When Things Go Wrong

It’s the weekend of FFCPH and yesterday morning I was supposed to leave from Hong Kong to hold a workshop today. As I write this, I’m sitting at the airport in HK, feeling somewhat in between tired, frustrated and helpless.

A plane ran over the runway in Manila on Thursday night and since then, the runway has been closed. As a result, my flight, originally scheduled for 9am on Friday the 17th, has been re-scheduled six or seven times and it’s currently still unclear if and when it will leave HKG. Vitaly, who was supposed to hold a workshop too, has also been stranded in HK, since his flight from Doha to Manila got re-routed to HK. He doesn’t even have any new flight info as of now.

Yesterday I spent 12 hours at the airport, walking a lot between different counters and gates to find out about the new departure times and the flight’s status. At some point after 11pm I went home, got some sleep and went back to airport at 9am to catch the flight at 11am, which again has now been re-scheduled twice.

Besides feeling sorry for myself and being frustrated about the whole situation, I feel sorry for everyone at FFC. Two of three speakers haven’t made it to the conference yet and besides all the issues this has caused, it’s a pretty bad end to a great conference, which has been run for 9 years. This will be the last edition of FFC in Manila. What a sad ending.

I feel sorry for the attendees who were looking forward to a good experience, which had to be moved and shifted, to make things work. Well, “work” is not quite the right word, if there’s not much you can do to make things “work”. One positive thing is that the attendees all get to enjoy Hui Jing Chen‘s CSS Grid Masterclass today.

Once things like this happen, it clearly becomes apparent how much work goes into organizing a conference. So many things are connected and it’s difficult to find ways to mitigate this issue. I’m frustrated that there’s nothing one can do, besides waiting at the airport.

With all that said, it’s 12:40pm now and the departure time still stands for 2pm. If I can get on, that would be great and we’ll still have a good time at FFC, which for now has eventually been partially moved to tomorrow. I’m trying to stay optimistic and we’ll try to make the best out of this shitty situation.