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,