Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Deja Snooze

I saw this (23 Awkward Sleeping Positions Of People At Airports) and realized this is about the fifteenth anniversary (the 1998 job market season) of the one time I did sleep in an airport.  I did not use any of the tricks shown in the series of pics.  Nope, let's go to the videotape.

Ok, no tape.  Here is the tale:
I gave probably the best job talk of my life (spoiler--didn't get the job), and then got to the airport very late due to bad traffic and a less than rushed professor.  So, I got to the airport with no food since lunch, and had to jump on the plane.  The plane had no food.  And then got diverted to Tulsa or Oklahoma City due to thunder-storms at my least favorite airport--DFW.  So, we finally got to DFW after 11pm, which meant that my connection was missed.  It also meant that all of the local hotels were already full since we were the last ones in.

And I was frickin' hungry.  So, I will always have a soft spot for TGIFridays, as the rest of the airport's concessions were closed.  I asked them: are you still serving food.  They said: yes, would you like something to drink.  I said: yes!  I used the TGIF as a base of operations and would scamper out as various items were being distributed to the lost and left behind--pillows (teeny ones), blankets (teeny ones) and then cots (smallish). 

So, I took the stuff to a gate and tried to sleep.  I managed to do so, as I remember being startled to awake around 5:30am to a bunch of big boxes with blue legs sticking out of them.  A bunch of air force cadets were using the boxes that the pillows, hats, and cots came in to block out light and sound.  Smart folks.

So, that is the one time I slept overnight at an airport.  Oh, and I didn't get the job because, despite a very solid performance, I was too junior and not sufficiently skilled/practiced/published in quant stuff at the time.  Their decision actually made sense--they should not have interviewed me.   But I made some good contacts and an enduring connection with TGIFridays.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I once used a bottle of duty-free whiskey wrapped in a sweater and curled up in a sunny patch of threadbare carpet near the window in the Philadelphia airport. Hardly the most dignified or classy of sleeping poses, but at least I wasn't motivated to use the wisky to aid sleep in other ways.
-Clare, Ottawa