Customer service dealings can be a frightful experience, but I am a firm believer that if you treat people how you wish to be treated, customer service dealings can be fruitful and, dare I say, rewarding.
One hectic morning before Christmas at Tampa International Airport, I was running through security to my destination gate. I stopped along the way to go to the bathroom before boarding. I came out of the bathroom and beelined to the gate just as boarding had begun. Unfortunately, there was a line of about a dozen people who were trying to secure a seat on my flight, as the later flight to Charlotte, North Carolina had run into some technical difficulties and had been cancelled. Passengers screamed, demanded seating and refused paying change fees. The flight attendant working the counter was clearly flustered, but was trying his best to maintain composure around the irate frequent flyers. It was then I realized I could not find my boarding pass. I dumped out my purse, rifled through my carry on and checked my pockets, thrice. It was gone! I don’t travel often, so occurences such as this put me into a tizzy.
I reached the podium in a clear panic. The attendant read my face, took a deep breath and asked what he could do to help me. “Oh my gosh, you have to help me, I don’t know what to do!”, I stammered. Assuming I was asking for another flight, he blandly told me all seats were full, and there was nothing he could do to remedy the situation. I then said that wasn’t the problem, but I couldn’t imagine there was much he could do, especially when it came to impatient passengers and I felt sorry for how he was being treated. We finally got around to the real problem, which was my boarding pass. He said “Oh, we can replace that no problem. I see you’re in seat 27B- how would you like 2C, it’s open!” he said quietly, with a wink. Considering I hated being stuck in the back of a whippy plane, I was delighted at the turn of events. It always surprises me to see a little bit of compassion and patience going such a far way, to not only bettering an undesirable situation for yourself, but also to make someone elses difficult job a little easier.