More Random Things You Might Not Know About Me

I can totally rock a Space Invaders t-shirt.
I can totally rock a Space Invaders t-shirt.
  • Most of my favorite shows are fictional stories like Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Game of Thrones, but I also enjoy a variety of different things, and one show I love is Penn and Teller’s Bullshit. I don’t agree with 100% of the things that they’ve said on the show, but I do agree with quite a lot of it, and I admire the way that they’re willing to talk about the unpopular opinions when they truly believe in that opinion.
  • I can sing at least one song, without forgetting any words, to every Disney Princess movie except Brave and Frozen, and only because I haven’t watched those particular ones enough to have the songs memorized. I regularly sing said songs at the top of my lungs when I know no one can hear me.
  • Moths and similar winged bugs freak me the hell out. I don’t mind them as long as they’re nowhere near me, but if they come close enough to touch me I lose my bloody mind.
  • When I was a little kid I had a Cricket talking doll that I loved to death. My mom’s coworker and friend used to call me on the phone and talk to me in Cricket’s voice and for years I really believed that it was the real Cricket who was talking to me.
  • I play a bit of guitar (although not that often anymore) but I am straight up phobia-level terrified of tuning the instrument. When I was young and taking lessons, my teacher had a string snap while he was retuning his guitar – a little surprising, but nothing too terrible there. Then a couple of years later I snapped a string because I hadn’t realized that particular string had somehow been wound up an octave too high. Again, it surprised me but was nothing too horrifying. But then I saw a horror movie in which a character broke a string on another instrument (I think it was a piano, but I can’t quite remember), and the string struck the character in the eye. A great deal of blood ensued. Ever since watching that scene, I can’t help but imagine myself getting hit in the eye by a flying broken string every time I have to tune my guitar. The only way I can get myself through it is to make sure the guitar strings are pointed as far away from my face as possible through the entire ordeal, and to wear a pair of safety glasses. I look like a total lunatic, but it’s the only way it’s going to happen.
  • I have a major pet peeve…about actual pets. I’ve always loved cats, but I have two and it absolutely enrages me how they run after me and wind around my legs and stand in the way of my feet as I walk whenever I get anywhere within ten feet of their food bowls. I might have just filled the bowls literally five minutes previous, but if I walk too close they’re on top of me again, tripping me while I try to carry laundry down the stairs or pawing at my feet when I turn toward the bathroom instead. And it makes me genuinely MAD. Maybe it’s a bit of an anger management thing, I dunno. All I know is that it makes me want to punt them down the stairs. 😛
  • I have a thing about certain scents. Some are reasonable, like the smell of sugar cookies, and some are weird, like the smell of Play Doh, and some send me straight into a nostalgia spiral back into my childhood. To this day certain smells immediately make me think about playing certain old video games or scribbling out stories in a notebook in the back of my mom’s car.
  • I am not, nor will I ever be, the kind of person who worries a ton about cleaning, but I absolutely wig out when I step on stuff (little crumbs or what-have-you) with bare feet. My entire house is hardwood and laminate flooring, so I wear socks 90% of the time to avoid stepping on little bits of things that didn’t get vacuumed up.
  • As a writer, I cringe when reading something that is poorly written, but – counter-intuitively – I have thoroughly enjoyed some books that were horribly written but had a fun plot.
  • For the first 27 years of my life I swore you would never get me on a plane because I figured I’d either have a panic attack from the height, or get violently ill because I occasionally have motion sickness. When I finally got on a plane for the first time in order to go away for work, I experienced either. My ears popped pretty bad during the first flight, but that was it. Color me surprised.
  • Once, at a wedding when I was about twelve years old, there was a big platter of nanaimo bars on the buffet table, and no one was really eating them. By the time the reception was over I had eaten a good dozen of those squares. And they weren’t small either.
  • When I’m working out West I tend to eat better because all the food is provided for me and it’s pretty easy to just grab some salad fixins and a chicken breast. But once a week or so I skip supper all together, buy a huge bag of chips and some cream soda from the convenience store, and spend the night gorging and watching shows on my tablet.
  • I get a strange enjoyment out of writing these “random things” posts because they force me to really think about myself and pick out the information that I didn’t even realize I was keeping to myself. 😀

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 28

My blog is not what you would call a “big deal”. My readers mostly consist of close friends and family members who click on the links that I post to Facebook. I get approximately 30 views a day on average, and it’s quite rare that any of those viewers bother to comment on any of my posts. And that’s okay…I’m still just budding, after all.

