Monday Morning Consultant … Feb 28th, 2011 (Pins and Needles Edition)

In conversations, people ask what I do for a living. As a consultant, people think that we sometimes get to travel to far off locations to enjoy sun, sand and sea, while working from a laptop connected to the hotel wireless and knocking back a single malt scotch. The standard response to this line of questioning is

We never ever fly to anywhere decent, it is always going to some god awful place in the US or Canada, where the meat is tough, the booze is gasoline like and the snow is 16 ft high.

I’m here to tell you that once in a while, we do actually get to head off somewhere warm with a nice view and nice hotel. Once in a while … this week is that once in a while for me.

That being said – if you travel internationally and have read anything about consultants is that we prize our status, upgrades and concierges. Did I mention upgrades?

Well this morning, I had the most dreaded conversation prior to an international flight that any consultant could hear, who wasn’t booked on business class

  • <Air Canada Concierge> Good morning, Mr. Sankar. Please leave your ticket with us. While we attempt to upgrade you, you should know that there are 9 Super Elites and only 4 available upgrade spaces left. You also have a middle seat, which would you prefer if you don’t get the upgrade
  • <Me> Ummmm …. <shakes head and moans>
  • <ACC> Mr. Sankar, I need a preference … window or aisle?
  • <Me> Ummmmm…. <stomach grumbles at the thought of no upgrade>
  • <ACC> I see the system says “Window”, so lets use that
  • <Me> You mean I would actually have to fly economy?
  • <ACC> Sir, all SE’s are #1 clients with us and of course we will try our best and you look like you’re in very good shape for the upgrade, having checked in last night before all the other SE’s, but at this time I cannot confirm you.
  • <Me> … brightens up … “So it looks good right?? Right??
  • <ACC> Mr. Sankar .. go have a coffee, I’ll call you at 9am to let you know.

Now the thing is that A/C used to give you these certificates that you could use for upgrades, but the only one that is useful is the prized RED CERT. This Special System Wide certificate means that you can upgrade the crappiest ticket into the best ticket.

You’ll also note that today is the last day I can use these certs, then I would have to use the A/C eUpgrade system, which no A/C staff seem to have a clue about.

Well the suspense continues … I’ll be on pins and needles till my upgrade or not …

Update (9.05am) – Upgrade came in! Woot!!

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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