I Have A Hel-sinking Feeling About This

, , , , , | Working | October 4, 2017

I’m going to Finland to spend a year, and am a bit nervous about travelling by plane as I have had bad experiences with airports in the last few years. My flights are supposed to be Montreal to Frankfurt to Helsinki, booked with [Carrier #1]. Upon arriving at the airport, I am informed that the second flight is cancelled, as [Carrier #2] operating that leg is on strike.

I queue for customer service with [Carrier #1] with everyone else to get rerouted. For some reason, the man who redirects me chooses a flight from Montreal to Toronto, then to London, then to Helsinki, while he just told his colleague that there are still seats available on a more direct flight through London. As I’m already tired, I don’t argue. The last flight is operated by [Carrier #3]. I make sure that the $50 fee for the second suitcase I’m checking in is paid for.

It’s the middle of February, in Canada, so the plane leaves two hours late to have the wings de-iced, making me miss the connection in Toronto towards London. Customer service there, still [Carrier #1], puts me on a flight the next day, past 6:00 pm, rearranges the flight after, and gives me vouchers for a hotel room and meals. I go to the baggage claim, where the man tells me not to worry about my luggage, which they will keep, and gives me a free bag of toiletries to use at the hotel.

The next day, I return to the baggage claim, where I’m given a paper and assured that it’ll allow my luggage to be forwarded along my new flights. The check-in clerk is dubious, but ends up confirming it. The plane is again late to de-ice the wings, and there is a minor medical emergency a few seats ahead of mine, which has all the lights on for the whole overnight flight.

I end up missing the flight leaving from London, but there is another a bit later in the day with [Carrier #3], so there is no worry. I go through security, then go to [Carrier #3] customer service to arrange the next flight.

The man there is a bit confused, and tells me after a few verifications that [Carrier #3] does not have an agreement with [Carrier #1] to emit tickets for their flights, which somehow neither the customer service in Montreal nor in Toronto caught. Having not slept much, I’m appalled, and am redirected to [Carrier #1].

They arrange for me to get on a flight with [Carrier #4] with whom they do have an agreement, and I go to check in. The gruff man there processes things without a word, until he asks me for a 50£ fee for my second suitcase. I argue that I already paid for that back in Montreal, but he says that they don’t have the money. Angry and exhausted, I pay.

While waiting for my flight, I locate an Internet terminal and go on to check my emails. There, time-stamped approximately at the moment I was midway over the Atlantic, sits an email from my dad, informing me that he just got a call from the Toronto airport, asking what they should be doing with my luggage. In his hesitant, second-language English, he managed to make them understand that they should be forwarding it to Helsinki, and not return them to Montreal.

I am lucky to only arrive a day late at my destination. The £50 charge never appears on my credit card statement, and the luggage makes it all the way to my destination, intact, two days later. And all the other flights since have been smooth, thankfully!

A Cents-Ible Assumption

, , , , | Right | August 12, 2017

(After touring a famous museum in Greece my friends and I decide to order something from the museum café. The woman in front of us is purchasing one water bottle.)

Employee: “That will be 50c.”

Woman: “Let me find you a quarter.”

Employee: “Ma’am, a fifty cent coin will do.”

Woman: “I don’t have any quarters.”

(She spills all of her coins onto the counter. She has a few fifty cent coins.)

Me: “Madam, this will do.”

(Points out a fifty cent coin.)

Woman: “So I need fifty of these?”

Me: “No, you pay with that.”

(The woman then picks up a one euro coin.)

Woman: “Can I buy a bottle with this.”

Employee: “You can buy two water bottles with that.”

Woman: “Oh, okay.”

(She hands him the one euro coin and he goes to the fridge to get her water.)

Woman: *to me* “A one dollar coin. Who thought of that?”

Me: “Most countries have one dollar coins.”

Woman: “Oh.”

(She took her water and left.)

From Apoplectic To Apologetic

, , , , | Right | August 11, 2017

(I used to work at a bike rental place at a popular tourist location. Occasionally people call us if they’ve had a problem with their bike and we will drive out to replace or repair their bike for them. Earlier in the day a customer had been through with his family to get bikes.)

Me: *answering the phone* “Hello, [Company]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “It’s [Customer]. I need someone to fix my f****** bike right the f*** now. I was supposed to go for a ride with my wife and my kid, but because of your s*** f****** bike I can’t go.”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that, sir. I’ll have someone out there straight away. If you could just tell me your location and what’s wrong with the bike so I know if we can repair it or if we need to replace it?”

Customer: “I’m at [Location] and your stupid f****** bike’s brakes lock on whenever I try to turn right.”

(At this point I realize that he’s just twisted the handlebars around which took all of the slack out of the brake cable, so when he turns the bike it pulls the cable and the brakes lock on. All he needs to do to fix it is turn the handlebars around the other way. It’ll take about two seconds, compared to over half an hour for us to drive out to him.)

Me: “Oh, it sounds like you’ve just…”

Customer: “I haven’t f****** done anything. Just get someone to fix my f****** bike” *hangs up*

(I told my coworker what I thought was wrong and she drove out to him. It turned out I was right, and she just turned the handlebars around the right way and it was fixed. The next day he came in the store to apologize for being rude.)

You Can’t Beat Airport Security

, , , | Working | August 11, 2017

(I’m traveling with my family and my in-laws, going through airport security. My father-in-law is pulled aside for wanding. He doesn’t look much like a terrorist to me, but maybe I don’t think like they do. More likely, it’s his hip replacements that just sets off the alarm each time. The agent wanding him is a congenial older man.)

Agent: “Have you been through this before?”

Father-In-Law: “Many times.”

Agent: *holding up handheld scanner and smiling* “Then you know that this is the part where I beat you with this.”

Father-In-Law: *nervously* “No, that part is new.”

Hawaii Five-OMG!

, , , , | Friendly | August 9, 2017

(I’m in the water at a beautiful, sunlit beach in Hawaii, surrounded by sea turtles, tropical fish, and other natural beauty. A teenage girl pulls out her phone and is obviously disgusted by what she sees:)

Girl: “I’m only getting a 3G connection! How do people LIVE out here?!”

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