Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why You Don't Ask

There's a question I've learned not to ask. It doesn't matter how hard I'm thinking it. There is a reason.

If you've been following Jordan's trip, you remember that her luggage got lost, the form letter they sent out to file a claim also got lost, she ran out of funds to get home (extra charges for suitcase and food). Seems like plenty to go wrong for a 17-year-old on her own, even through a organizationally sponsored trip, for nearly 6 weeks in SE Asia.

Yesterday I got a call from her father. She'd texted him that she'd arrived in LA and everything was fine. Whew! Safely back in the USA. Now there was just the flight back to MSP, with a stop in Denver. I could relax, "knowing" that everything else was being taken care of, that Steph and Ben were heading to the airport around midnight to pick her up, bring her back to their house to sleep off whatever she needed after all that flying, and help her decompress before returning to the "real world".

Around 10PM I got another call from her father. Turns out her flight from LAX was delayed, enough for her to miss the connecting flight. She was going to be put up at a hotel, brought back to the airport, and put on a different flight back here in the morning. And no, they apparently hadn't lost her suitcase this time. That was part of what was worrying her. She had a total of $20 in cash left, and feared they'd charge her the usual $30 for the suitcase for that final leg of the trip. And what would she eat? Seventeen-year-olds don't tend to carry credit cards for such situations.

I suggested he text her that since there was to have been only one fee for the full LAX - MSP trip, that there shouldn't be another fee just because the airlines gave her a different flight than the original. He commented he'd already texted her that if they gave her any hassle, she should try tears. Let everybody else at the ticket counter see the big mean airline as bullies giving a kid a hard time, and the PR problem alone should solve the issue. And if that didn't work, get angry!

I'm trying to stay uninvolved, emotionally. I just want to jump in and fix it. I don't care what "it" is, just make it go away. I'm still telling myself that it's not my problem, there's nothing I can do, that she's pretty grown up even if stressed out by the traveling, and hope for the best. Fingers crossed. And above all else, I'm telling myself not to ask the question.

You know what it is. We all ask it occasionally. What else can go wrong?

Problem is, every time you ask it, somebody comes along with an answer.

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