Traveling like a consultant

Perhaps it was pure coincidence that I watched Up in the Air last night... pretty good movie which I highly recommend, by the way.

As a former consultant, I maximize efficiency. At the airport, that means minimize the time I spend waiting for others. So when I switched a 5pm flight to a 10pm flight because a meeting ran overtime, I've already planned how to leisurely stroll into my seat a minute after the gates close. Game plan: leave office at 740pm, arrive at boat terminal at 8pm for a 815pm 30 minute boat ride to arrive at 845pm, giving me more than enough time to enjoy the lounge and have dinner there.

Instead, here's what transpired...

Actually, perhaps the seeds were planted even earlier...

140pm: Meeting ran overtime... going to miss my flight... checking flight scheds... email travel agent to switch me to a later flight...
230pm: Travel agent emailed "no flight at 1010pm"
240pm: WTF are you talking about (No, I didn't say that...), it's CX 709
241pm: Oh... you are flying from HK, not Bangkok!
242pm: OMG, you are a fucking idiot (No, I didn't say that...)
740pm: Leaving the office...
750pm: uh oh, the main road to the terminal is blocked for no apparent reason
803pm: 12 minutes to get a ticket, go thru customs and immigration
804pm: Sorry, we accept cash only for boat tickets
804pm: WTF... (No, I didn't say that...)
805pm: Bought ticket... with cash
805pm: Sir, you have to check in your flight over there
805pm: Sir, we can't see your reservation
808pm: (Fiddling with my Blackberry) Here's my reservation number, flight number... and my previous flight number
811pm: Sir, here's your reservation. But... we can't let you on the boat unless you have a ticket... and we can't give you a ticket unless you've paid the fee for changing your ticket...
811pm: Urrr... here's my credit card
812pm: And we can't accept payments here...
812pm: WTF... (I did say that...) let me find my travel agent at 812pm. WTF... (I did say that) Sorry, I'm not swearing at you, I'm swearing at my idiot travel agent...
813pm: (Annoying customer waiting behind me) Excuse me, can you guys open another line to serve us?
815pm: (After some phone calls...) Sir, we can let you on the boat. We've held it for you. Please run.
(WTF... couldn't you guys have done that at 810pm?)
816pm: running... running... immigration... running... other dude running after me... I have to sign a waiver in case I miss my flight... running... running...
818pm: On the boat! It's leaving 3 minutes late thanks to me!
848pm: Hong Kong Airport! Full hour before my flight... just have to pay my fine and check in...
851pm: Sir, our credit card machine isn't working... Sir, there is no ATM in this section...
900pm: Sir, sorry to keep you waiting... we've found a credit card machine...
911pm: Woohoo... finally at the lounge
941pm: (Announcement) Mr. Lam, please go to your gate!
949pm: In my seat
955pm: Gate closed! I got there a couple minutes early. Must make it tighter next time.
1208am: Finishing this blog entry
112am: Arrive at hotel lobby... fudge, I'm SPG Gold now... I miss complimentary breakfast and Internet!