Before my arrival at Reagan National Airport, my family we’re so worried I would forget something and worried I might get drunk, do something stupid and not following the rules (really, they think this way). Well, they got one part right… I forgot to bring my dress pants. Good news and Bad news. Bad news: I have to buy a few dress pants for the SHRM Conference this weekend. The good news: my old dress pants had holes, so karma equals it out.
This was my first trip since San Diego in 2005 and a lot of things have changed: you don’t need TSA locks, liquids are in a 3 oz. bottle, and passengers are paying for carry-on luggage. When I arrived to O’Hare airport, I was asking about the trains and buses since I’m a public transporter. However, I never realize O’Hare airport is way far away from Chicago, that I needed a “professional transportation service.” It was fine, but I had to pony up $40, which is not bad and arrived at my hotel.
When I arrived at the hotel for check-in, the Asian woman asked “where’s Tracy?” She assumes she was looking for a woman. When I told her my name is Tracy Tran, her light bulb clicked and thought about Tracy Morgan and realize Tracy is also a guy’s name. Following all of that, she found 3 reservations under my name. I was mortified and asked where it’s coming from. This is Lifelock screw up situation. When she said two were from Orbitz, I told her I immediately cancelled or backtrack since the flight + hotel were not available. I contacted Orbitz about the situation and they have nothing, except the flight, but never communicated with the hotel. Everything got resolved, but there’s another step. After checking in, I was on the waiting list for nearly an hour. Had some lunch, and after that, I finally got a room. It wasted my one hour to got touring the city, so I had condensed my schedule. After everything settles down, it was on to the Chase Auditorium.
I went to a taping of NPR’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and probably one of the better events I attended. I can’t say much of the show because I don’t want to spoil it, but you feel the great chemistry between the hosts, the panelists, and the audience. It’s one the most surreal experiences and I enjoy it a lot. I will mention more when “Wait, Wait…” is aired this weekend.
That was Day One in Chicago and I’ll say Chicago was bigger and nicer than expected and only got a tiny fraction of what Chicago is all about. I cannot wait for the next 6 days.