August 24, 2007

A story about how people are nice, if you are nice to them.

So last weekend, we were on our way back from a wedding in New Orleans. The combination of having too much heat+too much beer+too much head cold+not enough sleep had left us depleted, to say the least. And I somehow managed to leave my cell phone in the New Orleans airport, which I did not discover until I was roaming around the Atlanta airport. Needless to say, I thought my phone (which, btw, is only about a month old) was pretty much lost to the world.

But that was not the case! Somehow, my phone ended up in Richmond Virginia. I do not know how. But it was found there by some nice man named Jamar who works for AirTran. Jamar had what was evidently a very confused conversation with my father in law, who randomly called my phone while Jamar was trying to figure out what to do with it. Moved to help, Jamar looked through my phone book and exhanged a whole series of text messages with brandon (noted in my phone as my emergency contact) and concluded that what would be most helpful is if he sent my phone on the next plane to Midway airport, where I could pick it up.

Wasn't that nice of him? Unfortunately, at that point, things got a little an effort to be helpful, Jamar evidently sent the phone to Midway via AirTran's inter-office mail system, so it did not immediately appear to the Midway people as lost baggage. And I spent a lot of time on the phone with Midway this week saying "um, Jamar was supposed to send you my phone...?" They could not find my phone. All week. And again I feared my phone had gone missing.

But! Yesterday a woman named Marcie called from AirTran midway, saying that she had my phone in hand. I asked her if they could hold on to the phone until Monday, because I had company coming and a one-year old (Elliot was sqealing lustily in the background) and lived an hour away. She said she would. And then I asked if there was a good way for me to let Jamar's manager know that I was very grateful for his help, and also that I was very grateful for how nice all the Midway people were to me when I called every half hour all week.

Now, you have to imagine being Marcie, and working at a baggage claim at Midway Airport. Can you imagine anything worse? Okay, maybe working at a baggage claim at O'Hare is worse. But really: I suspect that working at a baggage claim pretty much involves being yelled at. Most of the time. Awful.

Anyway, Marcie seemed to be really touched that I was not only not yelling at her but actually thanking her. And she at the last minute offered to FedEx my phone. For free. Because clearly it was going to suck for me to get down to midway from Rogers Park with a squawky one year old. She said, "I know how it is." And she sent my phone overnight express! It arrived at my door at 8:45 this morning.

Anyway, all this sort of begs the question of why Jamar didn't just offer to fedex my phone last sunday, which surely would have been even more spectacular customer service. But let's not think about it that way. People are busy. And it's just nice, I think, that in the midst of doing unpleasant and busy jobs all these random people made a little bit of time to help compensate for my bleary forgetful self.


Amy E said...

That's a great story! I'm amazed!

Kelli said...

I love it when that happens! And when you can recognize the nice people. When Joe was in his bike accident and had to spend the night at the hospital, he was so upset that he had lost his bike, and all of the bells and whistles on it. He went back and looked at the accident scene and in all the alleys, to no avail. But, a few weeks later, the bike (complete with bells and whistles) showed up at our basement door! It was probably someone that Joe had spoken with for quite a while after the accident until the ambulance came, but due to the concussion, he didn't remember a thing about it. So, we have no way of thanking some good samaritan who schlepped Joe's bike across town for a stranger to our doorstep.

Hooray Jamar and Marcie! I am a little less depressed about the world.

Beck said...

God bless those kind people.

katiphillips said...

What is it with New Orleans? Remember when we went down there for Mardi Gras, and I lost my drivers license (read threw it drunkenly in the street in the back of pack of cigarettes)? It showed up in the mail two weeks later with an unsigned note: "Looked for you all over."

Roxanne said...

What an awesome story of fabulously nice folks- I love that!

keri said...

wow that is awesome, i wonder if Jamar had the authority to fedex it, maybe he'd have to get it cleared by a ton of people first... the drivers license story is cool too!

Who She She said...

It's great when things like this happen. Renews one's faith.