Month: July 2011

An experience with Delta

I was flying back from States on Saturday (7/2) and was booked on Air France flight from Newark airport. The flight from Newark to Paris, was for reason cancelled and I was re-booked on Delta, which is code-share partner of Air France.

I was travelling with a check in bag, a carry-on bag and a laptop backpack. I had the same stuff on my inbound trip.

When I reached the check-in counter, the lady at the counter told me that my carry on bag would not be allowed on board, and needs to be checked in, to which I was really surprised. I told her that, I was carrying the same carry-on on my inbound flight and it was allowed. The lady at the check-in counter very rudely told me “Yes, maybe, but this is America”. To this, I almost lost my cool and wanted to tell her that I very well know that this is America, and I have been multiple times here before. Nonetheless, I did not do any such thing and kept my cool. I told her that I have been using the same carry on bag on my earlier travels, and I was never told that the bag does not meet the guidelines.

She: Also, you’re carrying two carry-on items (indicating my laptop backpack)

I: But, I guess we’re allowed a carry-on item and a personal item, which clearly includes laptop bag

She: Yes, laptop bag is allowed, but yours is a backpack!

I: What? This is a laptop backpack and not a backpack! If you wish to check the bag, please do so

She: I do not want to see what’s in the bag, but I would not consider this as a laptop bag

I was really getting frustrated by this time with the continued rude behavior of this lady. I wanted to tell her that laptop bag does not only mean messenger bags. Laptop backpacks also exists in this world! Nevertheless, I knew that anything I tell her is going to be in vain, and I would be getting nothing, but will loose my cool. I also knew that, eventually I have to board this flight to get home, and it would not matter if I call the shift manager, as I don’t trust how much he/she would help me after going against one of their own employees, even thought the employee was being rude.

I: This is the first time, someone is telling me that this is not a laptop bag.

She: (has a smirk on face)

I: Ok, let me check in my carry on bag then.

She: There you go.

I check in my carry on bag and then take out my camera bag out of the carry on to carry as personal item.

She: Here is your passport, boarding pass (hands over to me). You’re all set.

I: Thanks.

I noticed that she did not take the I-94, which is supposed to be taken at the check-in counters.

I: You forgot to take this, which is supposed to be taken by check-in counter staff!

She: Yes!

I was very surprised and somewhat taken back, that this lady did not even say “Thanks” as a gesture. She is not being attentive on her duty and she is still being rude.

But, in situations like this, there’s very little you can do or control. You have to obey the rules, does not matter, how weird they can be, how illogical they can be, how irritating they can be.

After checking in, and getting past the security gates, I went to the gate where from I was supposed to board the flight. After some time, I noticed that there are some fellow passengers, who are carrying carry-on bags almost of the same size, I had!

Well, nothing could be done now. While I was not allowed to carry my bag, there are passengers who are carrying bags which have similar dimensions (difference of an inch can be there, which is not visible to the naked eye in a casual look).

When the boarding started, I encountered the same lady at the scan point for boarding pass. This time, I handed over my boarding pass to her, she quickly scanned it and handed it back to me. I moved on, and she called from behind. Apparently, she did not scanned it properly.

She: Sir, I need to scan it again.

I: What happened?

She: Seems that you’re having a lot of problems today (says with a smile)

I: I have a bad day but It’s not me. It’s Delta which is having problems and harassing me.

She: No, don’t say it’s bad day

I: Yeah, coz first you forget to take my I-94 then you do not scan it properly and still I have a bad day. I am not gonna fly Delta again, that’s for sure

And I move on disgruntled, irritated and somewhat harassed.

Also, their flight sucked.

Imagine a trans-Atlantic flight, not having TV screens on every seat! What the hell was that? This was another first for me!

After this experience, I know that I am never gonna fly on Delta again. If this is an example of their ground staff, who are rude, who make mistakes and even then think that the customer is having a bad day, and if they don’t have a TV screen on every seat for an 8 hour flight then I would prefer to choose a different airline.

Hi, this is Pooh joining…

To begin, I need to tell you mere mortals (yeah, all of you who don’t know what Agile methodology is) about Agile methodology. I would also like to clarify that I am not a dissident as far as it is concerned with Agile.

