Winner or Wiener

This is a new feature of my blog that will appear from time to time. I call it WINNER OR WIENER. It is designed to call attention to people who manage to be positive, wonderful winners in a wiener world. I was inspired to add this feature after seeing the “hero or Zero” feature on my friend Mark Sanborn’s delightful and informative blog. Here’s the first installment!


It’s confession time. I lost my temper. It fell behind the airline counter somewhere next to the scowling airline ticket agent who made me lose it. Actually it began to slip from my grasp FOUR weeks before when I booked my flight and was unable to get an assigned seat on the plane. When I was told I could get a seat when I got to the airport, I regained a temporary grip on my emotions.

I arrived at the airport almost TWO HOURS ahead of time. No luggage, liquids packed in a small plastic bag, I was ready to check in at a kiosk and fly. I was told I could not check in because I did not have an assigned seat. The kiosk sheriff pointed to a line about two light years long and told me to take my place at the back of the line. Finally, when I reached the counter I discovered that I still could not be assigned a seat, but I was assured that when I got to the gate they would give me a place to sit. I was given a piece of paper that would get me through security and sent on my way. As I waited in the security line I looked at the piece of paper. It said, “STANDBY PASSENGER!”
I was not a standby passenger. I had purchased my ticket a month in advance with real money. I got to the gate (one hour early) and was promptly told that I was not a STANDBY PASSENGER.

I was not a passenger at all. Without ever looking at me, the agent told me that the airline had oversold the flight and I would not have a seat. Some of the people who were boarding the plane had booked their flights just days before. That’s when I felt my temper slip from my grasp and fall at the agent’s feet. It was only after demanding to talk with a manager that I got a glimpse of a winner. Tammi was the manager. her manner was sympathetic and honest. She promised to do everything she could do to resolve this unfair and unfortunate situation, and she did. Within just a few minutes she had a seat for me and another passenger who had booked his flight almost two months in advance. Moreover she seemed delighted to be able to help. She was a winner. The wiener is not the agent who was forced to deal with a chaotic and disastrous airline policy. The wiener is the airline. I will not name the airline or identify the animals pictured on the tails of their aircraft. I will say this! In a wiener industry where quick profits are more important than customer service, there are some wonderful winners like Tammy. They inspire me to remember who I represent and to be a little less of a wiener the next time I have been bumped from a flight.

Oh yeah. The flight was delayed another forty five minutes because the airline, in an effort to solve the problem, deleted the name of a man’s son from the manifest. At our destination another delay because the departure ramp was broken. All the luggage had been taken from the plane. It had to be reloaded and the plane was towed to another gate. I’m okay. Just buy me a bus and pass the mustard, onions and relish. I smell a wiener.


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