But since my blog is not exactly the “next big thing” in Internet entertainment, I can’t help but get a little giddy when people actually do drop by. This week, to my surprise, I got three new blog followers, as well as a handful of Twitter followers. It was a very pleasant surprise, so I thought I’d mention it and wave, “HI!” to the newbies who are dropping in here. Love you guys! Please keep coming! I’m so lonely! 😀

Health and Body Image Goal

Hahahahaha… Over the past 28 weeks I have not dedicated myself enough to see any really decent results. If you’ve been reading, you know this. I lost maybe 1 or 2 pounds, and a (small) area or two may have toned up a bit. And over the past week I believe I have somehow managed to undo even those tiny victories. I don’t know how it happened, but without gaining any actual weight (according to the scale) I’ve somehow managed to get bigger. Half of my clothes are tight and the other half I can’t get into without breaking the seams. Even my bathing suit refused to let me into it. I feel really rotten about it, if you want to know, but you probably don’t want to know, so let’s move on, shall we?

Editing Goal

I’m still plugging away at my supernatural romance, hoping to get it finished by the end of the month. I didn’t get to look at it much this week, since I spent a good chunk of the weekend away from home for a wedding, but I’m getting there, really. I swear.

In addition, because of what I’ve been reading in craft books and some tips I’ve been stumbling across online, I’ve got lots of ideas for the revision and editing of my zombie apocalypse novel when I get to it. I feel really good about making it a better novel over all. Very exciting.

1,000,000 Word Goal

I definitely didn’t get as much writing in this week as I had originally planned (*cough*hoped), but a few words are a few words, I suppose. I managed to squeak in 4490 words, which isn’t the worst I’ve done, anyway. I’ve been finding it hard to get myself in front of a computer these days. Also, I’ve been trying to read all the craft books that I got, which is slowing me down because I’m taking my time and trying to really understand what I’m reading. On the upside, what I’ve been reading so far is giving me ideas for blog posts, so there’s a small victory. 🙂

I completely botched the 750 Words challenge as soon as I got home from out West, but things are calming down now, so I think I’m going to return to it, if only to get some ramblings out of my head each morning. What I write there probably won’t be anything worth sharing, but it will keep me writing and get my brain flowing, or so I hope. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Until next week!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 27

So here we are, on the first week of the second half of the year. It’s time for another accountability post, and I’ve got a confession to make.

That confession is: I have almost nothing to report.

I have done almost no writing, absolutely no editing, I’ve been eating terrible amounts of junky food, and the only exercise I’ve gotten is chasing the baby around. In fact, I’ve really got pretty much nothing of note to report.

Do you want to know why?

Because I’m home. I’m home for a while, with no threat of leaving again any time in the near future, and I’m enjoying it.

I know I can’t slack off forever, but I’ve been having a blast just being mommy and wife. You want to know what I’ve done this past week?

I arrived home on Wednesday and spent the rest of that day just rolling around with my daughter, enjoying the way she turns into a little barnacle when I come home.

On Friday my husband and I packed the baby into our car and we went shopping. We bought presents for my father and his mother (birthdays coming up), grabbed a stuffed Big Bird and Zoe for the baby (which she became extremely attached to), bought some games and fun stuff for ourselves, and picked up a couple of things that we can put away for the baby’s birthday or Christmas.

The next morning, on Saturday, we drove down home for the niece’s birthday party, where we ate barbecue, Ninja Turtle cupcakes, and ice cream cake while the kids had an absolute blast in the pool.

