'Blowing up' happens to everyone
August 20, 2010
Have you ever had enough on the job? Blown up at a customer?
Lately folks have been talking about this since that airline attendant cussed out passengers, then slid down an emergency chute into his 15 minutes of fame, two brewskis in hand.
I blew up at a customer once upon a time, long ago, far away.
It was my 19th summer. I was a desk clerk at a rustic old hotel by a mountain lake. I loved the place. It was such a great locale that years later it became the setting for the movie “Dirty Dancing.”
One quiet afternoon a man started in on me about his accommodations. He began by making sure I knew he was a big-city lawyer.
He yelled at me: “No televisions in the rooms? My room is not facing the lake.” And the final cut: “These accommodations are no better than what you’d find at a ‘class C’ motel.”
That was it. I launched. I began with, “This is a great hotel.” Then I ranted, tossed in some salty words for good measure and ended with “If you don’t like it, get the #@$% off the mountain.”
I composed myself, paused a bit, apologized, saying I’d listened to people badmouth our hotel all summer. I offered him a sheet of hotel stationary and a pen to write a letter to the manager. He did.
When the boss returned I handed him the note.
“Did you do this?” he asked, looking me in the eye.
“I probably would have done the same thing,” he said, smiling.
“Don’t do it again.”
I resigned a few days later. I reasoned if I raged at a customer, it was time to go.
So I can relate to the airline dude. What about you?
I hope he waited ’til he got home to pop open those brews.