As some of you will know, my planned trip to New Zealand to celebrate my 10th Wedding Anniversary was thrown into chaos due to the Apocalyptic elements of Sydney weather early this morning (SMH article, Flickr photostream, BOM warning).
Whilst at the airport, the Air New Zealand staff did the best they could to explain the situation (in essence, no planes landed in Sydney to take passengers to NZ…simple really) due to limited visibility over Sydney. Our first flight (7am) was cancelled due to engineering issues so were provided a meal voucher to the food court (awesome!) and put on later flight (9:30am). At 7:30am it was apparent nothing was coming into or out of Sydney; the 9:30am was cancelled (due to weather) + the best we could do was call Reservations and make changes. I had confirmed seats on the same flight on the 24th, so decided to go home and make alternate arrangements for the rest of the trip.
Whilst on the phone with United (as the flights were booked through United, not Air New Zealand), I got to speaking to a lady by the name of “Chen” who helped me change my flights, and she was so lovely asking if it was OK to put me on hold many times. (Of course it was OK, I have worked in Customer Service and know how things work), to which I joked “sure it’s OK, I’m not going anywhere yet!” We got to chatting and I said to take her time as I understood there are delays in making changes and I didn’t mind waiting, at which point I asked her “how are other passengers/callers handling things?”
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference”
She said it’d been quite a tough morning as the majority of the callers were screaming, mad, angry and frustrated that their plans were thrown into chaos as well. I explained to her that Freaky Stuff Happens beyond our control, and getting mad at others over stuff you can’t control is stupid. I explained that I had time and wasn’t going to get mad, and wonder why others would get in such a way over something they can’t control. She replied “thanks very much for sharing that with me, it helps to get through the day to hear such kind words”
I believe I helped change the way her day will pan out, But wonder where other peoples’ heads are? When the Freaky Stuff Happens, knowing what you can control and what’s beyond your control should help you best direct your energies to achieve a resolution. Screaming at customer service people over the phone for no Freaky good reason is pointless, damaging and unproductive.
To anyone out there in a customer service role ‘affected’ by today’s Freaky Stuff, I wish you all the best to get through the tough day ♥☺♥. To all people inconvenienced by today’s Freaky Stuff, revel in the different day this is turning out to be, and don’t turn into an ugly zombie!
4 replies on “Freaky Stuff Happens”
I love it – have given much thought to the ‘serenity prayer’ you mention above. It’s all about ‘controlling the controllables’ and not stressing yourself and others out by pretending that you can control everything.
The world would be a much better place if everyone adopted the attitude you did above. 🙂
Hope your day is Freakishly fantastic, and suspect that NZ will still be there whenever you manage to get there.
Society as a whole has become very impatient. The challenge of course is to not respond to impatience with more impatience, but chill and respond with grace.
one of my most favorite support calls was with a janitor. he was vacuuming when the alarm on a RAID controller card on a server went off (sounds like a truck backing up). The company’s tech dept put the HP support phone number on the server (smart) so the janitor called (smart), did what i did to verify everything and get data and the name of the main IT guy and we got his server fixed. I wanted him to brag to the boss that he “fixed” the server by himself but he just wanted to get back to vacuuming.
Once when I returned to Tullamarine Airport I found that I had not closed my car door properly and the inside light was left on so of course there was a flat battery. I had also forgotten to take my phone charger so could not make a call on my mobile phone. The woman in the ticket box at the exit was so friendly and helpful I could have cried with relief. She put my phone on her charger, she rang a number of vehicle emergency services for me and although she was busy she let me use her phone to call home. Above and beyond when it came to customer service and freaky things happening!