Category Archives: rant

US Airways for the FAIL Again


The return trip for this vacation has taken a bad turn. Given the horrible experience with the $1000+ authorizations on my account because of the error on US Airways’ website, the circumstances are beyond ill repute. I’m really beginning to believe that US Airways actually TRAINS their employees to rudely interrupt customers when they’re talking.

I don’t even have the energy to type about the whole thing, so here’s a copy of the e-mail I sent to US Airways customer relations:

And after the HORRIBLE experience of having over $1000 of authorizations on my account that Chase had to fix – and you only said “sorry” to – we get ready for our return trip. Against my better judgment, I pay for premium seats so my daughter will be more comfortable. We get to the airport at HTS to find out that the flight to Charlotte is delayed by 20 minutes, which would only gave us 10 minutes to get to the gate for the plane to Seattle. As I was explaining this to the gate agent – a young man named Dario Jimenez – he said if WE hurried to the gate we should make it on time. I told him US Airways would have to hurry because I requested special assistance because of the degenerative disc disease in my back making it difficult for me to walk. He then explained that we would likely miss the connection, it was the last flight to Seattle and he suggested we stay in Huntington (I guess you all don’t have any sense of urgency for people who need special assistance). As he and I were talking, he ALSO interrupted me. I was in complete shock. After being interrupted in conversation with two of your phone agents and a supervisor, to have it happen again was like a slap in the face.

Then to make it even more inconvenient, he rescheduled us for the SAME flight tomorrow and oh yeah, the premium seats I paid for were no longer available. I can understand that others had paid for them and we did get a refund, but the culmination of all of these experiences has only strengthened my resolve to NEVER fly US Airways again, tell all of my friends and relatives about it, and continue to comment on the situation on my blog and Twitter.

No amount of apologies can even come close to fixing the heaping pile of inconsideration and deficient customer service US Airways has shown us.

Response from US Airways


I got a response from US Airways Customer Relations today.

“Thank you for contacting Customer Relations. We appreciate it when customers take the time to share their concerns.

I’m sorry you felt the agents in our reservations department were rude. The details you have provided will be instrumental in helping us improve our service. I have documented your experience for review by the relevant supervisory staff and also to our Reservations Manager. Additionally, this incident will be discussed with the employees and handled internally.

We value your business and are working hard to earn your continued patronage. We hope you will give us the opportunity to do so.”

I have a few problems with this response.

One, it’s obvious that this was a canned response with very little personalization. It’s shocking to me that at a corporate level, the customer relations department would actually “blurb” customers.

Secondly, felt? I guess from US Airways’ view, interrupting someone when they’re talking is not bad manners – it’s just a person’s perspective. Obviously in this alternate universe of theirs, common courtesy during a social interaction is relative. Well, US Airways, so is my money.

Lastly, this is just an apology with a promise to take action for the rudeness. They completely ignored the website errors, multiple authorizations on my card and the inconvenience I had to go through to get all of it straightened out before my trip tomorrow. Hey, US Airways – it’s called solving the customer’s TOTAL problem, not just part of it.

Mediocre product and hellacious customer service – even at the so-called customer relations level. Actually, I have a suggestion. Change the name from US Airways Customer Relations to US Airways Customer Alienation – this name would be more representative of the actual service.

Just more reason to give my money to Delta.

Here’s the problem if you’re a teenage girl


FYI (if you’re a teenage girl).

I’m all for parents being involved in their children’s lives and setting expectations for behavior, including how they present themselves to the public. Emphasis on children.

Differential treatment between the sexes is the exact reason girls continue to face problems in society. “It’s okay for boys to be half naked, but not girls.” This is quite reminiscent of “it’s okay for men to work this job and get paid more, but not women.” When you start early in setting a standard that boys and girls are treated differently rather than fairly, you set the expectation for the same type of treatment that allows for the misogynistic mistreatment of women. How about EVERYONE put their clothes on instead of just targeting one group?

