‘Blowing up’ happens to everyone

Grant McGee

Have you ever had enough on the job? Blown up at a customer?

Lately folks have been talking about this since that airline attendant cussed out passengers, then slid down an emergency chute into his 15 minutes of fame, two brewskis in hand.

I blew up at a customer once upon a time, long ago, far away.

It was my 19th summer. I was a desk clerk at a rustic old hotel by a mountain lake. I loved the place. It was such a great locale that years later it became the setting for the movie “Dirty Dancing.”

One quiet afternoon a man started in on me about his accommodations. He began by making sure I knew he was a big-city lawyer.

He yelled at me: “No televisions in the rooms? My room is not facing the lake.” And the final cut: “These accommodations are no better than what you’d find at a ‘class C’ motel.”

That was it. I launched. I began with, “This is a great hotel.” Then I ranted, tossed in some salty words for good measure and ended with “If you don’t like it, get the #@$% off the mountain.”

I composed myself, paused a bit, apologized, saying I’d listened to people badmouth our hotel all summer. I offered him a sheet of hotel stationary and a pen to write a letter to the manager. He did.

When the boss returned I handed him the note.

“Did you do this?” he asked, looking me in the eye.

“Yes sir.”

“I probably would have done the same thing,” he said, smiling.

“Don’t do it again.”

I resigned a few days later. I reasoned if I raged at a customer, it was time to go.

So I can relate to the airline dude. What about you?

I hope he waited ’til he got home to pop open those brews.