Saturday, December 22, 2007

Weather Delays and other work related gripes

This is normally a place where we update you all on our family. But today I'm commandeering it for my own selfish purposes.

*climbs up on soap box*

I am not God.

I cannot control or predict the weather.

This seems to be a difficult concept for many people to understand. Today we experienced pretty intense weather delays at work. The wind was so bad that we couldn't fly for several hours. One pilot, who flew early this morning before it got worse, was getting nauseous from the turbulence. Uh...That's not good, when the pilot thinks it's bad. It's just not safe to fly.

I feel bad when these things happen. It's tough for everyone. People can't get where they need to be, often home or to Sea-Tac for connecting flights. This understandably stresses people out. All sorts of plans get thrown out the window, some events will be missed, and so on. Here's the thing people don't seem to keep in mind: it stresses out the agents just as much as the passengers! Seriously folks. When I know there is going to be a delay, my heartrate shoots up and I start talking really fast and waving my hands around like a crazy person. I know people are going to be upset, inconvenienced and I truly feel bad for them. I also get stressed automatically because I know people are going to yell at me. I do my best to get as much information as possible from the dispatchers because I want to anticipate my customers' needs. But sometimes, there just isn't information to be had. Weather is so fickle, especially in the areas we fly, and we go to so many different places that things can be thrown totally honky in a hurry. I just don't know when the weather will clear up and when we're be able to fly! And yelling at me doesn't change anything. And guess what else: it's not my fault! I didn't spend the morning thinking of ways to screw up your travel plans. I didn't conspire to bring in fog or high winds, just to dick around with your flight home. So stop treating me like I did!!

So I ask people to be patient and calm when they encounter delays, especially if they're caused by weather. We don't have any control over the weather, we can't guarantee exactly what's going to happen or when, because we can't predict it. We wish we could! We wish we could get you out and on your trip because trust me, the agents don't want you to be sitting in their airport anymore than you want to be there. It stresses everyone to have you there giving us dirty looks or yelling. Let's think about this rationally folks: What point is there in getting upset? How is yelling at me going to help the situation? Will all the hot air you blow out send the fog away? Sometimes you have to make a little noise when a company makes a gross error. But weather is not one of those situations. One more time: we can't control it.

Here's my advice: plan on delays. Make sure you plan lots of time with flight connections. Be flexible, things will not always go exactly to plan. And be calm and nice. An agent is much more likely to spend time, going the extra mile to help you out if you approach her looking for help, trying to solve the problem together, as opposed to yelling and throwing a fit like a two year old. Let's be grownups, folks.

And these are a couple other things that annoy me. Please do not call me and expect me to have my competitor's phone numbers, and then have the balls to get mad at me when I don't have them! Come on! Do you call up Comcast and ask them for Verizon's number? And get mad at them over it? Geez... And lastly, don't call multiple times and ask the same ridiculous questions, verbatim. We have Caller ID, and I'm smart. I remember people, dates, times, voices, etc, not to mention my notes. If you call and say, "I got confused on something, could you clarify?" I'll be understanding. But if you just ask me the same things over and over again, I'll get annoyed. The answers don't really change, regardless of how many times you ask.

Geez, I sound like I'm lecturing a stubborn four year old. Oh wait! That's because a lot of adults act like stubborn preschoolers. Forget asking, "Am I smarter than a 5th grader?" Try asking yourself, "Am I acting like a three year old?"

*climbs down, off soapbox*
(Thanks for letting me borrow that, Stacey. ;-))

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