Monday, July 23, 2007

week in training

I'm down in Melbourne for a week in training.

Melbourne is freezing cold as usual. So far I've been stuck in the training room for the whole day, and haven't been able to go out to do any retail therapy yet. Depending on how it goes today, I'm going to try and sneak out and atleast get to the chocolate shop.

I guess the best thing about being down here is that I get to stay at the Crown Towers.

There is a LCD screen on the wall (with Foxtel), of where the spa bath is.

I guess that says it all... :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Morning Flights

My mobile rang this morning.. I struggled out of bed to pick it up and say "hello".. only to realise it was my alarm going off...(?!?)

That was at 6am.

1 hr too late.

On the other hand, Pete the Genius had somehow set his phone alarm to go off at 5pm instead of 5am.

His flight was scheduled for 6.25am

All I can say is that it costs $425 to buy a new ticket at the airport for a flight going from Sydney to Perth. And no.... its not Qantas.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Qantas Saga...

My flight has been delayed again. Chain of events :


- 3pm: Arrive at airport around 3pm to check-in for my scheduled flight for 4.15pm. Got my boarding pass which said I need to see a customer service representative. I ask one of the Qantas personnel who was helping another person at the Self Check-in counters what this means. And she said I will need to line up at the baggage queue and show them the boarding pass then they will fix it for me.

- 3.48pm: Told that my flight has been delayed till 1am in the morning. I could either check-in my luggage now or drag it back home. I told the rep I will just check it in. Was then told a cab-charge will be provided but I will need to line up at the service desk behind me to get them.

- 4.14pm: Finally get to the end of the queue and get my cab-charges which will cover me for my trip back home and back to the airport for my 1am flight.

- 4.25pm: Finished queuing up for taxi and called my parents that I'm going to be back home and my flight leaves at 1am.

- 4.56pm: Arrive home. Watched TV. Had dinner. Slept.

- 10.30pm: My grandma woke me up. Showered. Headed back to the airport.


- 12.30am: Announcement made saying that there were some technical issues and Engineers were working on fixing the problem.

- 1.30am: My parents were still with me, I tell them if they don't leave soon, parking is going to cost a bomb. They preferred to stay, just in case the flight is delayed again until tomorrow.

- 1.40am: Another announcement. Was told to queue up at the service desk and collect meal vouchers. Looked at the queue forming at the cafe, decided against it. My mother said she wanted some coffee and went to join the queue instead.

- 2am: My dad comes back, wakes me up and said they need the boarding pass to use the meal voucher. (!@#!). I see my mum stuck at the front of the queue, I hand over my boarding pass, and was told I need to pay $4.50 more. Because a single boarding pass equates to only $7.50 meal voucher. (@F#%!S#Ht!@#D!%F%*)..

- 2.45am: Staff start handing out blankets and pillows. Many people are already sleeping on the floor. I tell my parents to leave. Useless for them to stay anyway, and plus there wasn't going to be anymore free coffee.

- 3.00am: Announcement. The captain was going to make an announcement in 15 mins to explain the situation.

- 3.30am: Captain makes announcement. The plane is not going to leave tonight. He apologises and said he knows that the flight had already been delayed once this morning. But said that he couldn't allow the plane to fly and parts will need to be flown in from Sydney for repairs. The Customer service rep then announces that all baggage has been removed, and we will need to go back downstairs to collect it. She advises that the next flight is scheduled for 12.45pm the next day. However, all non-local residents will need to find their own accommodation. They have tried to book hotels, but they could not find any. Interstate travellers were asked to call back their own hotels to see if they can secure their rooms. Help can be provided and those needing help to find accommodation was asked to line up at the service desk again.

- 3.40am: Baggage Carousel breaks down. No help is available. Looks like there is too much luggages to be handled by the carousel. The people on the delayed flight is helping move the luggage from the carousel to put them aside. I help out with the smaller pieces. I notice my bag has been pulled out already. I take it and make my way to the taxi stand.

- 3.55am: Called taxi service. There is no taxi at the airport. I told the lady on the other end of the line that this is not a joke. But we require about 300 taxis at the airport because a flight has been cancelled. She told me the airport did call about 40 mins before, but when the taxis came there was no one there, so they left. I told her its because the baggage carousel broke down and asked her to send the taxis back.

