Human Connection

I am a person to person person. I am. This is not a world where that is encouraged, quite the opposite. While you are on hold waiting for a human being, you are bombarded with reminders that, “Did you know that you can do this online?” Or “Did you know that you can do that online?” If I could have done it online, I would have, but now I need to speak to a human. And please, delete the part of the recording that says, “Your call is important to us.” If it was you would hire more service representatives. And you can stop thanking me for my patience. It ran out about an hour and a half ago. In total I spent over three hours on the phone yesterday evening (ruined supper) but still I am grateful. Here we go…

We have to change our Qantas flights back to Oz because of my eye surgery. After a ten or so minute hold, the first call produced someone with a thick French accent who I could not really understand. I do not think she understood me either. She led me to believe that I could change the flight online myself and we parted ways. You cannot change the flight online yourself.

The second attempt brought me someone who I just said that I could not understand and I hung up. My third call brought me Nonhle (pronounced Nonche) who was in South Africa. I spent over an hour with her as she worked on our rescheduling. I chatted with her about South Africa, birding and wildlife. We laughed and joked. She was delightful. She put me on hold twice and was gone perhaps ten minutes each time. Then she said that she had to talk with ticketing and asked if I could hold again. I said yes, but please don’t lose me!

Sadly, she did. I remained on hold over an hour and a half and finally the call was disconnected. In the meantime, I called Qantas on Lynn’s phone (while mine was still on hold) four times trying to see what was going on to no avail. I finally got someone who said that Nonhle wanted to call me. I gave him my number and he stayed on with me until I was on with her. It was a joyous reunion! She was so apologetic and sweet. She had no idea how we got disconnected. She said that she would not put me on hold again and we stayed together until the flight change was completely sorted.

Then she told me that the charges for the new flights would be an additional $911. However, she was able to find a similar flight four days later and saved us $426 of those charges. She had really worked to make this work for me. We had had a real, human connection. She thanked me and I thanked her and I am sure that in the real world, we would have hugged. I am grateful.
A familiar sight for my wife and me. There are still lovely individuals working for that massive, impersonal company. You just have to be fortunate enough to make a connection with them.

Birds. Peace. Love. Earth. Laughter. Music.