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Robert’s not-so-excellent adventure: part 2

Robert Polk //June 15, 2010//

Robert’s not-so-excellent adventure: part 2

Robert Polk //June 15, 2010//

Editor’s note: this is the second of three parts. Read part one here.)

I went and sat back down when another poor soul who had also misconnected walked in. I could hear him explain his sad story to the three baggage claim employees (who I had now nicknamed the Three Stooges – as you can tell I was out of patience).

He was looking for his bag as he was going to drive to Columbia, Missouri. He was told, “no problem” and that his bag would be right up. In a matter of minutes the carrousel started, his bag appeared and he headed off into the night. The carrousel then stopped and I found myself really unhappy with the three stooges at that point.

As the Three Stooges continued to do absolutely nothing, a ramp worker walked into the office and said all of the Denver bags were up and he was headed home. I said, “Wait a minute! I was on that Denver flight and I do not have my bag.” After describing my bag, he said he knew exactly where it was and he would bring it to me immediately, which he did.

He went on to say he had not been notified about what to do with my bag. I looked at the three stooges who had assured me they were doing all possible and none of the three could look me in the eye. If I thought Tennessee prisons would have been a nice place to spend several years I would have gone over the counter with a golf club and done some fancy work on the three stooges.

With luggage finally in hand I headed out of Memphis International to find Evansville, Indiana. I was already grumpy, tired and very hungry. If the golf tournament had been an individual event, I would have just spent the night in Memphis and gotten back on the next flight to Denver. But my tournament partner was already in Evansville and it is hard to win a two-man tournament if one man does not show up.

While I was on the flight to Memphis, I had determined that Paducah, Kentucky would be a good stopping off point for the night if I misconnected and had to drive. I called my wife and told her I was planning to spend the night in Paducah. She smartly suggested I ask our office to make me a hotel reservation. I assured her there could not possibly be a need for that, because what could cause Paducah, Kentucky to not have any hotel rooms on a Thursday night? This was the first of a series of wrong assumptions I made.

I was also sure someone at Hertz in Memphis could tell me the best way to reach Paducah. This was my second wrong assumption.

A very, very patient agent from our office offered to send driving directions to my BlackBerry, but I said it would be too hard to read and I would be fine. That was the third wrong assumption I made…and it was a costly one.

I grabbed a Hertz map on the bus ride from the terminal to the Hertz center, but it did not show Paducah. I assumed that when I find something to eat I could also find a good map. Yet another wrong assumption!

I stopped in three different 7-11 type places in search of a map that might show the best route to Paducah. None had a map that went that far North. At the last stop I found three state troopers and asked the best way to find Paducah. These three were only slightly more helpful than the three stooges at the airport, despite the fact that the bar had been set very low.

I determined that State Highway 51 out of Memphis was my best bet. The only problem was — I could not find State Highway 51.

Next week: Yes — it gets even worse.

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