Category: Employees

New Flights Of Unreason

| Washington, DC, USA | Employees, Time, Transportation

(I’m trying to get on a flight for work to State College, PA. I have to be there by 7 pm for sound-check; the flight is scheduled to take off at 12:30 and land at 2 pm. At 12 pm, they announce a five-minute delay. Knowing that it’s NEVER a five-minute delay, I approach the desk.)

Me: “I just wanted to talk to someone about getting on another flight; I MUST be in State College this evening for work.”

Airline Employee: “Oh, it’ll be fine. We’ll just be a few minutes delayed.”

(Every few minutes, they announce another short delay. By 1 pm, I go back to the desk.)

Me: “Hi, I really need to talk to someone about getting on another flight.”

(At that moment, a VERY cranky passenger storms up and interrupts me to shout about the delay. Airline employee turns away from me to deal with it. He continues to rant, and another employee comes over. Now there’s a bunch of us in line, and everyone’s serving that one guy. I give up and return to my seat. At 1:30 pm, I return to the desk and again, just as I am about to be served, cranky man jumps up and starts yelling. At 2 pm, I try AGAIN, and by now there are FIVE airline employees serving him and everyone else is being ignored. Finally, at 2:30, I stand my ground.)

Me: “OK, the last time I checked, I was told it would be ‘just a few minutes until the plane took off. That was more than two hours ago. I fly tens of thousands of miles with you folks every year and I know you have other flights into this town – I NEED to get on the next flight. Can you help me?”

Airline Attendant: “Sorry, miss, but the last flight to State College left an hour ago. Why didn’t you say something sooner?”

Me: “…”

(I managed to get into town and to the venue with less than 20 minutes to spare.)

She Is Not Safe In Sound

| West Yorkshire, England, UK | Employees, Health & Body, Tourists & Travel, Transportation

(My parents are waiting to go through airport security in the UK. My mother is profoundly deaf and uses a cochlear implant. Without it, she can only hear loud, indistinct noises – sirens, drills etc. Even with it, she has trouble hearing in the airport. Because part of the implant is internal and would set off the alarms, she has to use a different security gate without her aids before getting patted down. My dad explains this to the security officer.)

Officer: “You won’t be able to use this gate with your wife; you have to join the normal queue.”

Dad: “Could she wait until I’ve been checked through, so that I can help on the other side when she comes through?”

Officer: “No. Don’t worry; it’s fine. I know what I’m doing. You join the queue and I’ll just process her. It won’t take very long.”

Dad: “She won’t be able to hear anything you say when she’s removed her implant and hearing aid, so would you be able to sign or write any instructions you have for her? Or wait until I’ve come through?”

Officer: “Yes, yes. Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.”

(My dad reluctantly joins the queue, while the officer takes my mother over to the other gate. She removes her aids and puts them in a box, then goes through the scanner. A DIFFERENT officer comes and does a vague shooing wave at her. Confused, she goes back through the scanner and returns to him. He starts picking up her arms like a doll to do the pat down (instead of demonstrating what he wants her to do). The original officer is just stood staring at them.)

Officer #2: “Do you have any other metal objects on you? Any loose change? Are you wearing a belt buckle?”

Dad: *from the line* “Excuse me! My wife is deaf; she can’t hear what you’re saying!”

(Officer #2 continues in an absurdly slow, loud voice. He stops his pat down and is pointing at her handbag. My mother looks at my dad, completely bewildered and panicked.)

Dad: *frustrated* “Can you at least give her the aids back, please?”

(Officer #2 ignores him, but my dad manages to get to the front of the queue, where he’s able to go and assist my mother with the irritated Officer #2 and pointless Officer #1. My mother was upset and embarrassed for quite a while afterwards. On the way home from holiday, the Italian security staff were very helpful and accommodating. I guess they have more understanding with language barriers?)

Some Things Can Weight To Be Said, Part 6

| Germany | Bad Behavior, Employees, Health & Body

(I am leading an active life and enjoyed working out regularly, but recently I have found myself constantly exhausted, with bouts of pain, dizziness, and a racing heart. Worried, I get an appointment with my doctor, who refers me to a neurologist to rule out a few things. I am a short young woman who appears heavier than she is due to a large chest, broad shoulders, and a muscular build. As I walk in, there’s no receptionist to be seen. A few minutes later the doctor himself arrives. When I start describing my issues, he takes a short look at me and asks me to step on the scales (fully clothed). I am confused, but comply. He doesn’t even look at the numbers before tutting.)

Doctor: “Well, there you have it. Just lose some weight and you will be all right.”

Me: *increasingly vexed* “I am trying, but I actually had to STOP working out due to those issues I have! I would love to be more active again, and I still eat healthy and walk everywhere I can, but—”

Doctor: *interrupting me in a condescending tone* “You just have to try harder.”

Me: *close to tears, trying to make him understand that I am serious* “Would you tell someone who’s in a wheelchair that they can of course run a marathon, they only have to try hard enough?”

Doctor: “Now, now, no need to get snarky. I’ll write in my report that you have weight-related issues and should work out more.”

(I raced out, embarrassed and angry. Later it turns out that I have fibromyalgia with chronic fatigue, as well as a severe panic disorder. I guess “just working out more” was not the solution…)

Some Things Can Weight To Be Said, Part 5
Some Things Can Weight To Be Said, Part 4
Some Things Can Weight To Be Said, Part 3

A Ham-Fisted Attempt At Vegetarianism

| Belgium | Employees, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(It’s late in the evening. My mother and I had a very long day, and neither of us are in the mood to cook, so we decided to grab a snack at the chip van. Note that I’m a vegetarian.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir, are those lumpias vegetarian?”

Him: “Yes, ma’am! There is just some sparkle of ham in it.”

Me: “…”

(My mother could barely retain her laughter until we left.)

Will Roam Around For A Second Opinion

| NJ, USA | Employees, Extra Stupid, Technology

(My mother is not the most tech savvy person, so she usually comes to me with her phone problems. The other day she told me her phone kept dying despite charging it all the time. I figured it was either the charger, the port on the phone, or the battery itself, so on Sunday afternoon we take it to the local phone store. To start, the store is completely empty. We stand at the counter and notice the backroom door open. My mom takes a peek inside before someone finally runs out wearing a football jersey and asks how he can help us. I explain the phone situation and ask what he thinks the problem is. He takes the phone into the backroom and reappears ten minutes later.)

Jersey: “It’s a roaming issue.”

Me: “Roaming issue?”

Jersey: “Yeah, if the phone thinks you’re roaming it sometimes does that.”

Me: “You mean to tell me that because of my geographical location, the phone won’t charge correctly?”

Jersey: “Yeah.”

Me: “Are you sure it’s not the battery, or the charger, or something?”

Jersey: “Nope, it’s a roaming issue.”

(At this point there is cheering from the backroom and the employee becomes noticeably agitated and fidgety.)

Me: “Okay, I’ll just turn the roaming off.”

(As soon as we left, the employee ran into the back room. We called tech support and learned it was just the battery and a replacement was sent. I recommended a replacement for their store manager as well.)