My younger brother is in the Navy and stationed in a desolate (that’s my word- his are “armpit of America, horrible wasteland”, etc etc you get the picture) part of California. He was supposed to come down to San Diego to spend his first California Thanksgiving with his big sis and our cousins.
Last night I got a panicked call from him that he can’t leave when he thought he would be able to on Wednesday and he wouldn’t be able to make the train I booked him. He SAID it was because something changed with his schedule but he might just be a big dingbat and didn’t really check when he could leave. Who knows? I wasn’t mad, that runs in the family….(Sheepishly pointing at myself….)
“No problem, Bobby. You’ve come to the right place. Big sis here misses her planes all the time, I’m sure we can find you a later train.”
With a huge sigh of relief, we hung up and tonight I set about the task of changing the ticket.
I went online. Yep, there was a later time alright. But all the later times were either sold out or marked “UNABLE TO BOOK.”
$^%@^%$!%@^ (That’s me yelling all kinds of sweary words at my computer.)
Now I start freaking out.
Kid’s going to be stuck eating a Subway footlong on Thanksgiving. I can’t let this happen. He needs to be with his FAMILY.
So I called up the reservation desk, and I yelled at the automated lady Judy for a while. “What’s your confirmation number?” She asked.
“D5CA72″ I said slowly.
“Okay. So that’s B like Boy, 5-“
I cut her off, “NO! D!! D like DOG!!”
“I don’t think I understand you,” Captain Obvious Judy tells me. “Let’s try again. Say slowly the first 3 letters or numbers of your reservation.”
In the most articulate way I can, I slllooowwlllly and very carefully pronounced, “DDDddddddEEEEE, 5, C”
“Okay, let’s review. So the first 3 letters and numbers of your reservation are E like Eric-“
“NO!!!” I shouted. This bitch Judy was really starting to piss me off. I felt like she was messing with me and trying to make me feel like I have a speech impediment.
“DDDEEEEEEE FIIIIVVEEEEEEE CCEEEEEE” I shouted into the phone. “D, D D You’re NOT LISTENING TO ME JUDY” I bellowed.
I think Judy finally realized that we had come to the end of our reservation road together.
“Okay, I don’t think I understand. I’ll transfer you to a specialist.”
“Gee, thanks Judy.” I grumbled.
Judy promptly put me on hold and I began to pace. Suddenly the Subway sandwich I had been picturing him eating on Turkey Day had now turned into a bowl of gruel as he sat cowering the corner of his prison cell of a barrack.
Finally after what felt like an eternity, a woman greeted me. “Hi, I’m Marjorie. How can I help you?”
“MARJORIE!!” I frantically cried into the phone. “Marjorie, I booked a ticket for my brother to come down here for Thanksgiving and he can’t come on the train I booked because he’s in the Navy and they changed his schedule and I tried to change it online but all the trains say they’re sold out or unable to book and he’s going to be eating gruel and Judy didn’t understand when I was saying D and….” Out of breath, I trailed off. “Marjorie, can you help me?”
Well little Miss Marjorie click clacked away on her computer.
“What’s your reservation number?” She asked me.
“D. Like Dog.” In anticipation I waited for her to ask me if I had said, G or B or C or any other letter in the alphabet. But she didn’t.
“Uh- huh and then what?” She asked. I read off the rest of the reservation number to her. My heart was still beating as she pulled up his schedule. What if they were all sold out? What if there were no more seats or what if I had been a cheapskate and bought the kind of ticket that can’t be changed?
“Well, I can go ahead and change that for you! Did you want to book him in Coach or Business class?” She asked.
“Huh? Oh, well I originally booked it on Coach. I don’t care if you tie him to the roof if you just get him down here!” I offered hopefully.
She laughed, “No need for that. I went ahead and changed that for you. Oh, but I’m sorry I can’t give you the AAA discount you used because it’s less than the 3 day change window.”
“That’s okay!!” I said gleefully. “I don’t need the discount!!”
“Oh wait, did you say he was military?”
“Yes! He’s Navy.”
“Active duty?” She asked.
“Oh well then I’ll go ahead and book it with his military discount. So you’ll see a refund for $4.50 on your credit card.”
“MARJORIE!! Oh THANK YOU, Marjorie!!” I was nearly in tears.
“I’m so glad I could help. I went ahead and emailed you the new itinerary. Is there anything else I can do for you tonight?”
I paused for a minute. “Well. Did you say there was a Business Class seat available? Would you mind looking up the price difference for me?” I asked her.
“Of course, it’s $19 to upgrade the longest leg of his trip. Did you want to do that?’
“For $19, yes, let’s do that!”
“Okay Tracy, so I emailed you the newest itinerary. Is there anything else at all I can do for you?”
“Marjorie, you just saved one Navy fella from getting his neck wrung by his sister. So let’s review, I nearly had a heart attack but for less than $15 more he got the ticket he needed AND he gets to ride Business Class? So I essentially just rewarded him for putting me through this. Is that about right?”
Marjorie laughed, “Yes, ma’am – I think you summed it up!”
“Well, Marjorie, I am so happy you could help me and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!”
“You as well, Ms. Sano.”
So there you have it. I am thankful that my brother doesn’t have to eat porridge in a cold cell alone on Thanksgiving. Even more so, I am thankful for real live people like Marjorie who are kind and helpful.
Unlike that dumb bitch Judy!
What are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving?
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