Sunday we took the baby to the parade for the Festival of the Strait (where she received a ton of candy), then I took her to the recreation grounds where she absolutely lost her mind in a giant Disney Princess bouncy castle with a huge slide inside, and in the evening we took her to the free concert after which she “ooh”ed and “ahh”ed and giggled like a maniac at the fireworks.

And yesterday we recovered by staying inside and relaxing.

Doesn’t that all sound awesome? Because it totally was. And during none of it did I worry about writing, editing, eating well, or exercising. Perhaps I should have…but I didn’t. So you’ll excuse me (I hope) when I tell you that I wrote a grand total of 1010 words in the past week, did not so much as glance at any editing, and probably gained a pound or two worth of ice cream cake.

Sorry, I was busy enjoying LIFE!

girlsswimming
Pictured: Life Being Enjoyed

With that said, I do know that I’ve got to get down to business at some point (even if I have a ton of other things coming up…wedding…visits…more festivals…), and with that in mind I have a few things to mention.

First of all, I’ve gone on a bit of a learning kick. I know that my zombie apocalypse story isn’t the “next great American novel”, and I know that I myself still have a ton to learn about being a good writer, so I’m taking it upon myself to start actually doing the research. I’ve purchased three books to start myself off with:
Kristen Lamb’s Rise of the Machines
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way
Stephen King’s On Writing

From Kristen I hope to learn how to build a viable author platform (which, a year ago, I didn’t even know was a thing). From Julia I hope to learn some tricks and exercises to make myself a better, more efficient writer. From Stephen…well, I just hope to learn something because I love his writing and in case you haven’t notice, he’s been a wee bit successful.

I’m halfway through Kristen’s book right now, and already learning a lot, so if anyone has any suggestions for some other craft books I might want to read after these three, please feel free to let me know!

The second thing I want to mention is a bit of a vanity thing…upon publishing yesterday’s post I noticed that today would mark my 300th post on this blog. It may not be one of those super-satisfying numbers like 1000, but this is a big deal to me. A few months ago I surpassed a year of doing this blog, and now I can officially say that I’ve written several hundred posts. How awesome is that? Maybe I have a little bit of persistence in me after all!

fireworks

And with that, I bid you adieu for the day. I have a lot of things to do, the least of which is definitely not jumping on my daughter’s bed and helping her cuddle all her Sesame Street characters. Ta!

Go With the Flow. It’s Going to Drag You Along With it Anyway!

Planning versus pantsing. It’s one of the great debates amongst writers. Which is the best? Why? What are the pros and cons of each?

I’ve discussed this before, but with Camp NanoWriMo just ending (I failed to reach my goal by the way…very sad about that) I figured I’d bring it up again, since Nano has been traditionally all about pantsing.

For those who don’t know, “pantsing” (or “flying by the seat of your pants”), is basically the exact opposite of planning. Rather than work out your plot line, character archs, and important scenes beforehand, you just write, going for quantity over quality, and deal with the results in editing.

Today I’m going to discuss a different kid of proponent for “pantsing”. I’m going to discuss my wedding.

Many women plan their wedding to death. They drill every detail into the ground. What color are the napkins going to be? Oh no, we can’t sit Aunt Agnus next to Cousin Greg! My shoes can’t have a silver beading on them, it all has to be white!!!!

You can’t really blame them too much because for many women their wedding is the most important day of their life, something they’ve been waiting for since they were little girls. It has to be perfect. It has to be flawless. Any misstep will follow her around for the rest of her days.

Right?

When I first started planning my wedding I was a little crazy as well. Even though I didn’t even want half of the bells and whistles that one is used to seeing at a wedding, I still wanted it to be perfect. No room for error!

But here’s the thing…things started going wrong almost immediately. Little things at first, like when I couldn’t find a printer to do the invitations. Then it was big things, like when two of my hubby’s three groomsmen had to cancel. Finally it was an enormous thing: we heard word that our venue – a bed-and-breakfast style inn with lovely grounds – was going out of business. I’ll admit, in those days I nearly had a nervous breakdown. At the time that we heard about the venue we only ha about two months to the wedding, and the invites had all already been sent. How was I going to find another venue this late and communicate the change to some 200 possible guests? I spent more than one work day gritting my teeth and trying not to burst into tears in front of all my coworkers.

