A Potential Derailing


Today was one of those super fun work days despite also being a holy shit I almost forgot to get lunch because I’m running around doing so many things crazy kind of days1.

Fortunately I didn’t forget my lunch. Unfortunately I had to stuff it down my gullet in 15 minutes2. Afterwards, I found myself in 4 hours of consecutive meetings. Normally this would be the death of me, but in this case not-so-much. The first was a faculty meeting, the second was all about Learning Management System Analytics5, and the last was a meeting with one of my awesome undergraduate research assistants. In all honesty, each meeting was better than the last. It’s not often I can write that.

When all of the meetings finally finished and I was able to sit for a second and breathe, I opted to check my Twitter feed. It was almost at that very moment that a tweet from @CBCNews passed before my eyes:


I immediately called Via. You see dear readers, I purchased – only last week – round trip first class tickets to Ottawa for the marathon this weekend. I decided that I wanted to travel by train instead of by air as I thought it would be a nice change of pace, and because it really is a far more civilized way to travel. Oh, and did I mention that my tickets were also half price because of a super-duper awesomely awesome Via Rail deal?

So there I sat in my office, staring at my tickets and waiting for someone from Via to pick up the phone and answer me the following question:

Dearest Via Rail person,

If one were to have purchased round trip first class tickets only last week, and one were to have purchased them as part of a 50% off promotion, and that promotion just so happened to be a non-refundable promotion, how might one go about getting a refund if, for example, the company offering the service – in this case, you, Via Rail – were to go on strike and not provide said service for which I paid?

Sincerely, Me.

I braced myself for the worst.

Fortunately, as the nice gentleman on the phone explained to me, Via will offer me a full refund should the strike occur and my trains are actually affected. Apparently not all the trains are affected, and those that are keep changing so they can’t give me that information at the moment. And since that is the case, they can’t actually issue a refund right now.

Okay, no problem, I reply, When might I be able to get a refund – in the event that the strike occurs?

Here’s where it gets awesome. No. Wait. What I meant to write was craptacular.

Photo credit: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2010/06/04/via-g20-union-station451.html

Should Via Rail go on strike (high probability), and if my trains are affected (which won’t be known until later Thursday), then, and only then will I be able to call in and get a refund. Trouble is, my trains are set to depart Guelph on Friday morning, and my hotel is already booked Friday to Sunday. I can’t cancel the hotel because I’m sharing it with my friend Mark and he clearly needs a place to stay.

So I’m left wondering if I should book alternate travel arrangements now, with the hope that I’ll get a refund. Of course, doing so might screw me over if the strike doesn’t happen, or if my trains aren’t affected. Gah. Gah to the Gah.

The good news is that I will, somehow, find a way to Ottawa. It might not be as civilized or as first-classy as originally planned, but I will get there. After all, there is a marathon to run this weekend, and as much as I’d like it to, that marathon won’t run itself.

In other words – Ottawa Marathon – I’m still coming for you.

1 And we all know that missing lunch is something I really shouldn’t do, what with my upcoming marathon.

2 Fifteen minutes being the amount of time I had between when I realized I needed to eat and when my first meeting was scheduled to start.

3 Note to self: Eating in fifteen minutes is an act of gorging4. Gorging is not becoming of anyone, and your wee stupid stomach can’t handle that much food that quickly. Don’t do that again.

4 If gorging is really the term to use when one is talking about ingestion soup.

5 Which sounds even nerdy to me. W00t!

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Amanda says:

    Blargh is all I have to say to that!!!

    1. dangillis says:

      Double blargh.

      But, there’s still a chance a strike will be averted. And even if it happens, there’s still a chance my trains will run. But more likely than not, I’m going to have to be resourceful and figure out a flight. I just can’t handle the bus, so a plane is likely going to be the only alternative.

      1. Rick says:

        Definitely do the plane over the bus. However, after taking the 14 hour bus ride to Vancouver, I may have a biased opinion. 🙂

        1. dangillis says:

          No. I agree. The bus would be a worse option than the plane. And I can’t even begin to imagine how bad I’d feel after running a marathon and then getting crammed onto a bus. Gah! Gah to the Gah!

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