I'm irrationally scared of Texas. You'll see some criticism in the next few posts. Please forgive me, or educate me, or at least be literate and interesting while flaming me. If you're a die-hard Texan you might just want to skip a few posts. I start out trying to treat Texas fairly, but it just comes out mean. I'm not sure what it is. Texas has a reputation, I guess, as a larger than life, shoot first ask questions later kind of state.
It's enormous, so there's no one Texas. The bit I'm in is flat and cold--we've come all this way and yet the temperature is hovering around freezing. It even snowed in Dallas this week.
We were told we're in the Best Western hotel, and the GPS database in the plane said that was 3 miles from the airport, but the customer who picks us up is clearly driving further than that.
"What hotel are we in?" we ask.
"Best Western. It's nice, but it's way the other side of town."
It turns out that the old Best Western was torn down last year after the new one we're in was completed. There's a sign still up for the Grand Opening Special Rates. The assistant at the customer's company who booked the accommodation must have been working off the same outdated information we were.
On the ride to the hotel a public service ad comes on the radio, addressing pregnant teenagers and scaring them with details of what a difficult task it is to raise a child on your own. We look at one another with raised eyebrows, having never heard abortion advertised, but then the ad wraps up urging the teenagers to give their babies up for adoption rather than keeping them. We realize that abortion isn't even on the table here. The young woman at the hotel check-in desk is pregnant and the others' expressions tell me that I'm not the only one reminded of the ad.
We go for dinner at the Texas Roadhouse chain next to the hotel. Something you have to love about the southern US: food is cheap. We have a tasty steak dinner with side dishes and non-alcoholic beverages and excellent although informal service, for ten dollars. I think I pay that much for a box of Chicken McNuggets and a milkshake at home.
We transported some of the customer's equipment and they shipped some by courier. It turns out we're more reliable today, as some of their equipment is missing, so we'll have the weekend off to wait for it to be delivered.
Something else scary I found today is this news article about a pilot suing three flight attendants who refused to accept his decision not to deice. Notice that the Calgary ground crew also filed a report on the aircraft when they observed ice and offered deicing but were turned down. Some US Airways pilots are more heroic than others, it would seem. Great CRM, dude. If I were him I would bring my own coffee to work.