Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It'd have been DISASTER had it not been for THIS Deus Ex-Machina (Personal Entry)

I just bought the air tickets from Vayama.com. They connect me from Seoul through Beijing, then Los Angeles, before finishing the hop in San Diego. And they cost $990.69 after fees, taxes and insurance; the lowest cost of all the searched flights! =)

Now, the potentially harrowing part of this purchase

After pressing "Submit," the site said something about "your ticket delivery" or something like that. The Firefox browser said "Done" but the space under "your purchase delivery" remained blank.

NOTHING indicated anything resembling the finalizing of a ticket purchase, nor a bar graph indicating progress or that the site was "working" to finalize it. Also no confirmation & reservation numbers, nothing. I thought the website "malfunctioned" and didn't go all the way through.

I was contemplating pressing F5 (REFRESH) to see to it that it goes all the way through. (Because it didn't look it.) I itched to press that critical key; chomped at the bit to reload the site in order to make it load all the way next time. I was seconds away from doing...

Then my phone buzzed me at 3:20 in the morning; I got a new spam text message, and deleted it.

Right when I did, the site then displayed "your vayama confirmation." (All lower-cased, as is Vayama's title formats, FYI.) Along with my trip ID, airline reservation numbers, and so on.

If I HADN'T have gotten that spam mail, I would've hit myself into paying $1,981.38 for two tickets! Turns out that Refresh would have submitted it twice, and BOY would I hate that. My state of mind very late at night does not make for the best judgment calls. Usually that leads to something harmless, but this would've been unimaginably... (insert suspenseful adjective here.)

Would anyone expect spam mail to stop you from making a BIG mistake at a very unlikely time such as this? I didn't either. This brings my mind back to the movies:

A protagonist (or group thereof) is in a really tight spot. Their backs are to a wall, a rooftop edge, or a body of water, and they're about to get killed (or very hurt, or something really bad is about to happen to them somehow.) Then at the last minute, an unexpected good guy/gal appears out of nowhere and saves the day! That is called a "deus ex-machina."

After seeing so many of these in movies and not enough of them in real life (and too often when we really, really needed one) you never expect such to happen here.

It did just 13 minutes ago. I don't know what the non-religious will think or say about this, but thank the Lord Jesus for saving my skin! I can't remember the last Deus Ex-Machina that happened to me, but I believe God arranged that, too.

I still hate spam, but now that a spam message saved me from paying twice, I hate it a little less now.

In what other situations can spam save your day??

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