One of the vicissitudes of mining is the need to travel to mines. You cannot mine unless you go there; you cannot provide insight or advice unless you go there; you cannot do anything related to mining unless you travel the great distances from hometown to mine site.
Thus today I arrived at the airport an hour before the flight. A twenty-minute lineup got me to the counter where I was told the flight is closed: “That is Air Canada’s policy—we close the flight 45 minutes before departure.”
“Never been caught thus before I bemoaned.”
“Well you are late and there are no more flights to your destination today,” the curt response.
The details are dull but nail-biting: I found somebody in authority and they reopened book-in and let me on provided I carried my bags, a suitcase a bit too big for the overhead.
Lesson learnt: even for domestic flights be at the airport at least 1.5 hours before departure time.
The to the mine itself where I was not allowed to enter. My access badge had expired. And the security people were uniformly stupid.
“We cannot let you on site unless you have two weeks of training.”
“I have been coming onto site for five years; this is new. I don’t do anything–I just sit in meetings and give opinions.”
“Then you must do the site orientation every day before we can let you on site.”
By which stage I was ready to return to the airport and return home. If I need two weeks of training for two hours of my opinion, then screw them, was the thought uppermost in my mind.
My client, luckily, was more intelligent than the security folk and negotiated a perfectly legal way of getting me on site. Which leaves you wondering why the security people could not have thought of this and advised the same. Too stupid is the only explanation. But you must wonder: if they are so stupid and rigid, are they really able to manage security? I don’t thinks so. But maybe I am wrong.
Then to the hotel, where all the power was out and I had to lug that selfsame suitcase up four floors, thinking al the time, ah well, this is a remote mining town, can’t expect the electricity to always be on.