The Alaska State Ferry was late, so I was also late to arrive at my destination, at 8 pm instead of 7. And that was the first sign that I would not get the relaxing evening I had anticipated.
And there I stood -- outside the terminal, watching passengers leave in taxis and hotel vans. And then suddenly -- everyone on the ferry had gone and the lights of the terminal were going out.
I was concerned.
This terminal is "out the road" as they say in Alaska -- and my Arizona cell phone was on roaming, and prompting me with a strange procedure to go through every time I tried to get calls out. The door of the terminal opened and the last employee looked out. She asked about my predicament and offered to call the hotel again.
I was thankful.
They said someone was on the way. She said she wouldn't leave until they came.
No one came.
After awhile this nice employee called the hotel again, and offered to take me there herself if no one came for me. That was reassuring. We watched as headlights shone up the road and then passed by, and decided to wait 5 minutes more.
The van finally came, stopping along the side of the building, even though I was obviously the only one there out in front. I left the terminal feeling very irked toward the driver. It was now almost 9 pm.
I approached the driver with my story about all of the waiting and surprisingly the first thing he said was "Please forgive me" ... which kind of shocked me and changed my mood. Then he said "God bless you", which was unusual in the situation.
So I said, "God bless you, too".
He was sorry about what had happened, because I seemed like such a nice lady. And I told him that I was actually about to be a bit angry and NOT very nice, until he said "forgive me" and "God bless you", and that in my life things often happen that show me that God is involved in the situation.
He told me he was a believer.
It was probably not his fault; I think they even sent him to the airport instead of the ferry a couple of times. And between the ferry employee and the van driver, it seemed that God had been looking out for me.
So I was content.
On the way to the hotel, the driver told me he had just recently gotten the job at the hotel and had lived a hard life in a "Lower-48" city. He was happy with his job and his new residence.
I ended up tipping him.
But when I finally got to the hotel, now after 9 pm -- the guy at the desk said he had gotten only one call for the van.
I was irked.
Then he didn't seem to know if I could print out my airline boarding pass even though I had just seen someone check in for their flight on the lobby computer. But he didn't know if there was any ink in the printer.
Maybe God was testing me now.
When I asked why as an employee he didn't know these things, he said because no one had ever asked him that question before.
Well, that was not too surprising, as you had to call him out of his room by dialing his number on a phone in the lobby, even when I checked in a week earlier -- and that was not evening but mid-afternoon.
Next he told me to sign up for the airport shuttle to leave for the airport at 7:20 am, which was my boarding time. He was willing to settle for 7:15, but I won the debate with 7. Still cutting it close, but the airport was nearby.
Once again I was irked-- but remembered I had decided to be nice because of the van driver and the "God Thing".
I got to my room, and a red Message light was beeping, so I called the front desk and the guy said, "Oh, that doesn't mean anything." So I tried to ignore the blinking and attempted to turn on the TV.
I had to call again, as I had no idea how to get the two separate controllers to work together. But then who should appear at the door to figure it out for me but my van driver. And I finally got to relax for a few hours.
But I have to admit ... the only reason I didn't fill out the Evaluation card in the room, or an evaluation for Hotels.com (which would not have been good), was because of the terminal worker, the van driver, and what I once more had to call ... "That God Thing".