I was in San Francisco earlier this week for the NSF project on distributed innovation that I am working on. My flight arrived late on Sunday night. I arrived at the Club Quarters almost around midnight. The following is what happened.
Me: Hi, I have a reservation.
CQ: Sure. What’s your last name?
Me: Yoo. Y-o-o.
CQ: Well, you have TWO reservations. Do you need both rooms?
Me: (Surprised) Are you sure? I only made one reservation.
CQ: Well, let’s see. You made one on August 15th and another one on the 24th. Both through Orbitz.
(At that point, I realized that I remember checking the price of hotel twice on Orbitz, but I really did not remember reserving it when I went there first. That was why I went there in the second place.)
CQ: Don’t worry. The Orbitz people have become very flexible. I am sure they understand.
The problem is that Orbitz wants you to pre-pay the hotel fee ahead of time. So, I actually paid for two rooms. So, I had to call Orbitz customer service and had to explain my situation. Fortunately, I was able to work with very understanding person who was more than willing to take it with a sense of humor.
Next morning I shared this story with Dick Boland, who then responded by saying, “well, once you find yourself spending more than half of your time solving this type problem that you created (big laugh), you are ready to become a full professor.” So I guess I am not that far off from it.