Monday, November 19, 2007

Whatever the opposite of customer satisfaction is, part 2

For lack of a better word, today's trip sucked.

It started out innocently enough: A quick trip into the office, followed by a flight to Houston. And the rumors of crowds and lines at the airport were highly exaggerated.

But then my flight was delayed. And then my direct flight -- with the one stop in Dallas -- turned into a situation where I had to change planes, and had about five minutes to do it in. And then, when I got on the new flight -- which was purportedly a continuation of the last flight, someone else had been booked into my seat, and all that was left were window and middle seats in the back of the plane.

And somehow, in the midst of all this madness, I lost my .mp3 player somewhere between getting off the flight from DC to Dallas and getting settled in my seat for the flight from Dallas to Houston. Which caused me to call the stewardess flight attendant on the new flight to tell her about it -- before the doors were even closed and everyone was on board. Of course, she was less than helpful. I asked if there was any way that she could call the other plane to see if it was there, but she told me that it was probably hopeless and I should just wait until we got to Houston. So I got frustrated with her, and in the petulant tone of voice that drives my mother bat shit crazy, along with a flippant little wave of my hand, I said, "Yeah, right. Whatever."

Now, before everyone harps on me for overreacting and being mean to a poor overworked flight attendant, let me explain: I understand that my little problem was, well, little, in comparison to all that must go on in the course of a routine day of being a flight attendant, but to the extent that her job is customer service, she could have been a little more helpful. For example, she could have checked to see if, perhaps, my little electronic device fell out in the aisle of our plane, without my asking her to do it, and without the end result that she stepped away, gave a cursory look up the aisle without moving, and reported back that she didn't see it anywhere.

See, as far as I'm concerned, if you're in customer service, either try to be helpful or admit that you have no intention of being helpful and get the fuck out of my way. Anything else is just a colossal waste of both of our time.

So, anyway, I got to Houston and reported the thing missing, and the guy at the desk -- who tried to be both helpful and honest -- admitted that it was highly unlikely that I will ever see it again. But he told me that my best chance of seeing it again is when both planes are cleaned in Dallas tonight. He then gave me the number of the lost and found in the airport, and told me where to go to try to hunt it down on my flight back tomorrow afternoon (if I make it in time, natch).


Anonymous said...

You're right about customer service - so I don't see how your comment was out of line. It just makes me mad the way people just don't care. At least there was one person who was helpful though :)

mad said...

Just be glad the proposal to arm pilots and flight attendants got shot down.

Paige Jennifer said...

The last time I was on a plane, I was one of the last ones off. As I strolled up the empty aisle passing flight attendants tidying the seats, I heard one yelp 'find any iPods yet' to no one in particular. Simply put, note MP3 on your holiday wishlist.

honeykbee said...

Bitches, both sky and ground, are a dime a dozen. Sorry about your mp3 player =(

dara said...

Rache: They're in a service industry; they should be better at dealing with the people. People pay a lot of money to fly; they should treat us better than cattle in need of herding.

Mad: Eh. She didn't even get offended that I was being rude and dismissive, as she was too busy ignoring me.

PJ: Thank god I got the cheap one this time. It was only $80. What I'll really miss are the headphones, since they were the most comfortable ones I've had in ages. Not to mention that I had them for over two years without a short.

hkb: Agreed, and thanks. The device is replaceable, though. My real complaint is that I hate paying all that money to be treated like total shit.