Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reason 5,394 why I'm an asshole

I know I will never live this down. It was just a tiny, insignificant moment in my life, but somehow, Dave has turned it into a life lesson that I cannot get away from. If you don't want to read it, just know that the moral of the story is that I'm an asshole and Dave is not. Shocker.

Anyway, in 2007, Dave and I were visiting my parents in Memphis when we had some flight trouble. We had trouble making it in to Memphis and had to be put on a different airline for that leg of the trip, so when it came time to check in for our return flight, that original airline (American) wouldn't let me -- they said we were not confirmed on it. Since we HAD to get back to Chicago, I had to call the airline to find out what the hell was going on.

This was my conversation:

Me: Hi, I'm trying to check in for my flight tomorrow and it's telling me that I don't have a seat on it, which is simply wrong.

Her: Okay, ma'am, I'll check.

Me: Okay.

I give her the flight info.

Her: Okay, ma'am, I'm showing that the reason for this is that the flight has already taken off.

Uh, the flight is tomorrow. Are you fucking kidding me? Does that seriously make sense to you??

Me: Well, I don't QUITE understand how that's possible because I'm looking at a confirmation email that clearly says that the flight is for Sunday. And today is Saturday. So, that can't be the issue.

Her: Hmm, okay, ma'am, just a minute.

I mouth "WTF, these dumb whores" to my mom.

We go through a lot of annoying shit where the woman continues to be an idiot and I continue to be impatient, reminding her of how her crap airline effed us on our original flight to Memphis. FINALLY....

Her: Okay, I see. You're actually confirmed on the flight, ma'am, but you just need to check in at the airport.

Me: Kay, thanks.

WHY did I accept that answer? I guess I wanted to be done with the conversation as much as she did. However, I decided that Dave needed to call back and go through the same routine just to make sure she wasn't lying to me.

She was.

Dave's conversation:

Dave: Hi, I'm trying to check in for my flight tomorrow and it's telling me that I don't have a seat on it..? I just wanted to see if we're still confirmed for our flight.

Her: Okay, sir, I'll check.

Dave: Great, thank you very much.

I roll my eyes.

Dave walks away to have the rest of his conversation. Next thing I know, he's off the phone and he has already confirmed our seats and printed our new tickets. No waiting at the airport, no shitty customer service runaround.

Uh, what?

To this day, I have no idea what he said on the phone, but I know he was a heck of a lot nicer than I was. I get it, I do. Dave was nice, so he was helped. I was a bitch, so I got nothing. Fair.

Even though I get it, Dave reminds me of this every chance he gets. For example, I once said, "Okay, House is over, give me that remote." He held the remote captive until I said please and then he chose to remind me of this story, along with his whole "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" lecture.

Yeah, yeah. I think the real lesson here is that I should drink a teeny, tiny bit before I make any customer service calls, since I'm obviously much nicer when I'm a little buzzed.

See? I'm a fast learner.


TKTC said...


Marie said...

I found it quite difficult being nice to airline people. Actually most people do.

My point is you're not an asshole, they just make things TOO complicated and are annoying!

Katie said...

I'm always really nice to service people because having been in the service industry for several years (and especially after having worked for an airline) I understand that it's usually not THEIR fault I'm having problems. However, when confronted with enough run-around and incompetence, I demand to speak to higher-ups and let loose on them. While a lower end person might vindictively route your call to someone not useful or simply not offer to go out of their way for you if you're rude, a higher up person will have more flexibility in getting things done and, because most people are generally speaking conflict averse, will give you what you want when you start yelling.

The Constant Complainer said...

Like TKTC said, a true classic. I hate the customer service people at the airlines. They are worthless. I never have good experiences and complain afterwards just for the hell of it. LOL. Great post!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I am so similar to you in this way. Only me, when I'm frustrated with the incompetence of customer service reps? I just ask for their manager. And keep asking for another manager until I get the answer I need to hear. And I'm not usually very nice when I do take this route. Thank goodness for Dave's and Sweets' in this world to balance us out, right?!

RebeccaC said...

This is funny to me because JT and I take turns on being the jerk pretty regularly. Luckily, we seem to be on opposite schedules so if one of us is being pissy, the other one usually takes over. Thank GOD. You catch more flies with honey....

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