This afternoon was filled with phone calls to airlines, hotels, and rental car companies. While I typically scour the internet to find amazing deals, our current situation warrants a phone calls to achieve circumstantial rates for our travel.
“Thank you for calling (blah, blah, blah). Can I help you today?”
“Yes, I would like to inquire about your bereavement rates.”
Over the last year (or at least 15 months), our family has endured the loss of (just recounted) SIX relatives. One great-grandmother. One great aunt. Two grandmothers. One father. And now, we grieve the loss of my uncle.
Pardon my language when I say… F***.
We have all read articles about what to say (or not to say) to our friends and family members as they grieve. Personally, I have already removed several comments from my Facebook page that people just didn’t really think through.
If you have missed these articles, I will sum them up. When someone dies, there is no RIGHT thing to say… but there are plenty of wrong things. Not saying anything is almost as bad as saying the wrong thing. Just say, “I’m sorry for your loss.” or “You are in our thoughts/prayers.” or “Let us know if you need anything.”
I need to point out that if you offer to help in any way, be prepared to do so. If you have extra rooms available in your home, offer them up. If you can pick relatives up from the airport, offer to shuttle people around. If your feel like you need to cook something, just do it.
People on the receiving end, be open to the gifts of others. They don’t know how to help you… and they are grasping for straws. Accept their gifts, take them up on their offers, and write their information down in case you need it later. Ultimately, most people are willing to lend a hand to their fellow human.
All of this being said, there are always those truly “special” people who don’t have a clue. Either they have never dealt with loss, or simply have no soul. Here is where I get to vent!
I called the airline and hotel yesterday for rates. Today, we called back to book everything. The lady from the airline was super helpful and truly respectful of our loss. (Also, Delta has a separate extension dedicated to bereavement air travel.) I suspect she may have even received special training in this area, due to her calming demeanor.
I only wish I could say the same for the crazy witch (with a capital B) who booked my hotel reservation.
Me: I am making a last minute reservation and requesting your bereavement rates.
Her: We don’t have special rates for that.
Me: Yes… yes, you do. I called yesterday. I need the discounted rates.
Her: I’m looking at a list of our discounts and it isn’t on here. Do you know the code?
Me: (Are you effing kidding me?) Look harder.
Her: Do you know what the rate was?
***Patrick was yelling, “Tell her $10!!! I think it was $10!!!”***
Me: Please get your manger.
Her: But, I need a code.
Me: (In my most calm voice… in a very angry and boiling hot tone…) Get your manager, NOW!!!
Still not sure I got the right rates, but I definitely got some sort of discount. Going to compare our rates to everyone else’s and make sure I didn’t get screwed.
Seriously though… you work in freaking customer service. As if my brain isn’t frazzled enough right now… as if our family isn’t dealing with enough stress and emotional turmoil. Be a little freaking nicer.
Please pray for our family, traveling mercies, and that I don’t run into the moron who booked our reservation… because I simply don’t have the patience.