Massaging An Unfortunate Situation

, , | Hopeless | April 18, 2018

(We are on holiday in Sabah. On the way home, we are supposed to fly from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur at noon. When we get to the airport, we are told the flight has been cancelled and we have been put on the next flight at six pm.)

Airline Employee: “I am so sorry. We contacted everyone who was supposed to be on that flight. We called your hotel; did they not tell you?”

Me: “No, we didn’t receive any messages.”

Airline Employee: “My apologies. If you could please wait over there.”

(We go and stand next to a couple who apparently are in the same situation. A few minutes later, a young man approaches us.)

Young Man: “If you would please follow me, I’ll take you to lunch.”

(He drives us to one of the best hotels in Kota Kinabalu and tells us the airline has paid for our lunch and he will pick us up in about an hour. After an amazing lunch buffet, he comes back:)

Young Man: “There are two options for you to spend the afternoon. I can take you to the chocolate factory or I can take you to have a massage.”

(We all choose the latter, and he takes us to a massage parlour where we have a fantastic one-and-a-half-hour, full-body Thai massage. When he picks us up again to take us to the airport, he hands each of us a box with a piece of chocolate cake.)

Young Man: “Since you didn’t get to go to the chocolate factory, I brought you something from there.”

(The cake was delicious, and he got us back to airport an hour before our flight left.

We spent most of the flight composing the most glowing review for the airline and its employees. Compared to how American and European airlines treat their customer, this was a surreal experience.)

A Real Kinder Surprise!

, , | Hopeless | April 14, 2018

My two-year-old daughter loves anyone who will talk to her, but has made firm friends with one particular cashier in a local supermarket. We were just going to line up at the self-checkouts when this cashier appeared at my shoulder, having just clocked off from a long, early shift. As always, she asked how we were doing and how our Easter went, so as my daughter began gabbling about candles, I translated and explained that it was also her birthday on the weekend. The cashier had to run and pay for her things before leaving, so I bid her to go home and rest as we went our separate ways.

Just as I was scanning our groceries, she stopped by again and handed my daughter a Kinder Surprise egg as a birthday present! She rarely lets us get away without at least a smile and a wave — and has more than once kept my daughter busy while I was packing bags — but this little act of kindness really blew me away.  

Unfortunately, by the time I’d finished, my daughter had started eating the egg through the foil…

Politeness Saves From Hair-Raising Situations

, , , , , , | Working | April 13, 2018

I got a very nice coupon emailed to me from a beauty supply store that I like to visit. The location by my house has a salon, and I intended to get a haircut there after my next paycheck came through. Unfortunately, the email link for printing the coupon didn’t work by the time I was really ready to use it, so I called up their customer service line to see what had happened, figuring it was either my browser being buggy or the link having expired.

As protocol, I was as polite and clear about my issue as I could be with the woman I ended up talking to, and we both ended up agreeing that the link breaking was very odd. It took a couple of check-ins with a supervisor, but she managed to confirm my details and that the coupon had indeed been sent to me. For all my waiting, I got an e-gift certificate matching the dollar amount of the coupon.

It hit me afterwards that she might have thought I was lying about having gotten the coupon in the first place, but politeness seems to get you everywhere with people on the other side of the phone.

My hair thanks you, customer service lady!

Helping Is In Their Blood

, , , , , , | Healthy | April 11, 2018

(I donate blood regularly. One time, when they insert the needle, I immediately feel lightheaded for a second or two. Since I have not yet lost more than a few drops of blood, definitely not enough to cause a significant loss of blood pressure, I assume it was just a psychosomatic reaction to having such a large needle inserted, shrug it off, and decide to continue with the draw. A few minutes later, it comes back again, and with a vengeance.)

Me: *raising hand shakily* “Um… Excuse me?”

(I immediately have three technicians surrounding me.)

Technician: “Are you okay?”

Me: “I’m feeling a bit lightheaded.”

(They spring into action, immediately removing the needle. One of them reclines my seat so my feet are elevated above my head, one goes to grab damp cloths, which they drape over every inch of exposed skin I have, and one goes to grab me a juice box to increase my blood sugar. After a while, the seat is returned to its regular position, and they continue feeding me juice. I am eventually allowed to go to the recovery area, with two people escorting in case I pass out on the way. Once I sit down, I call my friend who I was supposed to meet to tell her I’ll be delayed. Partway through the conversation, I hear running steps behind me, then feel a hand on my shoulder. I look up to see a woman with a very concerned expression, who looks at me for a moment and then laughs.)

Volunteer: “Oh, you’re on your cell phone! I thought you were talking to yourself!”

Me: “Oh, no. I’m just letting my friend know I’m going to be late.”

Volunteer: “Oh, good.”

Friend: “What was that?”

Me: “Oh, the volunteer thought I was talking to myself. Can you imagine that? ‘Oh, great! First he nearly passes out, and now he’s hallucinating!'”

(They eventually let me go, and I was only 30 minutes late to meet my friend. Fortunately, while everything was going on, one of the techs mentioned I had filled most of a bag, and when I asked if it could still be used, he assured me it could.)

Above And Beyond The Hotelier’s Call

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 10, 2018

When I was 14, my family and I took a vacation to a popular amusement park. The hotel we were staying at was not an official hotel affiliated with the park, but it was in the area.

On our third day of our vacation, I woke up very sick. We thought I either caught a stomach virus or had food poisoning. No one else in my family was sick, and we had day passes to one of the amusement parks that I wasn’t too thrilled about going to, so they used that pass that day.

Anyway, being 14, my parents decided it was okay for me to remain in the hotel room and sleep. My parents are the worrying type, so they told the front desk that I was sick and that they would really appreciate it if someone could just check on me once during the day. The lady at the front desk said no problem, took my mom’s pager number — this was before cellphones were really affordable — and asked if there was anything else I needed. My mom said some clean sheets would be good, and thanked her. She came back upstairs to let me know that someone would be coming by with sheets, and if I needed anything to call the front desk.

About two hours after my family left, there was a knock on the door. The woman had a name badge and a cart, so I opened the door. She had a huge basket on the cart with a balloon on it that said, “Get well soon!” The front desk had sent up a basket with numerous stuffed animals, crackers, ginger ale, and soup. I was so happy I started to cry. What was set to be the worst day of my vacation turned into one of the best days.

When my family came back, they were shocked. My brother — who was 21 — was actually jealous that he didn’t get anything. My mom went down to the front desk to thank them and to pay for the items. The front desk told her no, the basket was on the hotel, free of charge.

I don’t know if the hotel still does that for sick kids, but it certainly made my vacation absolutely awesome. Thank you, hotel!

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