I was just about to give up on this series this week. As soon as I came up with the idea, nothing happened. Literally. No one misbehaved. It truly rocked my world. I thought, “What is wrong with humanity? Come on people, give me the good stuff!” And then, I had one the worst trips that I’ve had in a long time. The trip started out bad enough. We had seriously delayed and canceled flights, but the passengers were totally understanding and actually…nice. There was a major snow storm in Chicago and it completely shut the airport down. Damn those Midwesterners, they can be nice even while sleeping on the airport floor. Nothing to write about.
Then, day 2 arrived. The gray skies cleared up and we were off to Long Island. I was exhausted from the first day, though, and my defenses were down. About halfway through our day, the shit hit the fan. We were in Tampa with a broken plane full mostly of retired Floridians. Nice. Those flights are fun on a normal day. No one can complain like a retired Floridian. And, when I say Floridian, I actually mean New Yorker. We were supposed to be going to West Palm Beach, which is about a 25 minute flight away from Tampa. We were delayed over 3 hours for a 25 minute flight. Nice.
Anyway, people (especially New Yorkers) are inherently mistrusting of airlines. Even if there is a hurricane bearing down on you, they think that you are canceling the flight for some other reason that you aren’t sharing. So, it should have come as no surprise when this little beefy red-faced New Yorker came huffing up the aisle only about 30 minutes into the delay.
“Can’t you put us on a different plane?”
Even though I have no control over anything, I responded, “Well, the only option would be the next flight which is in about 4 hours, you could take that one.” (I said it in a positive tone and with a smile, New Yorkers evidently don’t care for sarcasm.)
“I see a plane sitting over there at that gate, why can’t we take that one?”
With less of a smile, I said, “That plane is already in use. Maintenance is trying to fix this one.”
“I know you have planes sitting around for this type of thing, why aren’t you using them? If I would have known that this was going to happen I would have taken my men and found another flight!”
This guy was being a prick, so, too quickly I answered, “Ok, well if you go, be sure to take all your things.” I was testing the theory that New Yorkers like honesty. They want you to give it them straight. Today was not the day to test out theories.
Now, I had unleashed a monster. I knew that nothing I said would make him or his “men” happy. So, I just continued with the truth, “I have no control over what planes we use or where they go. This plane is being fixed and for now, we are still going to take this one. That may change, but, for the time being that’s what’s going on.”
“Well, you need to figure out what’s going on and get this thing going.”
I love this type of guy. It’s a lost cause. People treat me like I don’t know anything, but, ask me questions like I know everything.
Well, fast forward about 4 hours. We are finally in West Palm Beach and everyone is finally getting off the plane. This guy has been such a jackass that other New Yorkers are actually apologizing for him. I gave up on even trying to please him. He had yelled at me, at the captain, and at our customer service agents. He was just trying to cause a scene. I may not have had the best attitude, but for that day, it was all I could do. This jerk just needed to get off the plane. Upon leaving the plane his wife approaches me and asks for my name and badge number. I give her my name and inform her that we do not give out any other personal informational.
I say, “You only need my first name and the flight number for your letter.”
She snaps back, “Why are you assuming that I am going to write a negative letter?”
“Well typically if someone who is clearly upset asks me for that information it isn’t for writing a good letter.”
“How do you know I am upset?”
“Are you serious? Everyone on the plane knows that you are upset.”
She snaps back again, “You’re a negative person and shouldn’t be doing this job.”
With all the restraint I could muster I say, “Thank you so much for your support. Have a great day!”
Momma said there’d be days like this.
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