“Surprise” … it matters how you look at it!

1-car-stuckHave you ever thought about the nuances in our language?  What comes to mind when you read the word “surprise?”  The optimist likely says, “A party, something fun, a happy encounter.”  While the pessimist probably immediately goes to “Oh no, what now” or “What other shoe dropped?”   Either could be correct; it depends on your perspective.

In a recent trip to Evanston, IL, I met with a surprise.  If you’ve travelled to Chicago by air, you know that it has a unique ground transportation system.  You wait in line for a cab or you arrange a car pick-up.  From experience, I have learned that the car arrangement is more efficient and less expensive.  On this particular trip, the car service I usually use did not travel to Evanston … so I “Googled” Chicago transportation.   Suburban Rides was at the top of the list.

While I could have made a reservation online, I wanted to talk with a person so I’d “feel” comfortable that this was a reliable company.  Ray was great, very friendly, definitely accommodating and generous with details about the pickup.  It was all arranged … I’d get a text from the driver at the estimated time of arrival; I’d let him know my door location.

My flight was bit early and there was no message.  I headed to baggage and placed a call to Suburban, Ray answered … SURPRISE … he seemed clueless; he’d call me back.  Bags arrived, I called again … Fernando answered, very flustered; SURPRISE … they had no reservation for me, I was not in the system and he did not have a driver in the area.  He’d work something out and call me back.  SURPRISE … he found a driver, could I wait 30 minutes?  My choice was to opt to start all over or roll with the SURPRISE and wait … I chose the wait.

As I thought about the SURPRISES, it hit me that my interpretation of SURPRISE made all the difference.  While I was not thrilled to wait an hour at the airport at 10:00 pm, mistakes happen.  I chose to laugh and gave Fernando a bit of a hard time.  In the end I had an uneventful ride to the hotel (arriving just a little later than planned) and SURPRISE, I have an extra-large room because at the late hour all the others had been taken.


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