So Monday tops the list for most ridiculous days ever. You know a day is ridiculous rather than horrible when you can look back and laugh at its ridiculousness the next day.
Kaylie and I had been in Utah visiting while Jeff was doing some business. We don't like to be alone while he is away, so we tagged along. We did have to come home a few days before him however, and after Monday I am pretty certain I will not be traveling alone with Kaylie any time soon. Not becuase Kaylie was acting...well... like a toddler; but mostly because it seemed everyone that works at the ariport was acting like one.
It starts when we are in the line for security. There is an older couple behind me, and the older man keeps asking the airport staff is someone will please help his wife get to her gate. He is apparently not flying with her today. At least three employees tell him no. He appeals to them saying that his wife has a heart condition, and just looking at her you can see that she is frail. They tell him he should have asked for an escort pass, and no they cannot give one to him now.
I ask the man if he would like me help his wife. Not out of compassion, unfourtunatly. Mostly becuase after twenty minutes of witnessing how ridculously helpless the security staff seem to be, I am furious. ( Those of you who know me well, know how passionate I am about hating poor customer service.)
It was like talking to a machine with those people. It was like they had an algorithm of what to do, and could not come up with any solution using thier own brains. I am wondering if these employees are just very real looking robots....the type one might encounter over the telephone, with only programmed answers...sans heart and brain. I had a good chance to study these "people" as it seemed the aiport is almost entirely staffed with their kind.
Back to our story... now I have a toddler, a frail women, and now three bags that I have to get to two different gates on opposites sides of the airport. We continue through security. Kaylie and I are through...shoes off, shoes on agian. There is a hold up with the elderly women, and I go back to see if I can help.
Apparently this women has not been in an airplane in the past decade, and it seems she has numerous items that appear on the NOT FOR CARRY-ON list in her bag, which she intends to carry on ...not excluding a quart of homeade strawberry jam.
The lady at the security desk tells her she has to go back, and check the jam. This jam making centurian has a flight to catch in twenty minutes. There is no time to check it. I suggest that they throw it away. If you are the grand-daughter who was anticipating this jam in Austin, I am sorry.
Now we are through security, and I can quickly see that we need assistance, so I ask another idiot employee if he can call for a cart or a wheel chair at least. That will be about twenty minutes. WE DON'T HAVE TWENTY MINUTES. There is a couple of wheelchairs over behind secuirty and I ask after them. They look at each other like I have said something in a foriegn languge. Apparently the only answer for getting a wheelchair on thier algoriothm is to call for one. Looking around and seeing if one is available would be to much work.
Before they can answer me I have the old lady in a wheel chair, Kaylie on me hip, and all three of our bags and am headed towards jammy Grandma's gate. I am certain we are a spectacle, although apparently not spectecale enough to warrant assistance from anyone who is employeed for the reason of assistance. We are half way when we are stopped by a fellow passenger who volunteers his assistance.
THANK YOU fair man in the pastel polo. His gate wound up being next to our elderly women's and he said he would help her the rest of the way.
Now Kaylie and I are racing to our gate. I am out of breath.
THANK YOU tall skinny man headed out of E-70 who offers to carry our carry-on. We make it just in time for Kaylie to lie down in the middle of walking traffic and put her head on the airport carpet trying to rest, before we are boarding.
Seated next to us is a extra large man. I was already dreading a flight with a wiggly toddler in my lap, and now we have even less room than normal. THANK YOU large man whose eldest is headed for UofA in the fall. After the seat belt light went off, he moved to the only empty seat in the whole plane leavng Kaylie with a seat of her own. He said he was going to move so she could have it. Maybe he was just tired of all the climbing, noises, and kicking that accompanies a toddler on an airplane. Either way it made the next two hours bareable.
The ride was un-eventful, except for another encounter with a ridiculous stewardess. I asked the women for a bottle of water, and cup of ice. Not becuase I am picky, but becuase I know that water without a lid is likely to wind up in my lap in the prescence of K. She hands me a cup of water. I hesitate, and try to give it back.
"What is this?" she asks.
The water you just gave me.
"You don't want it anymore?"
No, she will spill this.
"So is it garbage?"
Sure...yeah...it can be garbage. I am completely baffled at this womens density.
"I cannot accept garbage at this time."
Solutions people. If you are in the businees of customer service, answers are not answers unless they are solutions.....that sounds like a good business motto.
She walks by with her cart and I pour the cup of water into the carpet.
Then I sit back and start thinking about what it will take to get us the rest of the way home........CAR KEYS.
They are with Jeff in Utah.
I get to the ridiculously difficult to navigate Phoenix airport, and know that I am locked out of my car...and my house.
I rent a car and a car seat. It is broken. They have a dozen or so to chose from and not a single seat seems road worthy. I point out to the Enterprise assitant that it is the law to replace car seats every five years, and these all seem at least that old. His lack of apathy is not suprising today. He tells me he has no kids so he doesn't know if these are good of bad child seats. Bad....I tell him, very bad.
I am driving home in our rented Impala, kaylie has fallen asleep, and I now have to figure out how to break into our home. Jeff calls me and suggests that it will be easier to break into the car. We can use the garage door opener to get in. I turn the car around.
We drive back towards where my car is parked, and I located a help call box.
THANK YOU parking garage engineer. Your descion to place this box on the outside of the elevators allows me to drive right up and call to see if someone will help me break into my locked car....keeping Kaylie in the car asleep. Someone is coming to help me. We drive to where our locked car is parked.
THANK YOU Heavenly Father. The only open parking space in the whole row is directly next to our locked car and I can park right next to it while I wait for assistance. It takes them thirty minutes to come, and Kaylie get to sleep the whole time since I didn't have to get her out to wait next to our locked car. This is huge.
Now we have a way to get into the house....and a descent seat. The car alarm that went off while we are breaking into my car has woken K up, but we are twenty minutes from home, and we have survived. I know that I can get the spare keys to my car at home, turn the Impala around and return it then take the shuttle back to the airport, then a shuttle to the parking garage and retrieve my car, but the task seems daunting after today, and with a toddler I feel like it is more than I can handle.
THANK YOU to the sweet, extremely pregnany]t woman, and her tall and slender husband...you know who you are... for helping me get my rental car back, and watching K. I was overwhelmed to the point of tears when I thought about returning to the airport. Thanks for sparing me that experience.
I know this blog is mostly a proud mommy blog and picts of Kaylie. That being said, you know it has to be big if I blog about it and it is not K. related. That and, like I said I have a passion for hating companies with poor customer serivce. After everything from the day, two things stickout in my mind...how ridiculous people employeed at the airport were and all the tender little mercies we were given along the way.
When we were leaving my parents house the morning of the preceeding story my dad asked me..."Would you ever let me fly you and Kaylie?" I said no. The risk of private planes is not something I'd like on my daughter.
Dad, I am reconsidering your offer now.