3/16/14 16:49 Home
One hour delay due to mechanical problems or some other excuse…
While I was delayed in Philadelphia; waiting for my flight back to Islip, I watched an irate woman, who although delayed was dressed impeccably in a business suit with a beautiful black leather hand bag. She had long straight brown hair, and an expensive watch. I imagined her to be more composed most of the time, but this time - it was different. The extended delay was a problem for her. She missed an important meeting and she was pissed. She was letting everyone know how pissed off she was. She yelled at a US Air representative who stood behind a counter and he appeared stoic and resolute. I knew by watching his passive face and restrained response, this was part of his job. He’s been through this before, perhaps been through professional training of what to say, and not to say when a passenger was this upset. He was trying his best to calm her down, but he lost her - she was too far into her anger to see past anything. Most eyes were watching how the scene developed. “I was bumped off my flight and I have waited here since ten AM! This is unacceptable! This is poor customer service!” She actually waved her finger at him, as if scolding him. A small crowd formed, he asked if he could help some others who needed his immediate assistance, she flung her arm out (giving him her reluctant approval to help the others) and then this older woman; let’s refer to her as the grandmother in the scene, tried her best to listen to the irate woman and seemed to convey some sympathy, by shaking her head and making a pouty face. “Oh, you poor dear.” But when another woman appeared things switched. The other woman wore a big NY Giants T-Shirt and was clearly disabled, perhaps born with the defects which made her arms, lifeless; her face hung loosely, her tongue jutted from wet lips. When she overheard the commotion; the public display of irritation; she too looked with sympathy at the professional woman who was beside herself, brimming with anger. The disabled woman sensing the other's frustration and anger repeated, “I’m sorry…I’m sorry.” The professional woman’s tone changed. She looked at the disabled woman, and tried to tell her how...she waited...and was told she’d get credit, but that wasn’t happening… all of a sudden the shift we waited for…which we hoped from the US Air agent…occurred. The professional woman looked at the disabled woman and I saw her shoulders slouch and she sighed. Peace was restored. A lesson learned for us.
Sure, the delay was an inconvenience…but it was only a delay.
Thank you for reading this.