Friday, 22 February 2013

On being human

What happens next....?

You are working for a small airline.  You are manning the customer service desk at a very small regional airport.

Late on a Sunday afternoon, one of your check-in colleagues approaches.  She can't find a booking in the system.  It's for a family - parents and four small children.  Children tired and whingy, parents looking equally exhausted.

There's a pretty obvious reason why the booking's not there.  It's Sunday 17 February and they've booked for Sunday 17 March.

It's the mother who spots this and points it out.  She is apologising profusely and is clearly on the verge of tears as she tries desperately to work out what on earth she's going to do with all these children overnight in an unfamiliar airport four hundred miles from home.

It's 2013.  You are a customer service operative.

What happens next?

Can you guess?

I wouldn't have.   Because she smiled reassuringly.  Looked up at me and said:

Don't worry.  I'll just move the booking over.

You didn't expect that, did you?

No charge, no hassle.  Just someone being human and kind.

And if I had managed to hold back the tears up until that point, the kindness was my undoing.

So thank you to Flybe and their staff at Exeter (and, admittedly, the fortunate circumstance of it being a pretty empty flight).  We wouldn't be home without you. 


  1. Oh good! I thought that was going to end badly.

    1. So did I! Have written to thank but am now worried I might get her into trouble.

  2. Which says something rather horrifying about my expectations of corporate practice doesn't it?

  3. Replies
    1. I know! I am still in disbelief about it - restored my faith in human nature!

  4. Oh that's wonderful! I was totally expecting it to be a horrific experience so it's truly heartwarming to hear that they were so good about it :)

    1. I know! Really reaffirmed my faith in human nature!


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