As it turned out, the venue held on a little longer and we were still able to have the wedding there. When I found this out not only did a huge weight life from my shoulders, but my entire attitude toward the wedding changed. I realized that yes, things were going to go wrong. Things were going to turn out differently than I imagined. Things were not going to be perfect and flawless. That’s just life. And when I realized this and accepted it, it made all the difference to my psyche.

No, relaxing and letting things flow did not suddenly and magically make everything work out wonderfully. We still had lots of issues. My wedding dress almost wasn’t hemmed in time. The venue manager forgot to order the tent, which would have been a disaster of it had rained. My bridesmaids and I woke up the morning off feeling sick as dogs. My uncle mistook the seating set-up for the church equivalent and had the front row completely empty, expecting the wedding party to sit there. My mother-in-law went head-over-heels trying to get a picture of me coming down the aisle. I could go on, but the point is that it doesn’t matter. Despite everything we had to deal with before and during the wedding day, the wedding was beautiful. We got married on the sunniest day we’d seen yet that summer. My best friend’s father played beautiful music for us and we took hundreds of gorgeous pictures. We had a ton of fun drinking and dancing with our friends and family. And in the end, the most important bit happened: my husband and I traded rings and became man and wife.

I tell you all of this not because I think “pantsing it” is the only way to go. I’m not trying to convince you that everything will be cupcakes and unicorn rides if you just go with the flow. But if you can convince yourself I the truth – that nothing in this world is perfect and that trying to obtain perfection, especially on the first try, is tantamount to insanity – you’ll be a lot better off. I could have obsessed about every little thing that went askew with my wedding, but I choose to focus on everything that went right, because that’s what really matters.

I challenge you to apply this way of thinking to many areas of your life, whether it be your own wedding, writing a book, building a house, teaching yourself a new skill, expectations you have for your children, or any other number of life events. I won’t promise that everything will magically work out for the better, but I’d be willing to bet that you’ll be significantly less stressed out.

The Incredible Journey

Alternate title: Why Air Canada should be burned to the ground.

I have no more of a temper than the average person. I may even be inclined to say that my temper is a little more tempered (see what I did there?) than the average person’s. I’ve been known to let my emotions fly, but if you could see inside my brain you’d also see that a large percentage of my most violent rages were kept safely inside my imagination where they could do no one any harm (except possibly myself).

This past week can not be counted amongst that ‘large percentage’. This past week my rage grew in leaps and bounds, and those who were near me at the time got to hear some rather imaginative strings of profanity. It was all the result of the actions of a major airline that evidently enjoys seeing just how much they can cheese their customers off.

Air Canada: herein after known as The Devil’s Own Airline.

For those who don’t know, or who are just stumbling across this blog entry while surfing the web, expressing their own hatred for The Devil’s Own Airline, I currently work in the oil sands of Alberta, while still living back home in Nova Scotia. My shift is two weeks on, two weeks off, so every two weeks I’m flying 3/4 of the way across Canada, either heading out to work, or heading home. On the date in question, Tuesday July 31st, I was to head home, along with some 40 of my coworkers.

Now, the thing about “heading home” day is that the only flight we Eastern Canadians can get out of Fort McMurrary, that also coincides with bus schedules and the like, leaves Fort M at 12:20 am. If you’re like me and you sometimes screw up your am and pm when it comes to the 12s on the clock, that’s 20 minutes after midnight. While not nearly as big an issue as the others that would arise later, this is my first strike against Air Canada. I have it on good authority that many companies, my own included, have asked Air Canada to put more flights on out of Fort M, as these companies are shipping thousands of people back and forth across the country every week. Air Canada said…no. That was pretty much it. No. No, we evidently don’t want any extra business, thanks, we’re fine.

Whatever. I’m no business person, but…yeah. I’m not going to get into it.

