Caring

I’m at Reagan National airport right now, and will be here for the next two hours. I had booked a flight yesterday to head down to Florida to attend a funeral service; the death was unexpected, so the arrangements were made at the last minute. When I booked the flight, I chose a seat out of the several available, and thought nothing of it. When I got to the airport, however, my seat was gone. No problem, they assured me, they’d call me up. Their lack of care or interest was overwhelming. The flight filled up, they finally gave me a seat, and I got on the plane. Problem was, that seat was already taken. They made a pathetic, unenthusiastic attempt to ask for a volunteer to give up their seat. But no one was willing to get a free flight and get in two and a half hours later to let someone get to a funeral. The staff mumbled about how they apologized for the inconvenience and they offered me a flight or a check. Knowing that I had to be at a funeral, no one made any attempt or effort to find another way for me to get there in time. They just stuck me on the next flight, and gave me my voucher while reciting (with no sincerity) that they were sorry for my loss. I wasn’t rude. I didn’t yell. But the lack of caring was unreal. As much as I fly, I’ve never before encountered such apathy and indifference towards a customer – and I have seen plenty of less-than-stellar service. It just makes you realize that people just don’t care about others anymore. Most of the people on that flight could have waited, but none would. Even the ones who knew I had to get to a funeral didn’t care. The staff could have made an effort – could have even gotten me on a transfer flight that was boarding right then. But they didn’t feel like expending the effort. What have we been reduced to?

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