Stranded in Washington’s Dulles airport last night, we waited in line at customer service hoping to be routed and still make Kentucky that night. About 12 flights had been cancelled and people were showing varying degrees of anxiety and stress, depending on their travel plans. I’m not exactly sure why anyone would think that shouting at the customer service guy would help their cause – and I was highly amused to hear a calm, measured ‘Sir, you need to let me do my job. Shouting at me won’t change the weather.’ Down the other end of the counter, another woman was asking the world how flying to another airport 90 minutes from her home would help her situation. Our chap was extremely helpful – he even let me use his phone to call a friend in DC to cadge a couch for the night. And we were rescheduled to fly this afternoon from Regan International. All okay.
So we arrived at the airport today to find that US Airways had no knowledge of our booking. We weren’t on the flight. We were sent back to United where the ditziest woman ever took up our cause. As she slowly and unhurriedly hummed and hawed over our situation, I was in danger of losing my rag completely. While she was sorting us out, she was also taking phone calls and helping other customers. No such thing as focused attention. Tired, cranky, and not at my best, it was either scream at her in frustration or cry. But then I remembered that shouting wouldn’t change the weather – or the situation. It took every single ounce of energy I had to keep smiling as I marvelled at the power of choice.
We choose our attitude – and thought it nearly killed me, I chose to swallow the bile and be nice.