz about parties, and teams, and foreign play styles, and how much foreign players hate when you curse at them in their own language. Neither takes notice of the people in the van as they relax their speech to include quite colorful language and details of life abroad for a young, talented, and American player. I cannot wait to see their faces tomorrow at practice when I am introduced as the coach. And yes, I specifically did not interject myself into the conversation for that exact reason.