Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's just as easy to be nice as ...

... to be an incredible asshole.

The night before I left for Key West, I spent a ton of time on the phone with the nicest customer service representative for Continental Airlines. She very patiently explained what could happen if the snow started to fall in Chicago (it did) delaying my flight (it was) and jeopardizing my opportunity to make a connection in Tampa to Key West. She was completely lovely and reserved a seat for me on the only available Continental flight to Key West the next day. Turns out I didn't need her help, but that doesn't diminish how thorough and polite she was and I appreciated that sooooo much.

Contrast this with the little jerk who was directing people at Terminal A in Tampa. All he would do is point. He refused to answer questions. I had 10 minutes to make my flight, and when I got to Terminal A I discovered I would have to go through a long line at security again. Taking off my shoes, collecting all my 3-oz or less bottles and zipping them into a storage bag, etc. They do not make you go through security twice at O'Hare, Hartsfield or Miami, so I thought this was a mistake. "I have answered you three times!" he barked. Maybe 21, with a face ProActiv would love, and he's giving me shit. Not to mention that I've never spoken to him before in my life, much less twice previously. I went to check his nametag and he covered it with his hand. "You don't get to know my name. You just have to get in line." He was wearing a red vest, so I know he was airport, not NTSB, so I sarcastically thanked him and wished him a happy, happy holiday season. A man observing this exchange gave me the spot in front of him at the middle of the line.

So to the woman on the phone at Continental and to the fellow traveller right behind in line as I went through security (again!) at Tampa, thank you, thank you, thank you. Your kindnesses meant a lot to me, and almost washed away the stench of the officious brat boy who was undoubtedly using bravado and rudeness to compensate for bad skin and a small penis.