Secondly, suggesting that girls shouldn’t post these pictures because you don’t want to “post anything that makes it easy for your male friends to imagine you naked in your bedroom” is a blatant disregard for a girl’s sexuality. Does this mother really think that young girls do not have those urges? Oh, but we’re not supposed to talk about that because female sexuality is not only to be repressed, but the onus of controlling a boy’s behavior lies squarely on the delicate shoulders of the girl. We have to be honest. I used to be a young girl. As a teenager, I thought I was going to explode with hormones and thought about sexual encounters on a regular basis. But, ssshhh, we’re not supposed to talk about that. And oh yeah, there’s another group that believes women’s dress is responsible for inappropriate male behavior – they’re called the Taliban.

Oh, and give your boys some credit. I’m willing to bet that they have no difficulty imagining girls naked. Actually, you probably don’t want to know what else they’re thinking with little help from the internet.

Lastly, posting this eloquently written address to the girls of the internet to be more modest was made non-credible by the accompanied scantily-clad pictures of the male members of the family. At the very least, the pictorial presentation is bad form; at it’s worst, it’s hypocritical and the epitome of the sexual double standard.

I call b.s. How about teaching your sons not to be lecherous? How about applying the same standards to all children? Novel idea – how about finally treating girls fairly and not shaming them for their bodies and sexuality?

Nice effort, but in no way commendable in its sexism.

Oh, P.S. – don’t forget all the young gay boys who are likely thinking the same things about young men wearing nothing but swim trunks.

Some Good News


us-airways-messupThe Evils of US Airways

An update on the issue I’ve had with my US Airways trip.

Chase bank did the right thing. They removed the authorizations without waiting on US Airways to contact them, so I now have access to my $1002. They did point out if there is to be a charge from US Airways, it could still post to my account. The hell – it better not!

I briefly had a debate with myself. Should I go ahead and try to upgrade again? Nah. After all of this, I’m not giving them any more money. Lesson learned!

The Evils of US Airways


I’ve had a bad experience with Delta before. I think maybe this morning’s experience with US Airways was worse – or maybe the Delta thing just happened too long ago. It’s obvious the agents at US Airways are in no way taught any type of customer service.

My daughter and I are going on a trip back to my hometown this week. I logged onto US Airways website because I decided to go ahead and upgrade our seats to something more comfortable. Traveling alone with a toddler is grueling enough, might as well be as comfortable as possible when doing it. Well, the US Airways website was experiencing a problem. I kept getting an error message that the request could not be processed and to try again. So, I did. A few times. It ended with me having no upgraded seats and multiple authorizations on my debit card totaling $1002.

I start to panic. We’re getting ready to leave on a trip and $1002 of my money is on hold. I contact US Airways by phone and the first woman I speak to is really nice. She explains that they can request the hold be dropped, but I need the fax number for the bank. I erroneously thought Chase had a fax number on their website, so I had to end the call with her and call Chase. Once I have the information, I contact US Airways again.

This is where a bad situation starts to get even uglier. The first agent I spoke to didn’t seem to understand what I was saying. She didn’t know the difference between an authorization and a charge. To make matters worse, she interrupted me while I was speaking. I asked to be transferred to someone else. She said I would have to hang up and call back. I admit, I rudely told her that she needed to be trained again, then hung up.

When I called back, I’m not sure that questioning her training was as bad as it sounds. I told the next agent that I needed to speak to someone in the customer service department, and she said they didn’t have customer service department. No wonder they don’t know how to appropriately talk to people! This same agent also interrupted me while I was talking, so I went the next step and asked to speak to a supervisor. A woman named Renita got on the line. She took my information and did everything to make the request to have the authorizations dropped. Guess what? During the conversation Renita rudely interrupted me, too! No customer service department is an understatement! All they have are sales agents that are not trained on the common courtesies of business interactions. Not only that, they didn’t even address the errors on the website – so if you use US Airways’ website today…BEWARE!

