It was not an auspicious way to start a weekend.
I had just finished a tiring week of out-of-town work and I headed to the airport for what was to be an arduous trip home: first flight from New Orleans to Charlotte, second flight out of Charlotte at 10:30 pm; if all went perfectly I would walk in the door around 1:30 in the morning. Not the easiest itinerary after a long week; but at least I had the promise of spending the night in my own bed.
But American announced a 10-minute flight delay, then a 40-minute delay, then an hour-long delay, and then a 2-hour delay that would make it impossible the catch the connecting flight. They issued me the first of what was to be several revised itineraries. Four hours into my Friday night quality time at the New Orleans airport, American announced that the flight was cancelled altogether and they issued me revised itinerary number three.
There ensued the expected sleepless night at an airport hotel, a 4:00 am return to the airport, the flight to my first connection. Then, at the Philadelphia airport, 18 hours into what was to have been a 7-hour trip, I had an interaction with an American Airlines gate agent named Christine that was distressing and humiliating enough to leave me unsettled for the rest of the day. (This was not quite at the scale of last year's widely-viewed video of those United flight attendants dragging that poor man out of his seat and hauling him off the plane, but my little incident exemplified the same general approach to customer service.)
Eventually I get home and do my best to calm down. I'd love to take a nap -- I've had all of two hours of sleep -- but I just can't shake the day's stress enough to settle. My husband makes me a wonderful lunch; I write in my complaint to American Airlines; I unpack and start the laundry. Laundry is my go-to for housework Zen. But today even laundry can't do the trick; I am just too agitated.
Then the phone rings. The caller asks for me by name. He introduces himself as a representative of the Republican National Committee, and he asks me to participate in a brief, one-question poll:
Do I think that Donald Trump is doing a better job of running the country than Barack Obama?
To which I answer, "I THINK DONALD TRUMP IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. SO NO, I'D HAVE TO SAY THAT I DO NOT THINK HE IS DOING A BETTER JOB 0F RUNNING THE COUNTRY THAN BARACK OBAMA."
After which I toddle off and take a nap.