I had a broken nights sleep. My luggage turned up at midnight. At about 03:00 I did a blog post. Then at 05:00 I officially woke up to get ready for the taxi at 06:00. 🙂
There were no dramas at the airport. Debra and I got through bag drop and security with plenty of time, so we got some breakfast and chilled until the flight.
The boarding was a little chaotic, mostly because people heard one piece of hand luggage and one personal item, and understood that to mean four pieces of hand luggage and a donkey. Needless to say, the overhead lockers were short on space. 🙂
It was a 55 minute flight, with a rollercoaster landing. I actually got my luggage back this time as well, which was nice. 🙂 Another quick taxi ride and we were at the hotel.
I did a couple of hours of work, then headed off to the gym, which was great. The hotel gym is a small Golds Gym, so I was able to do proper weights. It was super hot, which made training really hard, but when I finished I did some stretching and it was awesome. I can’t remember the last time I’ve stretched in that temperature. I was super flexible.
I think I’m going to head off to the pool for a bit, then chill for the rest of the day.
The Costa Rica conferences starts tomorrow. See you there!
From there I presented three sessions back-to-back.
Improving the Performance of PL/SQL Function Calls from SQL
Pluggable Databases – What they will break and why you should use them anyway!
It’s raining data! Oracle databases in the cloud.
I think the sessions went well. People were a little shy at the start, but as the sessions progressed people got more confident about asking questions.
After lunch was Kamran Agayev speaking about “Oracle 11g Clusterware failure scenarios with practical demonstrations”. Kamran discussed lots of failure situations with video demos of them, which were pretty neat. He also discussed numerous test scenarios people should work through before they go live with a RAC system.
Next up was Debra Lilley presenting on “Pass4SaaS”. I’ve seen this presentation many times over the last couple of years, but it has evolved somewhat. This one had a live demonstration of Debra using the Application Builder Cloud Service, almost like she’s a developer! 🙂
Next up was Kamran again with “Oracle 12c ASM new features with practical demonstrations”. This was a quick run through the ASM new features, including a video demo of Flex ASM and ASM Disk Scrubbing.
That was the day done for me. There were other presenters speaking in Spanish, but after my three sessions and three others I was done for. 🙂
I was presenting for half of the day, so I didn’t get much time to film, which is why this video was so short.
Thanks to Edgardo and ORAUG PTY for inviting me to the event. I had a really good time and it cheered me up a lot after yesterday’s travel disaster. It reminded me why the travelling is worthwhile. 🙂
PS. All through the day I kept getting the hotel reception to ring the two numbers I was given for the KLM missing luggage service, but never got an answer. The online bag tracker they provide was useless. It just acknowledged your bag was marked as missing, with no idea of the location or ETA. Since I was planning to leave early the next day I was worried my luggage would arrive after I left, but had nobody to speak to about this. At about midnight there was a knock at my door and my luggage had arrived. Obviously I’m very happy about that, but the lack of communication was a nightmare! Judging by the tweets to KLM, I got lucky!
I arrived at Birmingham Airport about 2 hours and 20 minutes early. I was then presented with a huge queue to get to the queue for the bag drop. To be fair to the people at the desk, they seemed relatively efficient, but there were 2 floating staff who were chatting to each other and laughing, rather than handling the queue. There needed to be:
A specific “bag drop only” queue, which most people would have breezed through.
A “special cases” queue for those families that turn up with 45 cases and wonder why they can’t take them.
A “check in” queue, where people who have not already checked in can go.
Something simple like that would have meant the queue moved much quicker and the floating staff could have organised that easily if they could be bothered and weren’t morons. Of course, that couldn’t happen because we are talking about the Air France / KLM gate, so you know it’s going to be terrible. I sent a few tweets to both KLM and BHX that contained lots of expletives. Sorry if that offended anyone, but tough!
Eventually I got through the “queue to the queue” for bag drop, then I joined the “queue for the queue” for security. Yes, there was a queue to get to the place you normally queue! Once again, an obvious case for sorting your staff out. They know when they will be busy in advance, so they should staff accordingly.
I finally got to the boarding gate and could see the plane, but they were unloading for ages. Turns out there were a team of Para-Olympic athletes on the plane and the ground staff did not anticipate how long it would take to get them and their wheelchairs off. Once again, bad planning. We took off 40 minutes late, which was a worry since I had a very short connection at Amsterdam for the next flight. Just before we landed they announced some people had missed their connections, but mine was still possible if I legged it. Fortunately for me, the next flight was delayed also, so I made it!
I sat on the flight from Amsterdam to Panama, sighed with relief, then got a massive headache. I thought I was going to have one of my puking episodes, but I managed to down some paracetamol and sleep for a bout 10 minutes, which was enough to take the edge off.
I arrived in Panama, but my luggage didn’t. After a queue to deal with my lost luggage, I queued for about 40 minutes to get through the bag check, without my bags.
After a death-race taxi ride to the hotel and the travel was over. At that point, if I had the option to got straight home I would have done. The flights themselves were fine, as were the flight staff. It was the chaos on the ground that was the problem, which left me feeling like I never want to fly again. It was a terrible day!
I met up with Debra so she could watch me eat cheese and talk me down. Then it was bed and the hope that I would never remember this day!
Tomorrow is ORAUG PTY, the first event of the OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 (Northern Leg).
PS. The video is dedicated to Mark Rittman, who loves my travel videos, describing them as “boring” and saying, “nothing happens in them”, which is of course the whole point of doing them. 🙂