Your Grrrs November 9, 2006

While Mike was Grrring in the air, faithful readers of his column had something of their own to Grrr about... the missing Your Grrrs page!!! We received your complaints and apologize for the delay. Thanks for all the e-mails and keep the Grrrs coming ...

"Pilot" Mike T. comments on Mike's last column: How about some fair and balance. First of all, I'm glad to know that if only good ole JetBlue had a flight from Newark, there would have been no delays or aircraft malfunctions. Where can I get one of those crystal balls? As for Delta, the company hasn't flown 727s for a few years now. Must have been a 737 based on your "120 passengers" comment. Secondly, I highly doubt a flight attendant is going to make a passenger announcement about engine malfunctions or blown tires. They don't know squat about aircraft systems. That was probably a female pilot in the cockpit making that announcement. We do have a few of those, you know. Making a PA (passenger address), I might add, while at the same time dealing with an aircraft malfunction, all in the name of "keeping the passenger informed." I read stories like this all the time. I know airline travel can be a nightmare. It's a nightmare for me too, and I work in the industry. Stolen pensions, wages knocked back 25 years, management teams that ruin airline after airline yet seem to always leave with suitcases full of money. Customers get nothing because the employees get nothing. At least safety hasn't been costed out of the equation yet. But give it time. I'm glad you landed safely.

Yes, I got the 727 part wrong, but I can assure you, it was a flight attendant who walked through the plane explaining about hot starts and blown tires, and to be honest, she knew more than "squat." You call yourself a pilot? So as a pilot, this is the example you set? I hope I never fly on one of your planes. For all of our sakes, and for the sake of the airline you say you work for but I dare not publish, I hope you're a bored 14-year-old kid sitting in your room on your computer. And trust me "Pilot Mike," once the FAA report on this incident comes out, I'll follow up.

Monica L. writes: A few months ago I was on a flight from Dallas to Savannah, Ga., with a layover in Atlanta. When I got to Atlanta, we had some weather delays. I actually heard one of the "customer-service" reps tell a passenger: "unless you can sprout wings and fly out of here, you're not going anywhere!" At first, I was taken aback that a CSR would talk to a customer like that, then I thought it was funny, because what was she suppose to do? She wasn't Mother Nature and couldn't control the weather. I ended up spending the night in the Atlanta terminal, with a $ 15 coupon for dinner.

Dale L. in Wilsonville, OR writes: I’ve logged approximately 1.5 million miles — 80 percent of them on Delta — over the past 10 years. While the airlines themselves do occasionally have some issues, I’ve come up with somewhat of a mantra: It’s not the airlines that make flying miserable — it’s my fellow passengers.

Ray writes: Here's a big Grrr in my life: I work as a CSR at a 1-800 number. I am so, so sick of people cussing at me, yelling at me, cutting me off, calling me stupid and then telling me how rude I am when I try to finish my sentences. How hard is it to call up a number, have your account number ready, formulate a grammatically correct question, and then shut up long enough for me to give you the answer? I know you are mad at my company, but that gives you absolutely no excuse to treat a fellow human being like that. Oh, and by the way, don't rant and rave for five minutes about how horrible it was to wait on hold for six minutes. You are only making it worse for everyone behind you. Thanks for letting me get that out!

Joey from Birmingham, AL writes: I've been reading your Grrrs column for a few years now, and I love it! Here's one that has never appeared ... I went to a major department store known for its automotive department, especially tires and tools, to get an oil change in my car. When I was asked by the person behind the counter how she could help me, I replied, " I need to have an oil change." Upon which she shook her head "no" and said "Our computers are down, so we can't change your oil." Ummm, what??? Your computers are down, so you can't drive my car around, put it on the rack and change my oil?? Come on folks, are you even trying?

David M. in Columbus, Ohio writes: I stopped by my local pharmacy to pick up a prescription for my wife. I was in a hurry, so my local pharmacy provides the convenience of a drive-through window. When I pulled around to the window, there was a younger tech there with her back turned. She was on her cell phone. Calmly, I pushed the "ring for service" button, and she turned around and glared at me, then went back to talking on her cell phone. I again pushed the "ring for service" button, and she slammed her cell phone down on the counter and spun around to scream through the intercom, "CAN I HELP YOU??" I politely asked to have my wife's prescription and spelled my last name so she could find it easily. She responded, again screaming, "YOU'LL HAVE TO WAIT 'TIL I CAN FIND IT, OK? I'LL BE BACK, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO PUSH THE "RING FOR SERVICE" BUTTON." I sat at that window for 15 additional minutes on top of the original six minutes that it took me to get some service. She finally comes to the window and said, "Oh, you're still here ..." I at this point was so infuriated that I drove around the building, walked in and asked for her manager, who was equally rude to me. I don't understand what compels these people to give such horrendous service. I ended up calling the corporate offices of this pharmacy, and they sent me a gift card for $10 for my trouble. I will never do business with this pharmacy ever again. Thanks for letting me vent.

Liz from Folsom, CA writes: Mike, I don't know if you can handle one more bathroom-related grrrrrr, but mine is when people talk on their cell phones while they're sitting on the toilet. Yes, I can hear them in the stall next to me, talking and urinating (and more). It is sickening beyond words. I've heard of multi-tasking, but this is ridiculous!

John E. writes: I recently moved to Nevada and have been trying to follow the political coverage to get an idea of how to vote in this year's elections. I came away from that experience thoroughly disgusted. By the time Election Day finally arrived today, I was so sick of negative ads and mud slinging! It got to the point after two or three weeks of the ads that I started switching channels when a political ad came on. I sure wish these people would put their money and effort into describing what their candidate actually plans to do in office instead of slamming their opponents. Made me want to just vote for cartoon characters as write-ins in protest. Grrrr!

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