I was scheduled by an American company for a set of depositions in Amsterdam which would have started on the date of our arrival. But since I generally don’t like to get right to work when my brain is in a time zone halfway across the world, we decided to pay our flight-change fees, reschedule multiple appointments to fit the new timeline, squeeze our butts into economy-class seats instead of the first- and business-award seats we scored, and arrive on March 27 instead of March 31.
Of course, Murphy’s Law being what it is, those assignments promptly cancelled. Shortly thereafter I was scheduled for a two-day job in The Hague, so not all is lost.
Normally when I get scheduled for an assignment, it goes something like this:
Agency #1: Can you work on April 25?
Agency #1: Sounds great.
Agency #2: Rich, can you work on April 25?
Rich: Sorry, I’m booked that day already.
Agency #2: Aw, shucks. We’ll check in next time.
It’s going to be a lot different living in Europe because U.S. law firms may contact a half dozen court reporting firms for quotes and prices before deciding to schedule depositions abroad; I received inquiries from no fewer than five court reporting agencies for the same set of dates in April. That’s small stuff, though.
At this point, our L.A. apartment is an empty shell, my car is being sold this afternoon — I’m writing this from the car wash lobby — and aside from a few last-minute items to give to friends and family over the next two days, everything we own is packed into four suitcases.
Our thoughts are with the people of Brussels this week. The distance between Amsterdam and Brussels is almost exactly the same as the distance between Los Angeles and San Diego, which really puts the attacks on the city in perspective. Belgium is a beautiful country with wonderful people, and we’ll visit again soon.