Anyway, our flight leaves at 20 minutes past midnight. This is doubly unfortunate because the buses that ship us from camp to the airport (a 2 hour trip if the traffic is good) don’t run past 7 pm or so, so we are generally dropped off at the airport at about 6 pm. You math geniuses out there have figured it out, but for the rest of you that means my coworkers and I have a 6 hour wait before our plane leaves. Because of this extended wait, it has become a custom for many to travel down the road to the Nova hotel to hang out in their lounge, or else catch a taxi into town to find some food and/or drink. It’s a completely reasonable thing to do with a 6-hour wait time, but on this particular day it would prove to exacerbate our upcoming torments.

You see, only a few of my coworkers and I decided to stay at the airport…but those of us who did had decided to sit in the airport bar, have a bite to eat, and watch the London 2012 Olympics on their tvs. From this area of the airport we could neither see the Arrivals/Departures screen, nor could we hear any of the announcements being made over the loudspeakers. By the time one of the men  happened to be walking to the washroom and glanced up at the flights screen it had been approximately two hours since our 12:20 am flight had been cancelled.

The next little while was, of course, panic. The man who’d noticed the cancellation immediately began calling everyone back from the hotel/restaurants/bars/etc that they’d run off to and very soon the airport was full of panicked and upset oil sands workers. My buddy ran back to the airport bar to get me and tell me what had happened, and for a moment I thought he was screwing with me. I generally fall for these sorts of things, you see, but I was in fine form tonight…until I looked up at the screen and saw the big red “Cancelled” for myself. Then my stomach dropped like a bag of bricks. I spent several minutes after that texting my husband while the wings I’d been eating worked black magic on my stomach and my coworkers tried to work out what the hell we were going to do.

As it turned out, Toronto airport (which was our first of several layovers) was experiencing some pretty nasty thunderstorms and everything had shut down. May I note here, for anyone who is not from Canada or has never flown before, that this is probably the worst airport that could have shut down. Toronto International is a major hub and I don’t think I’d be exaggerating to say that more than half of cross-country flights go through there. So it wasn’t just we lowly oil sands workers who had been caught with our pants down…it was half the country.

Now, thunderstorms aren’t exactly something an airport can control. No one is blaming The Devil’s Own Airline (or any other airline for that matter) for an “act of God”, as that would be foolish. No no…the blaming comes as a result of the series of events that occurred in relation to the thunderstorm issue.

First and foremost, as I imagine many of you would also do, my coworkers and I ran to the Devil’s Own Airline desk in the Fort M airport. Surely these people would be able to give us a few answers, tell us what we should be doing. Oh, how naive. Before we’d even found out that our flight (along with many, many others) had been cancelled, these nice ladies had had their computers locked out. Let me impress that point on you a little further: The Devil’s Own Airline actually blocked their own employees from being able to help paying customers whose flights had been cancelled. Literally, their computers would not let them do anything. The reasoning they gave had something to do with not knowing how long the storms would last, whether or not the planes would eventually be able to fly, and not wanting every customer to change their flight (thus possibly ending up with some empty planes). In other words, it was a financial decision. People all over the country were kept from obtaining any help with their cancelled flights because The Devil’s Own Airline didn’t want to inadvertently waste fuel on a not-full plane. Look at the tears I’m crying for them. ._.

So anyway, the desk ladies couldn’t help us. The only suggestion they could give was to either go to the “cancelled flights” page of the company’s website, or call the hotline. I checked the website immediately, via my iPhone, but when I gave my booking reference number the site quickly informed me that it had, like the desk attendants, been blocked. It began to seem to me, at this point, that The Devil’s Own Airline actually wanted us to all just sit around patiently and wait like good little paying drones. I am not patient. Just saying.

