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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanks Battelle, I Feel Better Now

This being a week of overwork for many of us, this "kick the week off" post for Monday didn't happen until Tuesday.

And now, there is no way (at least not yet) that I feel like posting about something serious (such as a review of Avinash Kaushik's new book, which definitely deserves a post).

To start the week off with a chuckle (or to start what's left of it off) might make more sense.

I thought I lost my cool dealing with United Airlines. A colleague once actually watched me drop an f-bomb on a gate agent's head, like something out of a bad reality show. And I *never* do that! So United must be pretty bad sometimes.

But John Battelle's mind-boggling experience, as a million-mile flyer, makes me feel so much better. Asking for the price of five seats vs. three, his seat fare went up from $447 to $2,011 per seat, and no one seemed to care. I have to hand it to John. He kept his cool for a long time. And when he lost it, he lost it in style.

Pretty funny, too, that he asked if he had reached the "special" line when his complaint was escalated. Um, not exactly. "I'm an agent." How special John must have felt.

Now where shall I post my complaint about the surprisingly crappy attention to detail in the Sheraton Downtown Nashville? Ah, how about right here. Great service from the parking guys and the wonderful smile of the breakfast waitress, Carolyn, sort of canceled it out, so no tongue-lashing on TripAdvisor. But when I checked in after a long trip - and after upgrading to a club floor - I had no towels! They took over an hour to arrive (apparently no call of TOWELS! CLUB FLOOR! STAT!), but regardless, I didn't wait and took advantage of the absorbent qualities of the bathrobe. Next morning I discovered the coffee maker was also very broken, despite the tantalizing presence of the Starbucks sachets. Surely five or six guests had already noticed its lack of function, judging by the water left in it.

I think Battelle and I are agreed on this point: we don't particularly care if you treat some of your customers like cattle. Just don't let it be us. We've got the miles and maybe a couple of wrinkles to prove we've earned, let's say, towels.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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