Going round in circles

“Hello, I’d like to find out how many miles I need for a round trip, business class ticket to Africa.”

“Well, according to your account you only have 4,443 miles.”

“Yes, I know but I have big plans.  I am just looking for the number.”

“When would you be leaving?”

“In September 2012.”

“I’m sorry we don’t book flights that far out.  You have to be within 331 days.”

“Look, I’m just asking for the number of miles.  Let’s pretend I’m leaving in February instead.  How many miles to get to Africa in February?”

“What days in February?”

“It really doesn’t matter!  Just pick the first Monday in February and bring me back 3 weeks later.”

“Hmm, I’m afraid there are no more mileage seats available for the month of February.”

“I must not be explaining this properly.  I don’t want to go to Africa in February.  I just want to know how many MILES I need to go, regardless of which month.  I randomly picked February.  Let’s try March or April!”

“Ma’am, I would need to know which dates you want to travel before I can help you.  And you only have 4,443 miles in your account.  I can assure you that you’ll need quite a bit more miles for a trip like that.”

“Listen to me.  Have you ever had a really big fat hairy goal?  Have you?”

“Ma’m, I’m not sure what this has to do with your mileage account.”

“It has EVERYTHING to do with my mileage account.  I have a big fat hairy goal.  I am going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for my 50th birthday.    I have to break this down into smaller steps.  I have no intention of flying for 30 hours in coach.  So I need to know how many miles I need to either upgrade or outright purchase a ticket to Africa.  All I’m looking for is a number, I swear to God I won’t hold you to it.  I just have to know what I’m working towards.  Then I’m going to charge the shit out of the mileage card.  Trust me, I’ll get the miles.  I just need to know how many.  Please, do you understand what I’m trying to do now?”

“Oh my.  That is quite a goal.  Do you climb mountains often?”

“Uh, no.  I have never climbed a mountain.  That would be the big fat hairy part of this goal.  So, can you see why I need to know the miles required?”

“Oh yes absolutely!  Now, which month would you want to travel?”


Categories: Goals

6 replies

  1. OMG!!!! This is the story of my life calling support lines. I have to say it is a LOT more fun reading your rendition, though, than living mine!! Thanks for the great laugh. . . .Dede

  2. Here is my story…

    My flight leaving Denver was late getting into LAX thus causing me to miss the ONLY flight to St George Utah for 8 more hours.
    I went to customer service….why they call it that I will never know…and waited in line with at least a hundred other unlucky souls who were now stranded in the abyss we call LAX. After about an hour I finally dragged what was left of my patience and my carry-on to the lovely woman at the desk who SWORE that she was indeed “with customer service, Dammit!”
    “How can I help you?”
    “I missed my flight to St. George.”
    “You should account for traffic on the way to the airport, ma’am.”
    “Well, I did and I was in plenty of time to catch my flight. However, the plane the flew me here….the one with the big UNITED logo on the tail, didn’t plan as well as I did.”
    Staring and thought processes happening behind thick glasses ensues……”The flight out of Denver was late.”
    “Oh. I see. Well, you could have said that to start with.”
    Thought in my head. “Well, I would have but it’s my goal to confuse you…which appears rather easy to do.”
    What I said, “I’m sorry. Let me explain. The flight out of Denver was late because the speakers were broken and we had to get a new plane. Now I need to get to St George, Utah.”
    “I see. Well, there is a flight leaving out of Denver to LA that will get you on the next flight to St George at 6pm. Would you like me to book you on that flight?”
    “But I just left Denver.”
    “Yes, but you will need to fly out of Denver to LA to catch the next flight.”
    “But, I’m in LA now.”
    “Well, I’ll book you on a flight to Denver now so that you can fly to LA.”
    “But, I’m already IN LA.” At this point I looked to the other people in line to be sure that I actually WAS in LA. They assured me that I was indeed.
    “You will need to fly from Denver to be on the flight.”
    “Okay, let’s do this. Book me on all of those flights and I won’t catch them and then book me on the flight to St George and I’ll be sure to catch it.”
    More staring. “But you have to be in LA to catch that flight.”
    “Well, I don’t know if you have been listening, but I’M already here.”
    “Fine. I just booked you on the flight out of Denver.”
    “Perfect. I’ll be sure to miss it. Can you put me on the flight to St George as well?”
    “Yes, ma’am. Here are your boarding passes.”
    This is a TRUE story!!

  3. We all should have a few BHAGs. Learned this from one of the best – Kelly herself!

  4. LOVE THIS STORY! I actually work for a travel insurance company and I hear this around me A LOT! I think people in these jobs forget that they are actually speaking to other people. I enjoy working with people and the question you posed is one I love b/c it takes some problem solving. Hope you get it all figured out and tackle your big hair goal!

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