So it was now approximately 10:30 pm, and my 40+ coworkers and I were gathered in the airport, utilizing the only method left to us. That is, calling the hotline…along with the rest of the goddamn country. The first guy to get through – after approximately two hours on hold – was immediately swarmed by the rest of the crew, the idea being that he would pass the phone on after he got his flight re-booked. We were soon stymied again, however, as the call center attendants refused to let him do this. Their argument was that it was unfair to all the other people who were calling in and waiting on hold. Now, while I understand the reasoning behind this decision, it ignores a certain issue…this being that not all of us had cellphones. We were a two hour drive from camp, stuck in an airport with only one public phone, and approximately 20% of our crew didn’t have a cellphone. This meant that those without a phone would have to wait until those with a phone were done. Since the wait time on the hotline was approximately 2 hours, that meant that some of our crew had to wait 4 or even 6 hours before able to speak to a representative, by which time there were simply no possible flights left. How exactly is that fair?

By the end of the night (approximately 1 in the morning), about a third of our crew had weaseled their way onto a flight heading to Calgary (from where they had no idea where they were going to head next), about another third had managed to get new flights leaving the next day, and the other third were unable to get anything until Thursday evening or sometime Friday. Let me reiterate that: we had been driven to the airport on Tuesday evening and some of our crew had no chance of leaving Fort McMurray until Friday. All the time while on their days off.

My buddy and I were two of the lucky ones to get flights the next day, Wednesday. Our original flight would have been from Fort M to Toronto, then to Halifax, and for me to Sydney. Our new flight had us going from Fort M to Calgary, then to Montreal, and after an extended wait we’d be on to Halifax and Sydney. The new bookings would take us twice as long as our original ones, but by the time our 2:30 pm flight was drawing near we had heard a million and one worse horror stories. The boys who had flown to Calgary the night before had gotten stuck there. A few boys were getting home to New Brunswick that day, but were landing on the wrong side of the province and would have to drive a rental several hours just to get to their vehicles, after which they’d have to drive several more hours to get home. And some terribly, terribly unlucky guys had decided to stay at the Nova hotel and try calling the hotline in the morning…their laid-back attitude got them stuck in Fort McMurray until Saturday. Saturday. So all in all, my buddy and I were feeling pretty lucky as we made a beeline for our 2:30 flight.

As we were boarding our flight to Calgary, however, I heard the first of what would turn out to be a number of vexing situations: our flight had been overbooked…by ten people. This amazes me still. How do you sell 10 seats that have already been sold? Needless to say, 10 people didn’t make it onto the plane. I can only imagine how those people must have felt, especially if they had been one of the many people who had already had to rebook their flight due to the thunderstorms. But the best part? Even if they’d been sitting in the airport all day, waiting for the flight, these people only found out they weren’t getting on their plane when the plane started boarding. They didn’t tell them until the last possible minute. The only thing I can figure is that The Devil’s Own Airline was hoping that 10 people simply wouldn’t show up, allowing these people to fill the plane…I doubt that train of thought comforts the 10 people who didn’t get on the flight that they paid for and were waiting all day to get on.

So my buddy and I made it to Calgary. Calgary was fairly uneventful, but I will say this: after a three-hour wait for our connecting flight, not only was the plane delayed by almost an hour because the flight attendants hadn’t shown up yet, but the plane was goddamn overbooked by 8 people! Now I was starting to be amazed. Again, I ask, how the hell do you sell seats that are already sold?! If this is common business practice, I want to spit on the face of The Devil’s Own Airline’s CEO. Flying standby is one thing, but you can’t sell people tickets showing that they’re getting on a damn plane and then tell them that they can’t get on the damn plane because you sold them non-existent tickets!

On to Montreal we went, and a 7 hour wait through the middle of the night. Fun times, those. Trying to sleep in airport seats is an amazing experience, really. You should all try it. [/sarcasm]

As a quick side note that has nothing to do with The Devil’s Own Airline, the security check employees in the Montreal airport take their jobs way too seriously. The girl at the front of the baggage scanner gave me the most evil eye I’d ever experienced when I asked her to speak English. The guy at the end of the baggage scanner opened every single pocket on my purse and laptop bag and rifled through every single item, bending up all my boarding passes and knocking a couple of makeup items to the floor, without so much as a grunt at me. Finally, the “random-check” guy grabbed my buddy and practically shoved him in the full-body x-ray, without ever explaining to him that he has the right to be patted down instead. All in all, we felt rather abused by the time we got to our gate.

