All about attitude

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.

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9 Responses

  1. Bless you for swallowing the bile, Mary..You are a better woman than I am..I’mm afraid I would turn into a real bitch at this point..Looking forward to seeing you soon..Hopefully, if you ever get out of DC…

  2. Congratulations on holding your tongue… it is not easy when…
    the person ahead of you gets what they want by shouting, and you don’t get anything at all by being nice… or tired, frustrated employees resort to prevarication (I had a hard time flat out saying ‘lying’, but that’s what I meant) to get rid of customers… I wish you happy energy for the your trip. Have fun. Good luck!

  3. But you have left us in suspense – did you ever get that second flight? Did it go anywhere you wanted it to? Are you now motoring peacefully under own control? Further instalments of this saga are eagerly awaited!

  4. I re-read your post when Bernard posted his comment (and I agree with Bernard–I look forward to more details). This time what stood out was ‘It took every single ounce of energy I had to keep smiling as I marvelled at the power of choice.’ Wow. That is quite some power… but the power is to wield the choice…uf… and the wisdom (?) to want to make that choice. I’ll have to think about that one for a while.

  5. You my woman are way to seasoned, and I am so proud that you swallowed your bile, as hard as it may have been. Service is something that we very seldom get any more and it seems airports are among the worst and I tend to think it is multiplied by our own stress.
    But here is to you and hope your trip gets better as soon as that Southern hospitality that we all here about is heaped upon you both. Remember keep traveling with Aloha and you will be rewarded.
    I also am anxious to hear all the details, so rest up and get to writing but not while driving (that is a ticketable offense) ha ha.
    Aloha and safe travels

  6. I copied this quote from the wall of a building contractors’ office years ago……..it seems appropriate to your situation: ‘Stress – The confusion created when ones’ mind overides the body’s basic desire to choke the living s**t out of some asshole who desperately needs it.’ Well controlled girl! Good Luck with the rest of your trip.

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