Why to be nice to people in airports

by Charles Miller on April 2, 2002

Once upon a time, I worked in an airport. This story has a moral, so pay attention.

I worked for a duty-free shop. Our job was to staff the arrivals shop, which was a little place full of alcohol, cigarettes and perfume (interesting mixture really) that you could visit if you were on your way in to Perth. When I started working there, we were pretty much the cheapest store in the southern hemisphere. A year later we were somewhat less so.

One day, a man rushed into the shop. He was the first out, so he was probably from First Class, at the front of the plane. He was really in a hurry. Unfortunately, he ran into a problem with the technology that delayed him a few minutes. This wasn't something he enjoyed at all. He decided to take this out on the poor, completely blameless woman behind the checkout. It involved a lot of shouting, and remonstrating that He Was In A Hurry.

The night-supervisor watched this. Calmed the man and sent him on his way. Consoled the poor woman behind the till, who was almost in tears after the abuse. Picked up the airport intercom, and phoned customs.

Abusive customer was subjected to every search possible that didn't involve him having him take his clothes off. He was the very last person from his flight to make it out onto the arrivals concourse.

The moral of this story is: "Never, never, NEVER piss off anyone who works in an airport. The moment you walk through that door, assume that everyone you meet is best friends with somebody who has the perfectly legal authority to make your day very unpleasant."

Have a nice day.

Previously: Mon, 01, Apr 2002 11:32:00 PM

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