Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tenacious C

I don't give up easily--and that gets me stories to tell that may be helpful to others.  Some of you may roll your eyes, some of you may say, "Cool!" and some of you may even be inspired:

The other day I had to make some interisland plane reservations online.  I checked and was dismayed to find the fares for the date/departure times I wanted for both ways were well over the minimum $63 fare.  Oh nooo!  Who was it who refuses to pay retail?  Well I refuse to pay anything but the lowest interisland fare.

I went reluctantly to check Go/Mokulele and found what I wanted for $63 (total of $415 for the three of us).  We're not crazy about flying Go and haven't had to for years, so I admit I was taking my time completing the reservation.  I got to a page that asked for our frequent flyer numbers.  As I said, we hadn't flown Go! for years, but I know we did have FF numbers...somewhere.  I went through my email to search.  When I got back a few minutes later, I found the page had changed and I had to start over again---odd.  To my shock, the minimum fare had gone up to $71 each way person!  How could this happen?!?  After retrying several times, I checked the Hawaiian Air site and sure enough, their minimum fare had gone up also.

Resignedly I went back to Go with the philosophy "accept what you can't change" in mind.  After entering my credit card info to grudgingly pay the $463, I clicked SUBMIT and after a one of those beard-growing waits, I got a page saying "Sorry,... DNS server could not be reached..." or something to that effect.  Arrrrgh!! 

It then occurred to me to check  Did the fare increases register immediately, I wondered?  Well guess what---they still had the $63 fares!!  Just one problem though.  I went to my email and found a confirmation from Go!!  How could that be when I got a "could not connect" message from them?!  I wanted to tear out my hair at this point: to discover I could've still gotten the lower fare, but for a transaction going through that should not have gone through....hmmmm.

What if I hadn't seen the email and had gone ahead and reserved through Priceline, not knowing I already had reservations!?  Shouldn't Go cancel them because they led me to think the transaction had not gone through?  Light bulb moment!

I phoned Go and explained what had happened--that I saw that error message and assumed the reservation didn't go through so I went to make other reservations.  Apparently this was not the first time this happened and the agent graciously cancelled my reservation and credited my card.  I then gleefully went to the Priceline site where I paid the original $415--saving $48.  I was mentally drained by then, but heck $48 is $48!  More important, my perseverance paid off.

That same day we went to Ross for their Tuesday Senior Citizens' Discount Day.  We'd gone there the day before, and while shopping I realized that we should've gone on Tuesday instead, so we stopped shopping and put back the few items we'd found.  I noted down what to pick up on Tuesday with the discount, but there was a set of shot glasses that were the last of its kind.  I told my husband that I wished the glasses were a little bigger (they were under 2 oz.) but I liked the design of them compared to the plain ones or the ones with Elvis' face on them.  I then did what I think most ladies in my situation would do:  Went back to the shelf where I found them and put them behind some large boxes.  Judging from the messy shelves, I doubted that they'd be found.

So ok, on Tuesday I made a beeline to rescue my shot glasses.  First of all, remember that I'm a senior and I've been "scatterbrained" from 50 years before reaching senior status (I think I was pretty sharp until I reached 6).  So naturally the first place I checked was the shelf below where I actually hid them.  No glasses.  I checked the entire shelf again.  Nope.  Then I checked the shelf above it from one end to the other.  No glasses. 

I could not believe those shot glasses had disappeared!  For one thing, Ross had a surprisingly large selection of shot glasses--maybe in preparation for New Year's partying--and secondly, those shelves didn't look like anyone had bothered to straighten them. 

I went back, looked a third time.  As I searched, I noticed that I could see through to the next aisle.  Suddenly in my stubborness, I thought of going to the next aisle and looking at my shelf from the back, so I did.  Sure enough, halfway down the aisle, I saw what appeared to be my box of glasses, but they weren't--they were actually the glasses I had wished for (slightly larger, similar cut).  Like the ones I'd hidden, they were pushed to the back of the shelf, visible only from the next aisle's adjoining shelves.  Instead of immediately going to retrieve them, however, I continued down the aisle, still peeking at the back of the shelf and suddenly saw the set I'd hidden!  How on earth had I missed them?  I could've sworn I'd checked behind every larger box on the shelf.  Very weird.

I then went to the correct aisle and reached behind boxes to retrieve the two sets.  It was almost spooky how the second set of glasses were exactly as I'd wished for.  It was almost as if the set I'd originally hidden had led me to them.  Like these tiny shot glasses came alive and eluded me until I found the other set first. 

Either that or there was one unhappy shopper who arrived later and found the set she'd hidden was now replaced by a set of tinier glasses!

People say we should ask the Universe and we'll get what we want.  Well, I had kind of hoped for something more than shot glasses and $48, but who knows, maybe we have to start small.  All I know for sure is that perseverance paid off twice in one day and gave me something to write about!