13 January, 2012

It's Friday: Let's Piss Off America Airlines!

I came up out of the hole early yesterday morning to make some breakfast. At five 'til opening, a guy came up and rang the door bell. I answered the door and told him, Hey, sorry guy, pointing to the sign on the door, check in's not until one pm.
In an Irish accent, "One pm?"
Right.
"So Ah cahn't check in?"
Not until one pm and we're not even open yet.
"And whot time de ye open?"
In about five minutes but check in still doesn't start until one pm.
It looks like he gets it, so I go back inside and finish cooking my breakfast. I text my, um, how does one... ? So, anyway, yeah, I'm in the office, eating my breakfast and I see homeboy still on the front porch, like his ass is just going to stand on the porch for three hours. Believe me, it's not uncommon, I've seen people do that before in the most inclement weather for stretches equally as long. Yesterday? The mercury peaked at something stupid like 14°F and it was only at 12°F when this guy showed up.
Not particularly wanting to watch this fool asshole freeze himself to death, I got up from the desk and poked my head out the door and told him it'd probably be a hell of a lot warmer at Spyhouse.
After this, I received my first phone call of the day.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
In the same voice I hear when I call my student loan company, I hear, "HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE CLAIM DEPARTMENT - " Or whatever it actually was. I hung up. I've never flown a commercial flight in my life and I've certainly never once in my travels ever checked my luggage. (Always carry on, only carry what you need.) And, yeah, I get that I'm part of the travel industry but, really, why would a guest give out our number for their luggage. Your luggage is your responsibility.
So an hour goes by and I'm sitting here with a thumb up my ass, trying to come up with yesterday's topic and the phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE CLAIM DEPARTMENT - "
Th'fuck? I hung up.
Another hour goes by, phone rings again.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE CLAIM DEPARTMENT - "
Jesus! Th'fuck is the matter with these assholes!?
Nearly an hour later, I'm in the middle of making lunch. Phone rings again.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE CLAIM DEPARTMENT - "
Oh, ferfucksake! I hang up the phone and return to my lunch.
It's about five 'til one at this point and I see the Irishman coming back. He climbs up on to the porch and you know what he does? He waits for five minutes before ringing the doorbell.
I check him in and he starts telling me about how he was here eight years ago and I try to hide that I absolutely don' care. He goes and gets settled in hi dorm before coming to the office and asking me, "Ah've hahd a bit of a problem wit me luggage; has anybody colled about that?"
I don't know why, but I said, Nope.
I know, I can't tell you why I lied.
So the guy shows me his cell phone, "I've goat an eighteen hundred numbér here [one - eight hundred to us Yankees] that Ah'm supposed te call about - fer - well," he was obviously flustered at this point, I don't know what losing luggage is like, "Ah was wonderain if Ah could use yer phone."
I apologized and told the guy that I had to keep the line open for business purposes but pointed him down the block to the payphones and told him that eight hundred numbers are toll free here in the states (I don't know if they work any different overseas.) so he shouldn't need change or anything.
He thanks me, goes to his dorm, presumably to don a coat and leaves.
About a half hour later, the phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE CLAIM DEPARTMENT... " And this time, I listened. "... PRESS THREE..." something something something "... AND DIAL ONE - EIGHT HUNDRED - FIVE - " Wait. What? " - TWO FIVE - " That's not... " - FIVE - "
And I found myself yelling at the automated message, You're calling to tell him to call a phone number he already has!?!?!?
That's right, the triple interrobang. I used the triple interrobang.
I hung up.
And then an hour later:
Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE CLAIM DEPARTMENT - "
An hour later:
Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAG- "
An hour later:
Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLI- "
A half hour later, somewhere about / between 1630CST - 1700CST:
Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
A man with an Eastern European accent says "Hello. I am weeth Amerrica Airrlines Béggedge Clém. I have a bég forr one of yourr guests. How léte arre you opén?"
Ten pm.
"Ten pm."
Yep, just bring it on over.
"OK, wee'll see you laterr."
Right, have a good one.
OK, so this guy's bringing the bag by, the messages will stop. Cool. Let's watch something on Hulu.
Hour goes by. Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE CLAIM DEPARTMENT - "
WHAT THE FUCK!? I talked to the guy! The guy with the fucking bag! On his way over! Him! Real person! The Irish guy called you and the Ukrainian guy called me as a result! Why are you calling me!?
Hour goes by. Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE CLAIM - "
Hour goes by. Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES BAGGAGE - "
Hour goes by. Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"HELLO. THIS IS AMERICA AIRLINES - "
Half hour goes by. This is about half past nine.
Phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"Hey, buddy! Thees ees Amerrica Airrlines..."
Turns out the delivery guy had a flat tire out in Champlin. I don't know where Champlin is but I know it's not the metro. Anyhow, the guy is asking me to hold the office open for a little while. I'm trying to tell the guy that I close at ten. He asks if I can hang around until twenty after ten. I tell him that's not going to happen but, hey, we open at ten in the morning, drop off the bag then. After all, for those of you keeping score at home...

... on your official SD&A score cards, no doubt...
... he's had close to five hours to get here. Yeah, I know there are probably other people who lost their luggage but let me put it to you like this: After a cursory Google mapping, it turns out that there's this place on the way from MSP Airport to Champlin called right the fuck where I am right the fuck now! We're twenty minutes from the airport! How, in five hours, did this guy not manage to hit perhaps his closest destination?
So we haggle back and forth and the guy asks if I can do five minutes.
I tell him I can do five minutes.
"And eef eet tékes a leetle longerr, you know, mébe you could - "
No. Five after. You're not here by five after, man, I gotta lock up.
"OK, OK, I'll see you in about a half hourr."
I said OK and pulled up the Google map to Champlin. A half hour away. He's got a flat tire a half hour away a half hour before we close and he says he'll be here in a half hour.
That shit aint going to happen.
So I begin wrapping up the books for the night and head out to the fridge and lock it up and putz around for a few minutes.
2200CST.
I should be locking up right now and going down to my quarters and cracking a beer.
2201CST.
Why am I waiting?
2202CST.
Ding-dong goes the door bell and I'm greeted by the Eastern European guy saying, "RRight in the neeck of time, éh?" He gives me a little form I have to sign and drops the bag on the floor. I sign it and we tell each other to have a good night. I head off to Irish's dorm and wake him up to tell him his bag's here.
"Oh! Brilliant! Cheers!"
Me? I locked up the office and reminded myself to never check my luggage.
And then I got drunk.

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