What is the opposite of customer service?

It was not a good time to mess with me.  A flight delay of two and a half hours caused us to land at Boston Logan International Airport at about midnight. Still, an international airport should be equipped to handle late-arriving passengers at all hours, right?  Wrong.  Well, at least they weren’t ready at one of the leading car rental agencies housed there.  We found their counter, at last.  Yet, nothing was happening there.

Finally, an unidentified person told us to go to the lower level.  At the lower level, we found about seven other customers…yet no staff.  A woman in the line said she’d already been waiting 15 minutes.  Finally, someone who looked kind of official appeared through a door behind the counter and did not acknowledge the waiting crowd.  Because of a certain sign over his head, I shouted to him to ask if we were in the right place.  “No, you must go to the upstairs counter.”

Many in the line groaned.  I held my ground while my husband went back to the upper level to investigate.  He returned to say that, again, a random person had told him to come down stairs.  Finally a clerk opened a cash register and began to work through the waiting customers who had reserved cars already.  (Lord help you if you had not reserved a car.)  It took 10 minutes to reach her desk. Without apology, she took our information and told us our car would take 10 minutes to arrive. We could see dozens of cars within 40 feet of us.  “Really?” I asked.  “And do you intend to tell this crowd behind me the same thing?”

“I can’t do anything about it,” she said. “Our manager’s not here.”

Well, that was kind of obvious.  Obvious, too, that given a choice, we won’t be reserving cars with this company again.  

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