When the call ended, I wrote a formal complaint about the situation – a complaint that will be responded to within 4-5 days.

Even with the previous issue with Delta, I’m regretting that I chose to go with US Airways this time. Delta does not fly into my hometown anymore and the closest airport is a 45-minute drive. I thought I was saving my sister the inconvenience. Well, I’m not sure it was actually worth it after all of this.

Oh, and I still didn’t get my upgraded seats. Do you think I could afford another transaction when there’s $1002 being held on my account? Not likely.

As I’ve said before, when a corporation treats you badly, don’t give them any more money. I can get emotional abuse for free….no use in paying for it.

You Didn’t Have to Say It, I Felt It


I’ve written a little about bullying before, particularly in questioning what the answer is. This topic is getting a lot of press, as it should, because humans in general – and young people especially – treat each other like sh*t. Pardon the pseudo-vulgarity, but there’s just no other way to describe the morbidly creative ways we tear each other down.

One fact that cannot be denied, bullying is not a new phenomenon. What’s new is the amount of attention it is being given in social media. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new, and it’s something that many of us have experienced at one point in our lives.

I was bullied. I would never suggest that I was bullied to the vicious extent that some are, but it did have a significant impact on me, the person I am today and even the characters I create in my writing.

You see, I did a lot of processing over discussions of the main character in my series, Emma. Many do not like her, even hate her with an ill-conceived notion that she is somehow beyond redemption. Her “whiny monologues” are a glimpse inside the internal thoughts of someone with rather dark thoughts and an extremely poor self-image. It makes me wonder how people would react to others who have extremely negative self-talk that is never verbally expressed. Just because we don’t talk about it, just because you don’t know it…doesn’t mean that we don’t feel it.

In thinking about her characteristics and why she is the way that she is, I realized that much of her personality is a mirror image of the issues I dealt with growing up. I’ve always had issues with my weight. I experienced the cliched criticisms of “You have such a pretty face, if only you would lose some weight” to being called “Shamu” in school, having bubble gum put in my hair and having boys regularly scoff at my awkward advances, not wanting to date the fat girl. Add to this feelings of not being wanted by my own father, and you have the ripe concoction for a young girl who would always be suspicious of a male’s intentions.

My attempts to fit in caused somewhat of a split in how I viewed myself. Part of the reason why I tried to excel in my studies and sports was so that I could get some sort of positive attention. This focus led me to be an honor student and celebrated softball player…all while hating myself for the way that I looked. I was just as sure of my intellect as I was internalizing Shamu as a part of my self-image.

I made it through adolescence, but hearing the fat jokes and being treated as “definitely not girlfriend material” on a regular basis left an undeniable imprint on my psyche. I cannot even fathom the missed possibilities because I just couldn’t grasp the idea that anyone could find me attractive. If a guy showed interest, there must be an ulterior motive – maybe another joke? – because he couldn’t really think I’m attractive. I mean, so many had told me I wasn’t by calling me names, and my dad didn’t even want me…so surely they jest. Right?

I’m glad to say that over the years and through much mental processing, I’m no longer as suspicious as I used to be. And for those who say, “But surely you must realize this isn’t true?” I appreciate the sentiment, but with someone like me – it just isn’t helpful. I can understand something logically, it doesn’t mean that my heart and soul believe it.

Still to this day, I walk in the shadow of Shamu. Unlike Emma, I’m not saying my whiny monologue out loud. That doesn’t mean I’m not waging an internal battle as those similar thoughts bubble to the surface every so often.

Even with the most hateful of personalities – you may never realize the darkness that created it. Sometimes the children who are bullied grow up to become adults who are scarred, struggling to break through the deadened emotional tissue that tried – in vain – to strangle us in our youth.

We would do well to remember that sometimes behind those scars is a legacy of being treated like sh*t. Don’t add to it. Instead do what the playground and high school kids didn’t – be compassionate.

Generation Huh?


