A Bad Day At The Airport

The events described below took place yesterday:

It all started out this morning with a flight that my wife and I were early for. Enter a call from a reporter for a French newspaper who wanted information on the Alcatel/Lucent merger. I love reporter calls, this one included. I loved the call so much in fact I decided to stay on it so I could make the reporter’s deadline.

Consequently I missed my flight. Trying to leave Miami on standby is not easy on a weekend or Monday — or so I am told. Today was no exception. I spent the day sprinting from gate to gate hoping to catch a flight back to LaGuardia Airport.

While trying to escape Miami I thought to myself, why am I leaving? I even thought about relocating TMC headquarters down to Miami today but I am sure few of my coworkers would make the trip. Who wants to live in the snow anyway I thought.

I had lots of time to think as my wife and I were bumped time and time again until my wife (certainly the brains of this operation) suggested we split up. Wait a minute I thought, this is the same woman that just spied Paris Hilton in the airport and felt compelled to tell me the guy Paris was with was cute.

Did she find a flight with Paris and her friend I thought? Nahh — that was a few hours ago, by now Paris is probably long gone. So I agreed and my wife left on the next plane out of Miami.

The following plane was a few hours away and was delayed and then delayed and then guess what — delayed. When I finally got to the gate (surprise!) they had a ticket already printed with my name on it.

So I got on the flight only to hear that we will be rerouted in mid-flight to avoid storms. New arrival time is now 12:30 am. Thankfully 30 minutes later we were re-re-routed and I think that means landing sooner than 12:00 am.

About 10 minutes ago the person across from me — diagonally — started to feel sick and they put him on oxygen and he was rubbing ice on his face. The flight attendants are calling for an MD but there doesn’t seem to be one. I believe a nurse came by already.

I am too awake to sleep and too out of it to write an article so I figured today’s blog entry would just be my personal diary from the day. I guess I could read but I am almost done with Popular Science (do you know Porsche now makes a $150,000 watch??? — the insanity) and have already read every newspaper around from the New York Times, USA Today and Miami Herald. There is a copy of the New Yorker Magazine around but I am way too unsophisticated to appreciate any of it. I kept skimming it wondering how people derive value from such a publication. No offense intended mind you I am just a news and tech junkie I suppose and I don’t think I can learn to appreciate their level of journalism (which I do admire and respect but just don’t appreciate).

Earlier today I ran into two people in the airport — one from Aspect — Formerly Davox/Cellit/Concerto and one from NexTone. While I am thinking about it I also ran into Victor Bozzo from NexTone last week at the Voice Peering event. As Victor explains it their products are perfect for peering not only for service providers but for enterprise and call center customers. I am impressed with Victor, his enthusiasm for the job and what NexTone is up to. He is in sales but makes a great marketing person as well. Most sales people are ill-equipped to deal with media relations and I was surprised to hear he was in sales.

Oh, new problem, there is now a fight between the flight attendant and a passenger just two rows up.

It has been one of those days but I am very happy to be heading home and to see the kids for a day before I go to CTIA.

That reminds me that I got an e-mail from Ephraim Cohen — if you remember a while back he told me that wages in India and China will rise over time and their competitive advantage over the US will lessen.

I also posted an entry a while back explaining that something similar happened in Japan. Remember we used to fear Japan as they started to take away more and more American jobs. Then their standard of living started to skyrocket making them less competitive.

Well there is a story in the New York Times today that echoes this sentiment and explains how more Chinese are going to college and skipping factory jobs. What this means is a shortage of factory workers. The remaining workers will likely receive better benefits and working conditions.

All of this comes with an increase in wages that will increase the costs we all pay for Chinese goods but the bright side is fewer jobs from other parts of the world will be lost to this booming country.

It seems that Vietnam is now taking the low paying jobs from China. A while back the same trend started with Indian call centers outsourcing their entry level jobs to the Philippines. Ephraim was right and the speed at which his predications have come true are amazing. I suppose they probably even surprise him.

Getting back to this flight, the one thing I am happy with is the fact I have taken so many flights on American Airlines in my life as this has no doubt helped me get out of Miami today. A few more days in Miami would not have been a bad thing but since my luggage and wife (not in order of importance mind you) are already waiting for me in New York, staying in Miami doesn’t sound too fun.

So I hope my travels to CTIA are less eventful and I hope I get there and back without a hitch. I love my job and my travel but am looking forward to spending quality time with the kids.

So if I am a bit unresponsive with e-mail for a week or so it isn’t that I am ignoring you — I will certainly get to your message as soon as I stay in one place long enough to download and upload my messages.

Until then, I hope all your standbys are successful and your connecting flights are always there for you. And remember not to fly standby in Miami on the weekend or Monday.

  • Ephraim Cohen
    April 4, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for remembering those predictions about the cost of labor in India and China going up. I was thinking of the economics of past industry specific cycles – such as car manufacturing. However, what I find most amazing is the speed with which the global technology industry has developed (first moving overseas and then seeing those labor costs rise only within a few years). My guess is that technology has a lot, if not everything, to do with these economic cycles happening at a much faster rate. I’m sure some tech-productivity economist is working on the study right now.

  • Ted
    April 4, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    Hey Rich, get some sleep buddy.

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