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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yes, We Are All Human!



On Tuesdays, the community of Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

I don’t get many personal phone calls on my cell phone during the day. Most of my friends know I’m at working, my daughters are also in school, and my husband knows that chances are I’m in a meeting or in a classroom. So, when my oldest daughter Larkin’s name came up as the caller, I answered it right away. Larkin is a sophomore at University of Michigan, and I am getting really excited to see her on Wednesday night! Some of you know Larkin from the March Slice of Life Challenge.

“Mom,” she said. “I think you messed up.”

I rolled my eyes. Good she couldn’t see me. Full disclosure: I was in the middle of writing a report, and Larkin loves drama and is known for embellishment.

“My ticket on Wednesday is from Hartford to Detroit, not Detroit to Hartford.”

I stopped multi-tasking.

“Right,” I said. “Why are you saying that?”

“I just checked my account, Mom,” she said. “My trip is booked from Hartford to Detroit.”

My heart started to pound. I didn’t want her to sense my panic. I just scribbled down her account numbers and password, and I told her I’d get it taken care of.

It’s amazing how quickly priorities can change. That report I was working on was FAR from the forefront of my brain. As I sat on hold with Delta, my mind raced. How much would this cost me? How would I explain that charge to my husband? What if there were no flights left? How impossible would it be to drive to Ann Arbor and turn around and drive back to Hartford? Finally, my new best friend came on to the line. I don’t even know her name, but trust me, she is my new best friend.

“I’ve made a very big, very bad mistake,” I said.

“Because you’re human?” she responded.

I LOVED this lady and all she had said to me were about those three words.

I explained the mistake, and she had Larkin booked on flights within minutes.

“I’m going to waive the $200 penalty for changing flights,” she said. “It’s obvious that this was a mistake.”

Had I just heard her right? Is it possible to hug someone through a phone line? Could she hear the relief and gratitude in my voice?
She apologized as she explained that she would have to charge me the price difference between the fares. “Let me just see what the difference is,” she said.

I prepared myself for a whopper. When she finally told me the difference was $63, I felt like I’d won the lottery.

My mistake could have been such a bigger problem than it was. Thank you to Delta, thank you to the woman whose name I don’t know. We are entering the season where many of us tend to take on too much, tend to have too many lists, tend to say yes too many times. (I’m a little extra frightened that my ticket purchasing debacle was a few weeks ago, before the start of the truly crazy season…)  Maybe this blog post will inspire others to be forgiving of mistakes and helpful in finding solutions, remembering that yes, we are all human.

Happy Writing, and Happy Holiday Season,

13 comments:

  1. I often remind myself that I make mistakes to keep me humble! I loved reading your story and how your mistake only costed you $63. I am playing the rest of your story in my mind right now...the part where you got to call Larkin back and tell her she is set to fly home. The part where you enjoy family time, having all home. The part where no explanation is needed when the credit card bill comes!! Happy Thanksgiving. I'm going to remember this story the next time I do something human!

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  2. I often remind myself that I make mistakes to keep me humble! I loved reading your story and how your mistake only costed you $63. I am playing the rest of your story in my mind right now...the part where you got to call Larkin back and tell her she is set to fly home. The part where you enjoy family time, having all home. The part where no explanation is needed when the credit card bill comes!! Happy Thanksgiving. I'm going to remember this story the next time I do something human!

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  3. Bless this customer service representative's heart. She recognized your humanity and helped you out. She didn't have to do that, but she did and that's what makes me smile. It's incredible how a small act of kindness can make things better.

    Glad Larkin will be with you for the holiday. (Though you could've used that ticket to fly out and get her. And then you could've driven back together. Just kidding!)

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  4. You gave the customer service person the best lead in. What a lovely exchange. "Because you're human" is going to be my new favorite rhetorical question.
    Thanks!

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  5. Your post reminded me of the time my daughter called me at school in the middle of the day. She was leaving the next day to do community service during spring break in Jamaica and somehow had left her passport at home. But somehow it worked out, just as it did for you, too. "Because we are all human" is definitely something to always keep in mind.

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  6. Your post reminded me of the time my daughter called me at school in the middle of the day. She was leaving the next day to do community service during spring break in Jamaica and somehow had left her passport at home. But somehow it worked out, just as it did for you, too. "Because we are all human" is definitely something to always keep in mind.

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  7. This sounds like the kind of thing I would do! So glad you got a kind service representative on the phone and that she was able to help you, and didn't charge you a million dollars! Enjoy your time with your family!

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  8. Years ago I worked reservations at Eastern Airlines in NYC...I like to think this was just the sort of thing I tried to do whenever I could. Send the airline a not about how helpful she was so they can put it in her file. Sometimes there is recognition for positive customer comments too.

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  9. What an angel! Have a wonderful holiday with your family.

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  10. I have had wonderful moments with Delta, and am so glad for you. That kindness will be hard to forget, Melanie. I'm glad that Larkin noticed, too. Happy Thanksgiving and travels for Larkin!

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  11. What a great story! So important to remember not to sweat the small stuff -- enjoy the holiday with your family!
    Clare and Tammy

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  12. I just LOVE when this happens . . . The part where a really really nice person makes a huge difference in our day! So many times situations like this don't work out so great! Glad she was the one to answer the phone!

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  13. I love this story. I love the understanding voice. I love how you realize that this transfers into other interactions. I love the challenge you pose. Yes, let us all be more human and more understanding. Thank you.

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