Monday, February 27, 2006

February 27, 2006
"Is the flight sold out?" I asked the ticket attendant, standing at the US Air counter at El Paso International Airport.

She nodded yes, meekly. I started to swear (again), but then remembered the movie Anger Management with Adam Sandler.

"I've been a very good boy so far, " I actually told the woman. "I got bumped off two flights getting here and I spent all day at Sky Harbor Airport and although I had the priveledge of eating two $45 tacos, and hanging out with Cesar, a brilliant realtor by the way, I'm not real thrilled to be duplicating that experience here in El Paso."

"I will get you on this flight," the woman assured me.

I didn't believe her. I folded my arms and fumed. I stared at the far wall and envisioned the name of my new blog, "Don't Fly US Air." I had the logo half-finished in my mind (a big screw wedging between the U and S).

Meanwhile, the woman was on the phone waiting. For a long time. At least five minutes went by (I figured there was some US Air agent on the other end, either chuckling, or handling a dozen other calls just like this one; or both).

Finally, the woman smiled and hung up the phone. "You're on the plane."
I looked at her and said, "One person saves an airline."

I high-fived her. 'I'm not kidding," I reiterated. "You are the one person who has saved this airline a ton of grief, and money. I don't claim to be some powerful person, but I would have done everything in my power to convince everyone I know not to fly US AIr. Thankyou. What is your name?"

"Betty Flores." What a beautiful name, I told her.

The US Air people in Phoenix just made me madder by acting dull (I assume they get beat up and abused every day because of the overselling tactic and mock up a kind of shell-shocked non-commital attitude). But Betty Flores, assured me I would get on that plane, and she actually smiled, and she did her job. Whatever Betty Flores is getting paid, it's not enough. One person saved a company, and on this day, the name of that hero is Betty Flores.

And thanks to Betty Flores, I'm wiritng this from Cave Creek, Arizona.

Favorite Onion Headline de Jour
You Win Some, You Claim To Have Won Some

"Every man has three characters: that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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