Day 1

1.  Buy two tickets to NYC & Chicago, $648.
2.  Through browser error, accidentally buy the same tickets twice.
3.  Second transaction cancels first, but both charges remain on my account, totaling $1,296.
4.  Talk to Orbitz, who says it’s American Airlines.
5.  Talk to American Airlines, who says it’s Orbitz.
6.  Talk insistently to Orbitz, who conference-calls Regions Bank, “releases” charge from cancelled reservation, and Regions rep deletes it.

Day 2

1.  Find at 5:00pm that charges returned, while other random charges that had been pending on my account posted, causing me to owe $231 in overdraft fees.
2.  Talk shakily to Orbitz, in Qatar, who says it will be taken care of “within 24 hours.”
3.  Go to work, go to bed.

The Longest Day

1.  Talk to Orbitz, in the Philipines, who finds no record of rep in Qatar, who says she will fax notice of refund to Regions “within two hours.”
2.  In two hours, talk to Orbitz, in Calcutta, who says $648 refund will take 8 – 10 business days to process.
3.  Conference Orbitz with Regions, in Florida, who talks insistently to him and urges him to reconsider.
4.  Orbitz says ok, five days.
5.  Regions says what about the $231 in overdraft fees?
6.  Orbitz says please hold.
7.  Regions and I talk about kids, sons, marrying young, Disneyworld, Epcot, roller coasters, spring, snow, accents, “the run-around,” etc.
8.  Orbitz says hello, says to Regions, can you take off those overdraft  fees?
9.  Regions says talk to my supervisor.
10.  Fail to find supervisor, get lost in the air, call strange numbers, talk to automaton in call center, get off the phone.
11.  Get voicemail from Philipine Orbitz who says to call Orbitz and conference in Regions.
12.  American Orbitz! says please hold.
13.  For first time …  in life … consider yelling at rep.  In repressing yell, strain muscle in neck.  Wonder how many hours of wait-music I’ve heard today, total.  Estimate hour and fifteen minutes.
14.  Wonder if blood is pooling in legs, like they say it does during long flights, and whether a stroke is imminent.
15.  American Orbitz says yes we’ll credit those fees, and yes it was American Airlines after all, and yes their refund is on its way.
16.  I say thank you, Rhonda, thank you & goodbye.
17.  I hang up, I see the world is still here, I see I am still alive, I wonder when I ate last, I wonder when I let the sun shine on my face last.
18.  World & your million anxieties, million miles of cable and scramble and code, please hold.