Wednesday, July 22, 2009

indefinitely stranded at JFK.... hour number 3 and east coast charm.

as you may have noticed, my "secret identity name" on this blog is jersey. yes, as in THAT know, the armpit between two cities. as a self proclaimed jersey girl i am often one of the first to proudly claim (read: defend) jersey culture and look forward to visiting the east coast when im feeling low on dunkin donuts, sarcasm or poor customer service. on a recent visit to jersey i was in the drive-through of mc donalds and had the following interaction with the discontent voice on the loud speaker:

unhappy 16 year old worker: *dry tone and in one breath* "welcometomcdonaldscanitakeyourorder?"
ME: "yes, hello. i see on your menu that you have something called a "big and tasty"...could you tell me what that is?"
unhappy worker: (long pause) "its big....... and its tasty." (long pause)
ME: "um.....ok.......but does it come with like tomato and cheese and lettuce?"
unhappy worker: (long pause) "............. i have no idea."


i was reminded again today of how much i love east coast customer service. i am currently stuck at JFK airport because my connecting flight to boston was suddenly canceled. upon seeing the big yellow "cancelled" next to my flight, i turned to get in line at the gate to ask the clerk what my options were. i arrived at the desk in time to hear the following:

confused customer: "i just dont understand what my options are"
irritated underpaid clerk: *raising his hand in the air* "sir, you are not my problem. you have to go to the information desk to get your answers."

*looking around* did he really just say, "you are not my problem"?? oh snap!!

in an attempt to avoid the hand-in-your-face service from the gate clerk i decided to follow the customer to the info desk. there was a line of about 784 people and two...count them...TWO clerks working the desk...although teeechnically only one of them was actually serving customers (the other one was probably writing a blog post about how much she hates her job). anywho...when it was finally my turn i walked up to the counter and had the following pleasant interaction:

slowest and least accommodating or pleasant clerk in the world (SLAOPCITW): "NEXT"
ME: "hi. hows it going?"
SLAOPCITW: *no response or eye contact*
ME: "ok, um....i was on the flight to boston that just got canceled and im just wondering...."
SLAOPCITW: "boarding pass."
ME: "huh?"
SLAOPCITW: *speaking slowly as though i am deaf* "Do..... you..... have..... your.... boarding... pass?"
ME: "oh, yeah. sorry. here it is."
SLAOPCITW: *tapping hard on her computer keys*
ME: *trying to make conversation* "man, what a pain in the butt, huh?"
SLAOPCITW: *no response or eye contact*
SLAOPCITW: *hands me a white sheet of paper and looks past me* "NEXT"
ME: "wait... what is this paper? whats happening with my flight? im confused."
SLAOPCITW: *looking at me like im the dumbest person she has ever avoided eye contact with* "THAT is your new boarding pass. your flight leaves in 2 hours. NEXT"

i think i have been living in the mountains too long. my east coast charm (and accent) is starting to fade away. im also feeling less appreciative of the sassy east coast customer service. this makes me kinda sad so perhaps i will go search the terminal for an old lady to knock over or something.


  1. I grew up in the Midwest, then moved to the south. Although I've been in NYC for 12 years--I still am not used to the completely crappy customer service on the NE Coast! While I'd never move back to the Midwest, their niceness is refreshing!
    Have a great time in Boston. Glad you have a new flight!

  2. I'm right there with you. I will fiercely defend the Garden State from those who don't appreciate it. It's a shame that so many people just don't understand the sarcasm. Personally, I just don't trust polite customer service.

  3. I love it. Every time I go back east I'm always commenting to Fern how I love how rude everyone is and how dirty the airports are. I've lost my edge though - I find myself meeting blank stares when I walk around Boston smiling at everyone.

  4. i have to say i think east coast customer service is better than the suspicion i get from employees here in abq. wifey arrived in boston last summer and said "why is everyone so mean to each other?" nonsense! it's how we show love! needless to say, she tries sarcasm now and it's nothing but cute. also, we happen to have a dunkins here and i braved the piles of homeless people who live in there to get a coconut iced coffee the other day (what? i like caffeinated sunscreen) and i've washed and reused the cup everyday since. nothing looks better in the cup holder of our car i tell ya.

  5. Hilarious! Mt wifey is from Jersey too. I read this post aloud to her and she just kept saying "Yes! Yes!"

    I hope you get back to the mountians soon.

  6. lol i'm about to leave the east coast! my fiance and i were just talking today about how rude people are (we were at mcdonalds in philly... haha).. where do you live now?

    also... my fiance and i just watched that youtube wedding video... and sooo wish we could pull something crazy like that off next year! another really funny one:

  7. puffer fish: crappy customer service is just another word for honesty. lol. sometimes we east coasters can be a little too "honest" about how we are feeling!

    gaybe rabies: i hear you. in fact, i keep a spare pair of brass knuckles tucked in my back pocket at all times just in case a fool tries to talk smack about NJ!! smiling at me from behind the counter is the quickest way to make me distrust you! lol.

    insertmetaphor: lmao at you walking around smiling at people in boston!

    metalstork: lmao at the reusable DD cup. and i agree...thats how we show love! for example: your stupid blog makes me laugh. stupid = awesome.

    poppycat: you must be a pretty fabulous person if you managed to land yourself a jersey grrrl! (clearly we are known for being humble)

    westcoastbound: enjoy your trip west... im sure you will look back and miss the east coast sarcasm on a daily basis!!