Surely we’ve all been guilty of doing this. Being late for an appointment. When it comes to meeting up with my friends I must admit, I have the tendency to always be fashionably late. I’ll text them ‘on my way’ when I’m actually still ‘nekked’ in front of my closet, deciding what to wear. But when business meetings are concerned I’m a professional. You really don’t get a second chance for that first impression so punctuality is key. Also, I can’t afford to be late for a flight either. Yes, my job will be on the line if I regularly have an airplane full of passengers waiting for me. I have these two reoccurring dreams (or nightmares really). One: I’m on a plane that doesn’t level off and flies dangerously low above water. And two: I’m late for a flight. It just so happens to be that nightmare number two actually happened…when I was still in my trail period at my current job. Let me tell you about what went down.
Finally the intense initial course full of exams and sleepless nights was over. I was officially ready to start working for my new employer and I couldn’t wait to fly again. The first weeks would consist of flights within Europe only. Fine, let’s do this. My suitcase was packed, my uniform was fresh and clean and I was ready to take over Europe. My first flight would be a return flight to Paris and then on to Warsaw to spend the night. I left the house right on schedule, airport bound. Everything was going fine and I was visualizing how my first week around Europe would be. That daydream roughly ended when I noticed that the traffic was starting to slow down. Crap..a traffic jam. The bridge on the highway (I still don’t understand why they made a bridge on one of the busiest highways in Holland) was open. Ok, no problem, I was still on time. Boat passes trough, bridge goes down, done. At least that’s how I hoped it would go. That did happen on the opposite side of the road. But on my side still nothing was happening. At first I was like, ‘relax, you’ll be on your way soon’. But it didn’t look good. People started to get out of their cars to sit on the guardrails and that’s when I really started to get nervous. I stepped out as well to see what was going on (like that would help) when a man asked me where I was going. I said ‘LA’ because I thought it sounded cooler than Paris (and it was really none of his business). When he said: ‘well, you can forget about that, this bridge has defaults every week, we’re going to be here for a while.
My career flashed right before my eyes. So this is it? I mean, I’m still in my trial period! I.can.not.be.late!! My head was spinning. What to do? Shall I call my mom? No, what could she do. Work, yes let’s start by notifying the proper department about my situation. I had a twist in my stomach. I explained everything and I was told to call back later on reporting time. I was freaking out. Why aren’t we moving yet? Then I got the most brilliant idea ever! Let’s call the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure! (I am not kidding you..) Yes because, during emergency situations like these they are the ones that can arrange things like moving guardrails and stuff. I googled ‘Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure’ and dialed the number. To this day I would have loved to see the look on that gentleman’s face when I asked if ‘someone could come and move the guardrails cause I’m in my trail period’!
Sadly nobody came over and changed the Dutch infrastructure for me. The guardrails stayed put and all there was left for me to do was wait. I called back the flight department like they told me to but, rookie mistake, I called back too soon. I got told very firmly that I really have to call back later. (Turns out there we’re more colleagues stuck in traffic behind me). When I called back at the correct time the ugly cry was already in full effect. They comforted me after they found out I was still in my trial period and told me not to worry.
After waiting for what seemed a lifetime the bridge was repaired and I was finally on my way to the airport. I missed the flight to Paris and got replaced by a colleague on standby. Later on I got reunited with my original crew and went straight to Warsaw. Luckily this whole ordeal didn’t have any consequences. I got through my trial period and didn’t suffer any damages. The only thing I get is a twist in my stomach every time I get near that bridge.