- 4.10am: Taxis start arriving. Called my bf telling him NOT to pick me up at 6am, as I would still be in Perth.

- 4.15am: Got on a taxi and started my trip home with my luggage

- 4.37am: Arrive home. Tired as hell. Can't sleep. Too much coffee.

- 9.30am: Wake up, after about 3 hrs of sleep. Showered and arranged transportation back to the airport.

- 11am: Left home. Half way there I call Qantas just to make sure the flight is still scheduled for 12.45pm. It wasn't. It was now ESTIMATED for 2pm. My mum drops me back home. She needs to go back to work. I called one of my friends who could take me to the airport and go over to meet him.

- 1.30pm: Arrived at the airport. The Self Check-in counter doesn't work. Was told to line up at another area. Checked-in 10 mins later. And go upstairs to find out the flight has been delayed once more.

- 2pm: Heard an announcement made for a flight bound for Melbourne being delayed as well.

- 2.45pm: Finally allowed to board. Take photos with my newfound stranded friends. And we make our way towards the ever-growing queue.

- 3.20pm: Captain makes an announcement. "Sorry its been one of those bad days in Aviation history...but there has been another issue... the airplane next to us on your right has had 2 out of 3 navigation systems fail. And we are going to give them one of ours... the whole process should take no longer than 30 mins... well.. lets just say 45mins". I could hear a couple of moans and groans. The guy sitting next to me starts to laugh and shake his head. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

- 3.25pm: I SMS my bf for the 3rd time telling me my flight has been delayed.

- 4.05pm: An episode of Mr Bean has finished and we've had our ice-cream early. Still stuck on the tarmac.

- 4.15pm: The plane starts moving. People start clapping. "Ladies and Gentlemen, once again I apologise for the delay, we should be on our way shortly".

- 4.30pm: Take off. (Hurrahh ~~!).

I arrived in Sydney exactly 24 hrs after my scheduled arrival time. But feeling a lot more tired than any other trip I have ever taken.

I half want to call Qantas and vent my frustration out on the poor customer service rep on the other side of the phone. But then again, it wouldn't exactly be his\her's fault. I wonder if they would refund my trip. Feel too tired to do anything at the moment.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Start at 7am

I volunteered for the morning shift this morning. (?!)

Yeah... I know... the whole 'I'm-not-a-morning-person-issue'. But it actually seemed like the logical thing to do. Mainly because the morning shift guy had been sick for the last two days and didn't sound like he was coming back to work anytime soon. Plus, I had to catch a flight back to Perth this afternoon.

Which means if I start early, I can leave early.

More time to go home and pack (because I still haven't yet). Therefore, less chance of missing my flight.

I have a newfound respect for morning shift people though. Waking up before dawn. Actually getting out of the bed before dawn. Not falling back to sleep on the train. And actually being able to be productive at work.

I think I was dumbfoundedly staring at my screen for atleast 30 mins before I actually remembered how to log in, and start the morning checks on my own systems.

I don't think I'm going to have any issues sleeping on the plane tonight.... :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Interview Madness

In 20 mins I will be interviewing my would-be-manager. Yeah.... my new manager.

I say 'would-be' because, he has already been through interviews with senior management, but somehow one of my colleagues from the other team and myself was asked to sit in an interview with him as well.

I doubt whatever we have to say after that interview would make a difference.

I have still yet to congratulate the HR personnel or Senior manager who came up with this idea of doing 360° interviews.

All I know is that I have to be careful with the questions I ask him. HR even sent us an email outlining some possible questions to ask.

The Email noted that I shouldn't ask any hard or tricky questions, and outlined the possible implications of doing so, given that this person may very well be my next manager.

I may as well start shining his shoes in the interview.

His resume is impressive. However, his background in IT is not in Storage. He spent his first 10 years working as a software developer.

But then I'm not supposed to ask him questions on how he might handle the position he applied for, given he has no relevant experience in the specific industry.

I guess I better start working on my shoe polishing techniques instead.