November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Anything Goes Except Everything

, | Vantaa, Finland | Extra Stupid, Tourists/Travel

(I work as a sales agent for an airline.)

Me: “[Airline], this is [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Customer: “We’d like to go for a holiday somewhere.”

Me: “Okay, I can help you with that. What did you have in mind?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. Something would be nice.”

Me: “Okay, would you prefer a city destination or rather a beach destination?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Anything goes.”

Me: “Okay, how long a trip you were thinking? A weekend trip or maybe a longer trip, a week perhaps?”

Customer: “Well, anything goes.”

Me: *getting a bit frustrated already, but still trying something to start with* “Okay, do you have in mind when you’d like go for the trip?”

Customer: “Not really. Anything goes.”

Me: *frustrated, but still very polite* “Okay, how about you go for a nice weekend to Stockholm next weekend?”

Customer: “Well, actually we had a bit longer trip in mind and to some bit warmer destination. With a beach. And it has to be in September because that’s when we have our vacation.”

Extreme Jumping To Conclusions

| The Netherlands | Extra Stupid, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(As an airline employee, you are eligible for staff travel. The airline I work for has the rule that you can only travel if there is a seat available at the gate. We are in Spain, and we already know that the flight is pretty full. We also know that the aircraft is a Boeing 747, and on such a short flight (a little over two hours) there is the minimum required crew on board, so there are multiple jump seats (flight attendant seats) empty. The colleagues decide to take us home on a jump seat. We are moved to different jump seats during the flight, because we are in the way in the pantry and in the aisles during the dinner and beverage service. The passengers see us walking through the aisle with our belongings several times.)

Passenger: “Hey… what is going on? Are they moving you again?”

Me: *joking* “Yeah, they have just found out they don’t have a seat for us after all, so they are now taking us to the back to give us a parachute…”

Passenger: *shocked* “Oh, my God! Are you serious? That is terrible!”

(We sit down in the back pantry and have a good laugh with the colleagues.)

Me: “Did she think I was serious? If so, she is pretty gullible!”

(After landing, we see the concerned passenger at baggage reclaim. She comes up to me, all cheerful and happy.)

Passenger: “Oh, how wonderful! You made it to Amsterdam! They let you stay on board after all!”

Taking Stupidity To New Heights, Part 4

, | Dublin, Ireland | Crazy Requests, Technology, Transportation

(A customer calls to book a flight from London to Berlin. The aircraft assigned for that route had recently been changed from a jet-engine to a propeller plane. I am required to inform passengers when booking the flight.)

Customer: “A propeller plane? But if the engine stops working, the ‘plane will fall from the sky!”

(I was momentarily silenced as I tried to work out how this wasn’t also true for the jet aircraft. The passenger eventually decided to chance it and booked the flight.)

Taking Stupidity To New Heights, Part 3
Taking Stupidity To New Heights, Part 2
Taking Stupidity To New Heights

You’re Not In Kansas Anymore

, | San Antonio, TX, USA | Bigotry, Crazy Requests, Tourists/Travel

(I work as a supervisor taking calls. In my center, I have the highest authority on the phones. My name is common in Spain, Greece, and India.)

Coworker: “I don’t know what this customer wants. She requested a supervisor, got me, and said I wasn’t good enough to handle the problem.”

Me: “Okay, send her through.” *transfers* “Hello, ma’am. My name is [My Name]. I’m the supervisor on duty, and would like to know how I can help.”

Customer: “I want to talk to your supervisor.”

Me: “I apologize. I’m unable to transfer you to anyone else. I am the top tier of support. How may I help you?”

Customer: “I don’t want to talk to you. I want to talk to someone in the United States.”

Me: “We only have call centers in the continental US. I’m located in Texas, and am waiting to know how I can assist with what you were calling about.”

Customer: “Don’t lie to me. I am from India. You sound like me. You’re from India and the law says if I ask to speak with someone in the US that you have to transfer me.”

Me: “Ma’am, I have never heard of such a law. I’m physically unable to transfer you to anyone else, and have been patiently waiting to know how to assist you. Please let me help you with the reason you called, or I will have to end this call.”

