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Irrational Irradiation

| Russia, St Petersburg | Tourists/Travel

(Our inspectors group is at the TSA checkpoint, serving a line of the passengers. I’m standing in front of the x-ray, helping the passengers to load their carry-ons and clothes, when I see a lady in the line starting to fish something out from her bag.)

Me: “Excuse me; you don’t need to take anything out of your bag! Just put it on the conveyer belt as it is.”

Passenger: “Yes, I have to! How can I have my food exposed to the radiation?” *proceeds to take a rather large plastic container out of her bag and put it aside*

Me: “Excuse me, but there are rules; we need to check all of your things. Please put the box onto the conveyer belt.”

Passenger: “I’m not doing this! I’m not gonna eat irradiated food!”

Me: “Ma’am, this is a normal x-ray machine, it isn’t constructed to harm people. You do x-ray in the hospital, don’t you? This one gives you even less a dose of the rays!”

Passenger: “Don’t bull-s*** me! This is not made for people; I’m not putting my lunch inside this! There’s RADIATION!”

Me: *pointing at an x-ray machine next to ours, opened for the catering guys; they’re putting packs of soda for the customer service at the departure lounge through the machine* “You see, all of our catering services have to put all their food through it as well, so there’s really nothing harmful—”

Passenger: “Ah! Good thing you said it! I’ll make it a point to never buy any food here!”

(Finally I gave up on arguing and just called a co-worker who checked the lady’s lunch box visually. In less than two minutes the x-ray operator found out she had a water bottle of a larger than allowed volume, and sure enough, there ensued another scene, where the passenger lady fiercely defended her right to keep her bottle. And, when she predictably failed in this, as the apotheosis of this all, she loudly ranted all over the checkpoint and promised to file a complaint on how we made her drink the poisonous water spiked with the awful x-ray radiation.)

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Like To Throw Their Weight Around

| Greece | Popular, Tourists/Travel

(I work for a travel company on one of the heavily touristic Greek islands. This day I am working at the airport helping our customers as they are checking in for their flight back to their home country. The luggage limit is 20 kg per person. A family of three is checking in and a member of the Greek airport staff calls me over and tells me that she needs me to explain the rules about overweight luggage to the customer. Usually this means translating from English to the customer’s language.)

Me: *in the customer’s language* “Hello. What seems to be the problem?”

Man: *completely beetroot red in his face* “They –” *the check-in personnel* “– are telling us that we have 10 kilos overweight!”

(Usually the charge for extra kilos is almost 10 euros per kilo, so it can get quite expensive fast.)

Me: “How much weight do you have at the moment?”

Man: “70!”

Me: “Well, yes, the allowed limit is 20kg per person.”

Man & Woman: *screaming simultaneously* “YES, BUT WE ARE THREE PERSONS!”

Me: “Yes… and that means your total weight can be 60 kg. So you do indeed have 10 kg overweight”

Man: “WE HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT OF LUGGAGE NOW AS WE DID WHEN WE LEFT AND THEY DID NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT!”

Me: *with a sinking feeling of here-we-go-again-with-this* “I see. Unfortunately that is a mistake on their part and they are known to be quite inattentive when it comes to the weight limits, whereas here on [Greek Island] they are known for being extremely strict with the limits.”

Man: “THAT IS NOT MY PROBLEM. THAT IS A MISTAKE ON YOUR STAFF IN SO IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!”

Me: *thinking how on earth could I possibly control staff that does not actually work for us and are located almost 4000 km away from us* “Again, I am sorry, but they are very strict with the limits and—”

Man: “I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO PAY FOR THIS! THIS IS RIDICULOUS. THEY DID NOT TELL US AND NOW SUDDENLY THEY HAVE JUST DECIDED TO TAKE THE MONEY FROM ME. I WILL. NOT. PAY. FOR. THIS.”

Me: *starting to get fed up with this childish attitude but still remaining polite* “Well, I’m am sorry you feel this way, but unfortunately you don’t have a choice in the matter. Either you pay or you don’t board the flight.”

(The man keeps repeating the above things over and over again with his wife backing him up. Meanwhile their child, who looks about eight, is just sitting on their bags, looking sad.)

Man: “FINE. I will pay for it, but you can be d*** sure that I will claim the money back when I get home! This will not be the end of this!”

Me: “Would you like to have the email address to our reclamation-department?”

Man: “YES!”

Me: *writing down the address on a piece of paper* “You can send your claim to this email and in case you lose this piece of paper, you can always find it again from [our website].”

Man: *taking the paper* “This is the worst service I have ever had! This has never happened to us before! I am NEVER flying with this company again!” *to the check-in staff, in English* “How much is the cost?”

Airport Staff: “You must take this note to the office over there.” *pointing the location, about 50 meters away, but clearly visible* “They will tell you the price as there can be changes to it. When you come back, you don’t have to stand in line anymore, but you can come straight to the counter and we will finalize the check-in procedure.”

Man: *in his language to me* “I AM NOT STANDING IN LINE AGAIN WHEN I COME BACK WITH THIS!”

Me: “No, of course you don’t have to do that. As the check in person just told you, you can simply just pass the queue when you come back.”

Man: *storms off*

(The woman stays behind with the child, but steps aside and I am standing quite close to them, but not engaging her very much because I have grown aggravated with their, frankly, childish behavior. Meanwhile, my colleague and friend who works for our sister company engages the woman because she has even less tolerance for this kind of behavior than I do.)

Woman: *just repeating what they have been saying again and again and adding another gem* “Well, fortunately there are other tour companies so we won’t have to travel with you guys ever again.”

My Colleague: “The weight limits are mentioned very clearly in the travel rules and they are also in your ticket…”

(They later said that their daughter had gotten car sick because the bus that had brought them to the airport, provided by our company of course, had been taking “some d*** scenic route instead of driving straight.” For the record, there is precisely one route that the buses take on their way to the airport and it’s definitely not a “scenic” route. But this did not stop these two from not only complaining about it but also ENCOURAGING THEIR OWN CHILD TO TRY AND THROW UP ON THE AIRPORT FLOOR IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE because they were angry at us. So, yes, please do choose another company to travel with in the future. It’s not that we think that we have too many customers. It’s just that we prefer that our customers A) have basic decency, B) know how to read, write, and count or at least listen, and C) don’t use their own *children* as biological weapons.)

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Need To Install A Listening Station

, | Denver, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I am another customer in this case, observing. It is an extremely busy morning at the airport and there is a line of about 10 people for a coffee and pastry counter. This counter has a place to order, and a separate place to pick up and pay.)

Customer: *approaches the pay portion of the counter* “Is this where you order?”

Employee: “No, sir, you have to order down there.” *she indicates the large “ORDER HERE” sign hanging at the other end of the counter*

Customer: “I want a bagel, but I don’t want it cooked. Do you cook your bagels?”

Employee: “You can choose to have it toasted or not, if that’s what you mean. But you have to order down there.”

Customer: “Okay, well, I’ll have a plain bagel, not cooked, and a coffee.”

Employee: *at this point clearly flustered and just trying to move the guy along quickly* “Your total will be $6. Please stand off to the side and wait for that to be ready.”

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