Start New Game

No airline seemed to be having the best day on Friday but me and Random Navy Guy Rob agreed the ground staff at Norfolk were maintaining grace under fire.

Not so in Washington for my connection with BRITISH Airways. The customer before me asked if we'd begun boarding and got the response, "You can see the line over there." How does someone having a bad day think being rude is gonna make it any better? Unfortunately it's symptomatic of a well-recognized British trait: terrible service stemming from a lack of respect for the customer. It doesn't happen every day, but it's widespread enough not to be a surprise when it does. This is my number one anticipated buzzkill on returning and I thought it had started early, but Smoking Flight Attendant told me it was a Dulles phenomenon too.

I ended up in the Economy Plus section (halfway between Economy and Business Class with three separate controls for each seat, no less!) because it was the only space left after I was switched airlines. So I won't complain about the bitch at the gate that gave away my assigned seat to another customer in front of my eyes without telling me anything about the problem she was trying to fix. As she busied herself with pen and paper I fished the same out of my bag and noted down some details from her I.D. badge. Of course, I never intended to do anything further with them but she did start to pay me better attention after that.

God knows I'm not singing every single day and to expect everyone I meet to act like they're on top of the world 100% of the time would be quite pathetic of me. But I have zero time for attitude any more; it's self-indulgent and counter-productive to a happy life. I want to keep intact my faith in mankind to be civilized, which was heavily reinforced by the people I met in Virginia. I smiled right back at the sourpuss who sold me my bus ticket and fazed her big time. I think this is going to be my new game!

A final example of my insufferable cheerfulness: Overseas & Overweight Student and I waited an hour at the baggage carousel but no cigar. (No bags either.) Impatient people were all around us, somehow misconceiving that being miserable makes your bags come faster. My luggage was damn heavy and I still had 100 miles to travel, so when we had to file claims I was more than happy for the airline deliver it to my door at their expense instead. (When there was no news 24 hours later, I got a little antsy that my only wordly posessions not languishing in storage had been lost but I have them now. I love it when a plan comes together!) Lost Baggage Desk Woman joked that I should repeat my reaction so she could tape it, and on the way out Carousel Monitor Guy said, "I wish all our customers were like you." What can I say? I rock so hard.


Anonymous sarah said...

Sounds like a game I want to play.:)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a post-Eccleston thing, the flashing of a big toothy smile at life's problems? It can't hurt, so why not? I find myself doing it too -- menky, but subconscious, honest.

The Calvin and Hobbes book of wisdom suggests that nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around. So, as you suggest, nothing pisses people who think that way off more than a complete lack of concern from those whom they want to annoy.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Could be, Shig. Oftentimes, the things that happen to us in life are beyond our control and the results are the same whether we grumble or smile. I choose the latter for a more enjoyable journey, regardless of the eventual outcome.

Is this Zen? Or did he die when The Liberator blew up?


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