There Is Nothing Preferred About This Customer

, , , , , | Right | February 12, 2019

(I’m a customer in this story. There have been a series of storms that have caused some significant flight delays into the Northeast. I’ve arrived almost eight hours late after what was supposed to be two-hour flight. It’s 2:38 am when I get to [Car Rental Agency]. There is a long line of beleaguered travelers who just want their d*** cars. Several customers in line are so-called preferred members who can ordinarily skip the line when the express counter is open. It is closed between 1:00 and 4:00 am. There is obviously some displeasure at the continued wait, but none are more pointedly accusatory towards the staff than one middle-aged man who is about twelfth in line.)

Customer #1: “Why can’t I get my car now if my name is on the board?”

Desk Agent #1: “Because the express counter is closed.”

Customer #1: “But why can’t I get my car now if my name is on the board?!

Desk Agent #1: “I’m sorry, sir, but the express counter is closed until 4:00 am.”

(This repeats several times.)

Customer #1: “That’s great. That’s just f****** great.”

Customers #2 & #3: *to me, just loud enough for half the line to hear* “We’re on the board, too!”

([Customer #1] rants at various volumes for the next ten minutes, until finally, his inner seven-year-old comes out. In the warbling, modulated moaning whine that any parent or former child would instantly recognize, he starts repeating:)

Customer #1: “But I’m a preferred customer!”

(This went on for ten minutes. The staff was moving people through at the best rate that they could, but they now had to deal with this middle-aged man’s tantrum. Finally, they created a line just for him. Sadly, this was a year ago, and the voice of this forty-something child still haunts me.)

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