Friday, March 27, 2009

Greetings from Massachusetts!

I made it and am currently in the business center. Feeling like a business woman wannabe. Shouldn't I be blogging about spreadsheets or something?

Oher Travel Notes:

When you announce you don't have a cell phone, folks look at you like you must also make fire with flint and steel.

And apparently the phone companies have decided everybody must have a cell phone, because trying to use a pay phone has become An Experience.

After I got to the hotel, I headed off to the mall, thinking I'll grab a cab back to the hotel. Which wouldn't be difficult if they had a cab stand, which they do not. So now I must find a pay phone.

They exist, but like the endangered creatures they have become, are not easy to find. I finally find one, to discover that phone books are now extinct.

So I have to call 411. I thought I'd have to pay for this and didn't have enough change for two calls, so bought something to get change. Travel tip: at least in the US, calling 411 from a pay phone is free.

I get an automated voice, "What city?"


I then get a person. "What name?"

"I need the number of a cab company."

"Oh? What name?"

"I don't know. I'm from out of town."

Long silence.

"How about Tommy's Taxi?"


Because what else am I going to say? I don't know the name of ANY cab company, let alone another one.

This was after discovering earlier in the day that I'd been told the name of one shuttle company but given the phone number for a different one, so I get on the one with the name I've been given and discover, after we drive off, I'm not on their list. Fortunately, the driver was great and had no problem taking me the rest of the way, but we were both baffled until the driver's boss asked for more info and figured out what had happened.

And last but certainly not least - I am beyond impressed by how friendly everybody is here. The shuttle drivers, the cabbie, the sales clerks (or associates or whatever they call them these days), the hotel staff. Despite the minor snafus, I'm having a great time and the conference hasn't even started.


Leah Braemel said...

I hadn't realized how few pay phones are out there until I went to Dallas in 2007. My flight was cancelled, I hadn't taken my cell phone because it wouldn't work in the States, and was trying to find a payphone in the Dallas airport to tell my family I wouldn't be arriving when and where they thought I would be. No joy.

Eventually a lovely lady at the airline desk who was picking up the Air Canada passengers who'd been unceremoniously dumped took pity on me and handed me the receiver to her desk phone. Even though it was a long distance phone call, she dialed and got me in touch with my family. (I think it was because I was being nice about it and there was a ding bat beside me reaming everyone out because AC had cancelled. It wasn't this other firm's fault. You know, the old sugar/vinegar adage? It works.)

Glad to hear you didn't have any problems with the shuttle too, that could have been scary.

Amy Ruttan said...

Cool I'm glad you're having a good time.

I had to buy a cell phone when I went to San Francisco. I have it still, but for emergencies. My DH is so connected to his cell phone because of his job. He doesn't get why I keep the cell phone off.

Kimber Chin said...

Yep, totally agree about payphones being extinct. The hubby and I usually go to internet cafes for any communication (most have phone access there too). Pain in the...

I'm glad you're having a great time!

Kaye Manro said...

I'm glad you're having a great time. Pay phones are almost gone because cell phones, I think.