Customer: “Transfer me to who I was speaking with before.”

Me: “Ma’am, as I said before, I can not transfer you anywhere else. Now, either tell me what I can do to help, or you can call back if you no longer wish to speak with me, as I can’t transfer you. Fair warning, though. We currently have a 30 minute hold time.”

Customer: “I would like to know what time I leave tomorrow.”

Me: “You depart at 0430, and land at 0625. What is your next request?”

Customer: “That was all.” *click*

(Exhausted with dealing with the caller, I look over to the only other person who has the same level of authority that I do.)

Colleague: “Aren’t you the one who everyone always confuses with the recorded message because you have such a generic sounding accent?”

Dead On Arrival

| San Jose, CA, USA | Tourists/Travel, Transportation, Wild & Unruly

(My husband and I are flying on a late Friday evening flight on a major air carrier and have just pushed back from the gate when the plane stops. We sit for less than five minutes when the pilot comes on the intercom and announces that we would be delayed slightly.)

Pilot: “I thought I saw something odd with one of our engines as we started to pull out. It’s probably nothing, but we want to check it to make sure. It will be just a few minutes, folks.”

(At this point, the passenger behind us, who is dressed in a business suit, starts making comments.)

Passenger: “I hate this f****** airline! I’ve been late twice in the past few months, and they can’t ever get their act together. Now we’re going to be late again. They need to get this f****** show on the road!”

(Less than ten minutes go by, with the passenger behind us swearing and commenting loudly and rudely to the man next to him, as well as calling a couple of people on his cell phone and roundly abusing the airline in very foul-mouthed language. Then the pilot comes on the com again.)

Pilot: “Folks, we’re spraying gas from our number two engine, and I’ve called the mechanic to come look at it and see if it’s serious, or is something that can be fixed. I’m afraid there will be about a half hour delay while we determine what’s going on with the engine.”

(At this point, the obnoxious passenger behind us calls one of the flight attendants over and starts ranting.)

Passenger: “Your f****** airline is such a piece of s***! I’ve been working hard for two days and I need to get home to my wife, and now this f****** flight is delayed! My time is valuable, you know!”

Attendant: “I’m very sorry, sir. We prefer to be safe, and hopefully it will be something that is easy to fix.”

Passenger: “Yeah, always excuses! You people are such a bunch of f***-ups. My wife is going to be livid when she finds out we’re delayed! Get that f****** mechanic out there now, and get this plane moving! That f****** pilot is making me late! I’ve got places to be!”

Attendant: “Everyone on this plane has somewhere to be, sir. I daresay that the pilot would like nothing better than to be done with this flight and getting to bed. I and the rest of the crew would like to be getting through with this flight and going off to bed, as well. I’m going to be late going home to my own family.”

Passenger: “I’m an important businessman, and I need to get home! Your screw-up is what’s the problem, and I’m going to file a complaint against this f****** airline! Who cares about you, anyway? You’re just a bunch of pathetic losers who work for a f***-up airline. I’m never going to fly with your f****** airline again, because I won’t get in until after midnight at this rate! Thanks for screwing up the start of my weekend, a**hole! You can take your f****** airline and shove it!”

(My husband, at this point, has had enough, and stands up to glower down at the obnoxious businessman. I’ve rarely seen him angry, but when he finally reaches that point, he can be intimidating.)

Husband: “Look, this airplane has a mechanical problem, and the crew are doing everything they can to resolve it. Stop acting like an a-hole to the attendant, because he’s in the same boat we all are. And I’m SICK of listening to you whine and swear about how you’re going to be late. Fine, we’re all going to be late. I would rather be late landing in our destination than end up DEAD wherever we land when the PLANE FALLS OUT OF THE SKY when the ENGINE SELF-DESTRUCTS! GOT IT? Good!”

(The attendant smiled and a couple other passengers flashed a thumbs-up at my husband. The obnoxious passenger got very quiet from there on out. The engine turned out to have a serious problem. We exited the plane shortly after the mechanic took a look at the engine, and the airline found us another aircraft. We were several hours late, but we didn’t hear from the obnoxious guy again, because my husband was right. Better to arrive in the middle of the night than not arrive at all!)

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