Ready Or Not

When I was a kid, the catchy airline jingle was “Delta is ready when you are” voiced over the scene of a giant jetliner cruising along in a clear blue sky with snow capped mountains in the background.  But times have changed.  Now it’s more like, “Delta – we’re ready whenever we damn well feel like it.”

The Husband left to do his little teaching gig in New York.  When I dropped him off at the airport for his flight on Northwest/Delta, he did have a one very large suitcase holding stuff he never wears around here like ties.  He got on the plane.  Apparently his luggage had other plans.

Now it would be different if he played hide-and-seek with the suitcase.  If he left it somewhere in the airport and at check in told the agent, “Find it!” perhaps I would be more understanding here.  But no. He, along with everyone else on this overbooked flight schelpped it up to the counter and heaved it onto the scale.  The ticket agent took it. A baggage dude put it on the plane.  When they decided there was too much weight on the plane, said baggage dude played eenie-meenie-miene-mo and pulled nineteen pieces of luggage off the plane, one of which belonged to The Husband.

This conundrum is further compounded by the fact that Delta and Northwest are in the process of becoming one airline.  One airline whose computer programs apparently are currently incapable of communicating with each other.  So he flew Northwest.  His bag flew Delta and went the scenic route through Salt Lake, Cincinnati and then New York probably in the ever-elusive quest to snag some airline miles.

Dare I say that the customer service 800-number has been less than helpful?  They are very good at pointing out the obvious – “We don’t know where your bag is.”

Like I had to call to know that.

They seem to lack a basic understanding of the concept behind customer service.  Having worked my way through college in said industry, I am well aware of the meaning.  Now the customer, that would be the one paying you for goods or services, is entitled to be dealt with in a helpful and courteous manner.  Back when I worked in it, there was the added credo of The Customer is Always Right.


I had to wear to a god awful polyester uniform to my hotel job where I worked ten-hour shifts at the front desk on weekends.  It was a three piece suit, turd brown in color, with a bow tie.  And it looked every bit as awful as it sounds.  But I had to have a greet each guest with a smile while wearing this fashion disaster even though they were about the chew on my ass because the ham and cheese omelet they had for breakfast was posted twice on their account.  My bad.

There were a few perks.  Free meals, which any college student will tell you is a great deal.  And there were celebrity citings since our hotel was next to a major concert venue.  I saw Billy Joel in the lobby one Sunday and caught a glimpse of Stevie Wonder once just to name a few.  But these alone do not make up for a crappy, minimum wage job where people spend a good deal of time yelling at you for things that are not your fault.

Nevertheless, you still have to smile and be nice.  And at the very least, pretend to care.

But these days, I’m just not feeling the love.

After countless calls to the Why Are You Calling And Interrupting My Free Cell Game -1-800 number, they finally told me there was nothing they could do today because my airport was closed.  This was 3:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.  What they didn’t know is that I can see the airport from my front yard.  So I decided to pay a visit to see if perhaps they were willing or able to help me.  A very kind woman did just that, told me it had been expedited and should be arriving as we spoke.

But that didn’t exactly happen.

Turns out, I could have driven it there faster.  And next time, I probably will.  Because it got there three days after the fact.

Delta, I have been less than enamoured with you since the one and only time I ever flew your airline the toliet was broken.  So I sat cross-legged and miserable for my two hour flight.  Let’s just hope you pay more attention to detail with the hydraulic system and the engines that you do to the luggage collection and having a functioning  pooper.  Because I am not impressed.  And your CEO is about to get a letter, not that he will give a shit any bigger than the customer service folks.  But that’s okay, it’ll make me feel a lot better.

Of course, it doesn’t help that all this is happening while my hormones are on a playful jaunt through peri-menopause land.

Delta, I’m ready – for a road trip.

Interestingly, upon leaving the airport the car in front of me had the bumper sticker “Practice Random Acts of Kindness.”  How about “Practice Random Acts of Competence?”  I would find that even more surprising.