Tuesday, May 13, 2008

24 hours and counting

24 hours from now I will be on a plane to Portland. –More about the airline later.

I shipped the last of the samples yesterday. They went directly to the convention center. That took care of everything that I don’t have room for in my suitcase. The new $25 fee for a second bag "rule" is going to wreak havoc with Market attendees. Normally I would be taking an additional suitcase to bring goodies home in, but with an additional $25 fee from the airline and the joy of schlepping it myself…. I think I will let UPS do the honors.

Here is a photo of how the bargello bag turned out. I intended it to be a technique suggestion that you can apply to ANY bag, your FAVORITE bag pattern. I included the photo on my handout and captioned it “any bag”. Do you want to venture a guess on how many shop owners will call the shop after Market to see of we have any of the “Any Bag” patterns in stock?

Schoolhouse is a mind altering experience. After several hours of listening to anyone and everyone give you their sales pitch, recommendations and suggestions it becomes very difficult to keep everything straight. I try to keep it as simple as possible, provide handouts with the highlights, upload videos to watch when they get home, but there is always something that everyone seems to be confused by. After looking over my handouts (that shipped in that box) I feel pretty confident that the “any bag” is going to be it.

It feels good to have everything finished and shipped. My pants are hemmed; my suitcase is ready to pack. The prom, after prom, breakfast after the prom and recuperation from loss of sleep is over. Deb and I have reviewed our list of “wants” and “needs” from Market, now all I have to do is go SHOP! Shop, teach, attend meetings and figure out how to make the Mac talk to the camera so that I can send photos with the blog.

Now about that airline: I will be the first to admit that I have lousy travel karma. If something is going to go wrong, it is usually with my flight, so I do my best to prevent problems before I leave home. For this trip, to get the best price and best flight times, I had to purchase and pay for my ticket months ago. I booked a later in the day (10:00 am) flight that stopped in Denver. My plan was to not have to get up in the middle of the night and with the time change I would still be in Portland in time to help with set-up on the first day, which is a LONG day when you add 3 hours to it!

First I received a message that they had changed the flight time to a bit earlier. Then another message that they changed my flight to stop in Cincinnati instead of Denver, and that flight left a bit earlier. The next message informed me that they canceled that flight and rebooked me on the even EARLIER flight, at 7am. This requires that I be at the airport by 6 which means I will be up at 4:30am. Set-up in Portland lasts until 10:00pm, which translates to 1:00am our time.

My flight home originally was scheduled to leave Portland around 10:30am with a stop in Detroit and I was to be home here in Pittsburgh about 3:45 in the afternoon. That flight was canceled too. They offered me the choice of Portland, Houston, Pittsburgh or Portland, Newark, Pittsburgh. I went with Newark, I know how many flights they have to Pittsburgh and if something happens I have a better chance of getting on another flight. My trip home now starts at 7am and I get home at 8:45pm if I’m lucky. I've taken that Newark to Pittsburgh flight numerous times and I am rarely home before 10:30.

Why is it that in every other industry offering a product or service that needs to be paid for in advance and then delivering something else is considered bait-and-switch? The airlines can rearrange your life on their terms and if you aren’t satisfied – too bad, but if you try to make one teeny-tiny little adjustment, you better have your credit card available to cover the fees. I can just imagine running a quilt class having everyone purchase their materials, show up for class only to find out that I had started it several hours earlier and that we weren’t making a quilt, it was now a table runner class. Oh, if you decide to bring more than one ruler to class – there would be an additional fee.

Wish me luck on this one…….

Hopefully you will hear from me from Portland!


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