Moving on with the exploits of The Devil’s Own Airline: after having a 7 hour wait, during which our gate was unexpectedly changed to be as far away from where we were as humanly possible, our plane was delayed by an hour because the pilot hadn’t shown up. Okay, sure, whatever, par for the course. But then it was delayed for another hour because the pilot still hadn’t shown up. Okay, now we’re starting to wonder how a pilot just doesn’t show up for his flight. But okay, we’re waiting, we’re waiting. I’m starting to get concerned because it’s going to be tight to catch my connection to Sydney, but we’re waiting.

Then our flight was delayed for three more hours. Because a new pilot was being flown in from halfway across the country. At this point the rage was palpable. Almost no one on that flight was actually going to Halifax. Almost everyone had connections to different places, most notably a couple who were heading to a wedding in Saint John’s, Newfoundland, and now had absolutely no chance of making it in time for the nuptials. Myself, I was now officially going to miss my connection flight from Halifax to Sydney. When I mentioned this to the lady at the gate desk her reaction was to shrug a little and tell me that I’d have to rebook that flight. As I’d already had to do this once, and it had required a two hour wait on hold, I decided to check the airline’s website to see if there were even any flights available. What I found was that the next flight I could get, that actually had some seats left, didn’t leave Halifax until approximately 28 hours after I would get there. For those who don’t know, you can drive the entire length of Nova Scotia in about 8-9 hours. I could have driven from Halifax to Sydney and back again twice and would still have a couple of hours to wait for my flight. As it turns out, my buddy had a van waiting in Halifax and was driving most of the way toward where I live, so he offered to drive me. I accepted and all was well, but that doesn’t make it better. For all intents and purposes, The Devil’s Own Airline stole money from my company by forcing me to miss my connection and being both unable and unwilling to help me get a new flight in a reasonable amount of time.

After that most recent delay, the gate attendant started handing out meal vouchers “for our trouble”. Guess how much money was on them? Ten bucks. Ten bucks, for being delayed half the waking day and missing our connecting flights during a time when it’s impossible to book new ones. Thanks guys. We really appreciated it, seriously.

By the time we finally got on our flight from Montreal to Halifax we had been delayed twice more (making the total delay time approximately 6 hours), moved to another gate again, and at the last possible minute the desk attendants announced (guess what?!) that the flight was overbooked by 8 people and they were hoping some volunteers would come forward to take a later flight. That is so wrong for several reasons. For one thing, everyone on that flight (presumably) paid for that flight, making it ridiculous to request that they not take it. For another thing, we’d been delayed SIX HOURS. Why are you just now bringing this up?! Clearly they were hoping that some people would, like…just give up and go home or something, but that is the most awful business ethic I’ve ever heard. For a final thing, why would anyone give up their seat on the plane, knowing that all flights for the next several days are completely screwed up and they’d be lucky to get on another flight in less than 48 hours?

And finally, to add insult to injury, as we finally stepped off the plan in Halifax, an attendant was waiting at the gate to offer us discount vouchers for our next flight. The vouchers gave no indication as to how much the discount might be, but did indicate that we had no more than 30 days to use them. One particularly angry customer (I believe he may have been heading to that wedding I mentioned earlier) snatched a handful of them out of the attendants hand, tore them into a hundred pieces, and scattered them all over the floor at her feet. Not one other customer so much as cracked a smile at the outburst, as we were all feeling that it was the calmest thing he could have done.

So, to reiterate, Air Canada workers were not only unhelpful during this entire ordeal, but they were regularly (and seemingly deliberately) obstructive. Every step of the way it seemed as though they were actually trying to screw up our flights, trying to make us as angry as possible. And I was one of the lucky ones who still managed to get where I was going less than 48 hours late!

And that, my friends, is why I think Air Canada should be burned to the ground. They clearly have no sense of business ethic or customer satisfaction at all. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Air Canada. Thanks for making me lose a full day home with my daughter after being out West for two weeks straight.