I miss empiricism. I miss critical thinking. These are elements of logic and rational thought that are sorely missing in our society.

I plan on discussing many of these issues in detail in other posts. For now I want to focus on a recent example involving a response to one of my posts on a different website.

I had posted a review of our current apartment complex on a ratings website. My review is summed up in the bullet points in this post. One of the people who responded based their response on so many assumptions the only way to describe it is that they pretty much fictionalized my review.

First off, the person described me as suffering from “entitlemntitis.” My first reaction to this word was “what kind of wing-nut buzzword is that?” The only thing I can figure is that this is a made up “disorder” used to described people who have the nerve to demand fair treatment. Of course I’m biased in my description. It was obvious from the response that the person meant that it’s people who think they’re entitled to everything and throw “a page long temper tantrum” if they don’t get it. (Yes, the poster actually used the phrase in quotes).

What’s interesting to me is the “entitlements” that the responder specifically highlighted in the response: disabled parking and non-English speakers. I abhor political correctness to the point that we even embrace the worst ills of our communities, but the disabled and people who can’t speak English? Given the current political climate and a growing faction of “learn the language or leave” mentality, treating not speaking English as a detriment can be unfortunately expected (I’ll address in another post). But disabilities? Really? I’m taking poetic license here, just like the poster did with “entitlemntitis” – have we’ve gotten to the point in society where we figuratively kick disabled people to the side and say, “It’s unfair if you don’t have to travel as far as me even if you’re not as mobile?”

What the hell? Now, granted, I could be a lot worse off than other people. I thankfully do not have to use a wheelchair or cane (yet), but because of my condition I am in near-constant pain. Although I’m much younger, more than one doctor has told me that I have the back of someone in their 60’s. Because of this, doctors…medical professionals…more than ONE have told me not to exercise. When was the last time you heard a doctor say that? The reason for this is because if I injure my back now, it’s more than likely that I will end up in a wheelchair.

I did not post this in my review, because well, I didn’t think going into that much detail was necessary. Medical issues tend to be private. However, the person who responded made some assumptions and suggested that I “begged” my doctor for the disability placard so that both me and my husband could have good parking spots because I was the type of person who would exploit anyone or any situation to get what I wanted.

Again, what the hell? Am I missing something? Do you all really get that from my post on our apartment woes? Please comment and tell me if this is the case and I should have been more clear/detailed in what I wrote.

And just for further clarity, my husband and I never both got good parking spots. I had a disabled spot and my husband continued to search for available parking outside in the first-come-first-serve area.  The issue with Shorewood was always them blocking disabled spots inside the garage, not that they wouldn’t give two premium spots. Also, once my back started showing improvement and I was in less pain (meaning I could walk farther without the lower half of my body going numb), I stopped parking in the disabled spots so that others who were less mobile could have them.

Now, just with the piece on my mobility issues, see how posting an opinion based on assumptions at worst – anecdotal evidence at best – can be used to twist people’s perspectives in such a way that people start believing something that is, well, just not correct?

Are people okay with basing opinions on fallacy? This anecdotal evidence would say yes, but this is something that I’ve seen on countless occasions. Seeing this behavior time and again makes me feel like we’re dealing with a society full of people from what I’m beginning to call “Generation Huh?” We had Generation X…then came Generation Why?….it seems to be that a better description is “Generation Huh?” because people don’t even ask “why” that much anymore. Few people question things to gain further understanding. Instead, they fly off the handle based on one piece of information.

Is it too much to ask that people seek out facts and/or information before forming any opinions or theories? Sadly, the answer to this seems to be yes. It’s weird. With technology we have access to more information and the ability to interact with more people than ever before, yet many do not use it to improve their perspectives or world views. Instead it’s as if  technology – with everything at our fingertips – has encouraged us to embrace instant gratification to the point that unless the information is provided to us, we can’t possibly be bothered to search for it ourselves.

Great times and sad times, y’all.