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It’s Handy She Checked

| Related | March 1, 2013

(My brother and niece are flying out of an airport that my mother and I have driven them to. We are waiting for their delayed flight to be rescheduled. She has just turned five.)

Niece: “I have to go to the bathroom!”

(I take her. Ten minutes later, she starts jumping up and down.)

Niece: “I have to go again.”

(This time, my mom takes her, and returns with her a few minutes later, saying she wouldn’t let Grandma into the stall, and she pooped, so we aren’t sure she wiped properly. I agree to take her back to double check, since they are boarding a four hour flight. We have a conversation in the stall.)

Me: “Now let me check to make sure you got all clean, okay?”

Niece: “I did, auntie.”

(I check and she does seem to have done a good job.)

Me: “Good job! I’m proud of you!”

Niece: “I told you! I did the hand test to make sure I was all clean!”

(She holds up her hand and waves it in my face. We immediately visit the sinks and I teach her the proper way to wash hands, while holding back my laughter. I then warned my brother about the ‘hand test’!)

This Employee Is A Fish Out Of Water

| Working | January 21, 2013

(I am going through American customs at the airport between a flight from Iceland and a flight to Montréal. I have food and alcohol which I had bought in Keflavik to bring back home, including salmon paste and hákarl, which is raw, fermented toxic shark. Both are Icelandic delicacies.)

Customs Agent: “So, you wrote down on your declaration card that you had food. Is this it?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customs Agent: “What’s this? Saaaal-mon… what’s sal-mon?”

Me: “…It’s a fish species.”

Customs Agent: “Oh. So you eat this?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customs Agent: “Never heard of it. Okay. And this is shark? Now, I know what a shark is… have a great day, ma’am!”

Flying Off The Handle Will Get You Handled

| Right | January 14, 2013

(I’m at an airport, and the flight I’m on has been oversold. The representative calls over the PA system for volunteers willing to be bumped to another flight, in exchange for a free ticket. I am talking with the representative about changing my flight when a man storms up and begins berating the lone employee at the counter.)

Employee: “I’ve found another flight on [airline] departing in 15 minutes which would get you to your final destination half an hour later than your originally scheduled arrival. Is that okay?”

Customer: “This is outrageous. My family needs to travel together. I demand that you give my son a boarding pass at once! Stop helping other people!”

Employee: “Sir, as I have already explained to you, your son bought a standby ticket, while you and your wife bought normal tickets. Your son will not be able to board this plane unless there are empty seats, and we are currently seeking seven passengers willing to alter their travel plans. Please sit down and I will call you over if that becomes possible.”

Customer: “No! I was talking to you first; you need to deal with me now!”

Employee: “Sir, I cannot help you if there are no empty seats, and there currently aren’t, but there may be shortly if you will just wait.”

Customer: “I shouldn’t have to wait!”

(I decide to speak up.)

Me: “Excuse me, but you’re making your own problem worse. I’m one of the seven people who might be willing to get off this flight, for which I have a valid ticket, but only if the airline can reroute me. This man was trying to do so, but the flight he was going to put me on is leaving in less than 15 minutes. If he can’t get me on that flight, I’m not getting off this one. There is only one employee here; if he is busy with you yelling at him, he can’t process people being rerouted, and your son won’t be allowed on this plane. If you want your family to travel together, get out of the way and let this man do his job.”

(The customer walks off in a huff and goes back to sitting with his family, muttering all the while. Meanwhile, the employee speaks to me.)

Employee: “Technically, sir, I have to instruct you to let the airline employees deal with the other passengers.” *pauses* “That said, I’ve booked you an exit row window seat for all of your remaining flights at no additional charge, and please accept these vouchers for meals valid today at any of the airports on your itinerary, in addition to the credit for a round trip ticket we had already mentioned. Here is your new boarding pass, and your new flight departs from [gate] at [time].”

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Putting The X Into Xmas

| Right | January 8, 2013

(I work at a small town airport where, every year, we have a small talent contest. Although I do usually work at the flights desk, I am on talent duty, announcing all contestants. The prize for winning the contest is a flight to a destination of your choice within Australia.)

Me: “Thank you to Waldo the Wizard for showing us his amazing magic tricks. Now, for our last act, we have The Anonymous Singer!”

(Claps of applause.)

Anonymous Singer: *pompous* “Thank you very much. I will be singing my own person version of Jingle Bells.”

(The anonymous singer proceeds to sing a very crude and racist version of ‘Jingle Bells’, leaving the audience and I in stunned silence.)

Anonymous Singer: “Well? I demand my prize!”

Me: “I’m sorry; I am disqualifying you for the use crude language.”

Anonymous Singer: “I demand a flight to New York to show off my talent!”

Me: “I cannot allow you to be in this airport. I must ask you to leave.”

(He begins to sing the song again when an audience member stops him.)

Audience Member: “Right, you’re coming with me!”

(The audience member is about 6 foot, and looks like a body builder. He literally picks up the anonymous singer and carries her away.)

Anonymous Singer: *screaming* “I’m never coming back! You will never hear my talented voice ever again!”

Me: “Thank God for that!”

Dispar-Age Before Duty

| Working | December 19, 2012

(Note: I am 17, but look very young for my age, especially when I’m standing near my younger brother, who is much taller than me. This occurs while my mother, my brother, and I are being screened at the security checkpoint.)

Security Officer: “[My name]?”

Me: “That’d be me, sir.”

Security Officer: “All right, and how old are you, sweetheart?”

Me: “17.”

Security Officer: *incredulous* “Seventeen!?”

Me: “Yes, sir. Have a look.”

(I hand him my driver’s license and student ID.)

Security Officer: *to my mom* “Is she really?”

My Mom: “Yes.”

Security Officer: “[Brother’s name]?”

My Brother: “Yes.”

Security Officer: “Let me guess: you must be 10, right?”

My Brother: “14, sir.”

Security Officer: “Man! Your family must have some messed-up genes!”