In fact, I love the Agile methodology, its charter and its principles. There are projects, which would so much fit in that methodology and ours too fits in that, even though many on my project would not buy that.

So, Agile/Scrum in simplest terms is an iterative and incremental development methodology in which teams start with a backlog of all identified tasks, groups the tasks into scrums and then start off, with weekly/bi-weekly deadlines, where the deliverable of scrum is tested/verified by designated personnel.

Well, enough of the technical mumbo-jumbo. This is not the intent of this post.

Once upon a time, when a project was being run under Agile/Scrum and there used to be a daily status call (as per the methodology) to track the work of developers -what happened the past day and what they have planned for the day after.

15 minutes into the call,  a beep..

Scrum Master: Hi, who just joined?

New Joinee: Hi, this is Pooh joining

Scrum Master: Oh hi Pooh, How are ya?

Pooh: Hey Scrum Master, am doing good. What bt you?

Scrum Master: Doing good enough. BTW, this is a show and tell meeting.

Scrum Master: So, Pooh, do you have anything to show today? Were you working on some story (tasks are organized as stories)?

Pooh: Yeah, I was working on Honey Extraction story. There are two tasks under it. Task 201: Extraction of honey from beehive Task 202: Import honey into jars

Scrum Master: Excellent! But I am not sure, I noticed this story and also the story seems a bit weird.

Senior Dev 1: Pooh, I’ve a question here. What story was that? And where have you placed the jars? – Common or core? Just asking coz I did not hear about this story and I want to check what has been uploaded onto the branch.

Pooh: This is the story I work on every day. Well, sometimes I work on some other things too. About the jars – Actually I have just put them on my desk as of now, since I was getting late for the call. Also, Senior Dev 1 , I have not hear of this Common or Core. Are they some new location, as in address where we are supposed to place our jars?

Senior Dev 1: What do you mean, you have not heard of Common and Core? And I did not get you, when you used the term “location”. Are you clear what are we talking about? And all that crap about story?

Pooh: I am talking about what I did today and then you asked me where do I keep my jars. I usually keep my jars on my shelf by the window in my kitchen

Senior Dev 1: What the beep that means?

Scrum Master: Guys, I think this is an aftercall (When you are going to talk about something apart from just giving the status, be it clarification of something or discussion on some issues, which need not involve the entire team)

Senior Dev 1: No, Scrum Mater, I think we should get it cleared right now with the entire team. I am not sure, I understand what Pooh is talking about. All of a sudden he’s talking like an idiot with that jar thing.

Beep Beep (The other end of the line, with people at onshore, the phone goes mute to discuss something)

Senior Dev 2: (Intervening) Guys, I think we have got the wrong Pooh.

Scrum Master: Oh yeah, all of a sudden, I also feel that. Wait, let’s just ask him.

Beep Beep (The line is open again)

Scrum Master: Hi Pooh, we’re back again, are you Pooh Sharma?

Pooh: No, I am Winnie-the-Pooh, the bear

(Everyone else on the call suddenly goes WTF! WTF!)

Scrum Master: What? Pooh Bear

Pooh: Yeah

Scrum Master: Pooh, you’re on the wrong call. This call is for a different project.

Pooh: Is it?

Scrum Master: Yes, you moron! You wasted our valuable time with your stupid honey and jars

Pooh: I am sorry guys! I will disconnect now and check whether Tigger, Piglet and my other friends are still waiting on the other bridge. Apologies once again. I’ll send some honey to you’all for this inconvenience.

Senior Dev 3: Poooh, just upload it on the branch and we’ll get it from there.

Pooh: Sure, I’ll pu.. I mean upload the jar on the branch of Maple tree.

Senior Dev 3: WTF! Leave it Pooh. You enjoy your honey. And please disconnect now.

Pooh: Thanks to you’ll for being patient and not hurling abuses at me.

(Everyone mumbles: Wait till you disconnect moron)

Beep Beep (Pooh disconnects)

Scrum Master: Guys, we had enough for today. We’ll reconvene tomorrow.