chelsea cookTrying to help people is sometimes a little harder than it should be. Have you ever had that problem? A quick catch-up: I am now a volunteer at one of the information desks at the Tulsa International Airport. The outside world sometimes makes it difficult for one to help with a problem. Today a young man came to the desk asking for change. I missed the first part of his question but found I had coins for a dollar bill.  During the exchange I finally figured out it was so he could make a telephone call. So, guess what. There are no pay telephones in the Tulsa International Airport. Or, if there are any they are not readily visible.
DUH! As he walked off it dawned on me that I have a telephone in my pocket, my info partner has a telephone in her purse and he has a phone in his hand. Yes, it turned out that his wouldn't work in the U.S. as he and his telephone were from an Oriental country. He said, just before walking off, he needed to call his hotel and he had the number. Being smarter than the average bear I only took a small part of a century (OK, it seemed that long) to figure he was trying to get their shuttle which was not there. This was one of the high dollar hotels so they should have been there.
We got that sorted out and he made his call and it took more than one try to make a connection. “Hi there stranger from a foreign land. Welcome to Tulsa where nothing works. Enjoy your visit and be sure to tell all your friends about us.” He finally got a real person and while they were speaking, at least a half hour after the plane arrived, the shuttle showed up and, I am guessing, the hotel man described the van. Problem solved.
One man wanted to mail a thick letter, Nosir, not at this airport. Thank goodness the rest rooms are just down the escalator from the info desk so that works pretty well. The taxi stand has moved so I had to go outside and catch up with a man who was going to the old place. There were more problems later. We though this a serious breech. The shuttle from the Cancer Treatment Center was not there for two young ladies. My partner and I were about to have an anger induced breakdown as they had been there a very long time. They had flown into Tulsa and had prearranged plans that were not acted upon. About a half-hour to forty-five minutes after first speaking to the ladies, a past middle age man walked nearby, holding a large paper and mumbling about passengers to the cancer center. Partner overheard him and I located the two anxious young women and got them connected. Partner said she saw the man going to the rest room escalator some time earlier. The treatment center is as efficient a place as I have even been associated with and have done Herself a great job. This seeming dereliction did not sit well with partner and me.
Now here is one which may change my life. After working as a volunteer for six years and five months, I now am going to have to fill out a large packet of forms (I have been told) and go to downtown to the main office and have an interview to see if I can be a volunteer. Going to that part of downtown Tulsa is second only to a death wish by drinking water from Flint, Michigan. I have driven in cities over a large part of the world; from Sydney, Australia, Dublin, Ireland all over the U.K. and several others here and there in other countries that I do not wish to do again. Just add Tulsa to that list. During business hours one could say that Tulsa is not visitor friendly.
After being sent to the wrong place yesterday and driving through miles of freeways, semi-slums, and streets as rough as old, dirt roads  I am not anxious to do this. Just to add to the frustration, I cannot find the name of the person to whom I should speak. Probably, if I go, after I get there and ask for the coordinator, someone will jump out of a closet and yell, “SURPRISE!”  Maybe I should be thinking of a clever line for a comeback. The bad part is, like many of you, I would miss the challenge of keeping all the books in some semblance of order despite the “new rules.” I know that my small contribution helps with their rehabilitation program and other important things they do.
Wouldn’t you think after six and one half years someone would have an idea that maybe that old man is OK?