Thursday, March 24, 2011

No, YOU have a Magical Day, Asshole!

I've been trying to come up with a way to convey to all of you what went on between James from Georgia and myself upon our arrival in Disney World.

I wanted to make sure that I conveyed purely condescending and phony nature of James, as well as my livid and justifiably angry reaction.

I needed to make sure that you all got the picture that not only had our Disney vacation started off on the VERY WRONG foot but James from Georgia managed to sour us on Disney World resorts for quite some time.

The only way I could think to do this was to write a letter.  A letter to James from Georgia.  And then share it with all of you.

And then share it with the executives at Disney, specifically Ms. Meg Crofton.

Dear James from Georgia,

You don't remember me.  I know you don't.  Well, maybe you do.  Maybe you remember me as the woman in the sweatshirt who looked beat to hell at 10:30 at night who was yelling at you in the middle of the All Star Movies Resort Lobby.

Do you remember me?

I will NEVER forget you.  And I can assure you that I will tell EVERYONE this story.  I don't care if every other person I run into has the most Magical Fantastic Disney World Experience EVAR!  I am going to make sure they know all about you and the crap that you and Disney pulled on my family.

James, we arrived at our Disney resort, I'm sorry- we arrived at what we THOUGHT was our Disney resort, late on a Thursday evening.  There were 6 of us- 4 adults and 2 children.  The adults had all been to Disney before but this was a first for the kids and it was a first for us staying in a Disney owned resort and to say we were looking forward to a Magical time is an understatement.

I'm not sure why the Disney gods decided that you were going to be the one at the counter that night.  I'm not sure why the moment you opened your mouth I just KNEW this was going to go badly.  And I'm really not sure why you thought it was ok to continually say, "I understand" and call me "Ma'am" when you really didn't understand ANYTHING and I certainly don't look old enough to be a Ma'am!
But the universe and Disney came together and gave us to you and you to us and James, that was a very bad idea.

When you could only find ONE of our reservations that we had booked in NOVEMBER, I knew that the situation was escalating and then when you couldn't grasp the concept that we had made all of the reservations on one credit card and through one travel agent, I surmised that we were in big big trouble.

Things were getting rough, my blood pressure was rising and my fists were starting to clench.  So I paced a little bit while you did a little typing.

And then...BOOM!

James from Georgia you took what had so far been an ok trip- a smooth plane ride (courtesy of an awesome pilot and a lovely vodka cranberry), a fun bus ride on the Magical Express, and an awe inspiring arrival for my kids at the resort, and turned it sour quite fast.

Apparently, our preferred status, adjoining rooms had been downgraded and then separated.  The Disney bigwigs put my parents in one hotel and then proceeded to move my family- my husband and I and our two kids- DOWN THE STREET to another hotel.

You know what iced the proverbial crap-ass cake that you handed us just then, James?  The fact that rather than apologizing you went ahead and issued your pisspoor Disney customer service training inspired, "I understand, Ma'am" and then had the audacity to refer me to the teeny tiny fine print at the VERY BACK of my Disney trip planner packet.

And that James, was the first time that I wanted to reach across the counter and punch you in the face.

I believe my exact response to you was, "You have got to be-" and I paused there because, really, I wasn't prepared to drop the F-bomb in front of my mom AND inside Disney World, "freaking kidding me" was how I finished it.

"Well, Ma'am, it is written there."  And there is the second time I wanted to reach across and punch you. IN. THE. FACE.

See, I practiced some fabulous restraint up until that point.  I walked away. Briefly.  I let my mom deal with you because I knew she wouldn't drop an F-bomb and I knew she wouldn't allow her fists to do any talking.

I think this was around the time that you took your first trip into the "secret back room that gives no satisfaction to any actual customers".  I'm fairly convinced you were talking to Walt Disney himself back there and he kept telling you that he understood but he was just so cold from being frozen that he couldn't do jack shit for us.

You informed us, when you finally left good old Walt that Disney had ever so graciously OVERBOOKED the resort by 400 people. Let me repeat that so EVERYONE can get a really good idea of how PREPOSTEROUS that is.....DISNEY OVERBOOKED THE RESORT BY 400 PEOPLE!!!

I think we can all take a step back from this letter right now and scream a collective, WTF?!?!?!?!?

So, at this point I was dumbfounded.  Speechless even.  What kind of company does that?!?!

Oh, wait, a company that KNOWS that people won't walk away.  A company that knows that there are hundreds of people, families, ready to jump right into the spot of a another family that they have screwed over by, say I don't know, downgrading their rooms and splitting up their entire party!!

Well, James from Georgia, Disney F-ed with the wrong family.  And had you actually seemed like you cared and maybe apologized once, JUST ONCE, maybe I would have been a little less bitchy and a little more understanding.

But you, James from Georgia, were an ASSHOLE.

You tried to convince us to stay separately- two different resorts.

You tried to tell us that this was all ok because it was all in the teeny tiny print at the back of our Disney plan book.

You tried to tell us that it didn't matter that our travel agent had confirmed THAT VERY MORNING because Disney reserves the right to change anything regarding our reservation- and steal our first born.

ok, well maybe not that last part.

And then when you told us that if we just stayed apart one night we'd be able to come back together the next night for the remainder of our trip I called you on it.

You see James from Georgia I'm not allowed to use logic at work so my brain is always aching to be able to use it and that night standing in the lobby of the Disney All Start Movies resort I got to use it.

"Wait, so you're telling me if we go over to the Sports resort and my parents stay here we'll be able to come back here tomorrow night and stay in close rooms, possibly adjoining for the rest of our trip....just as we had planned with our reservation that we booked in NOVEMBER?"

"Yes Ma'am."

"Wait. Explain this to me....we separate for the night because you all OVERBOOKED BY 400 and then we can come back tomorrow night and stay together for the rest of our trip.  How is that even possible?!  How are you going to guarantee us two rooms for the rest of our trip when you just told me the hotel is OVERBOOKED BY 400?!!?"

"Well, now Ma'am, I never guaranteed it.  We'll tr-"

(Do you remember that scene from Real Housewives of NJ where Teresa screams at Danielle and calls her a prostitution whore and flips the table? Yeah....imagine that except Disney style.)

James from Georgia never got the rest of his words out.  He never had a chance to say anything else because I E-X-P-L-O-D-E-D!


And here it comes James from Georgia, the words that will forever remind me of you and haunt me, "Ma'am, I understand."

It was at this point that my mother requested that I walk away.  I did.  But as I did and I heard James from Georgia's condescending mantra I turned around, raised my pointer finger at him and yelled loud enough to make the entire lobby look me, "You know what?!  You don't understand crap!"

I went outside and furiously started making phone calls.  I finally got someone from Disney on the phone and unleashed myself on to her.  I started the conversation with, "You people end every freaking conversation with 'Have a Magical Day' well, I have to tell you that my few hours at Disney have been anything but Magical.  As a matter of fact, they've been pretty damned shitty."

She apologized.

She got me working with people who eventually helped us.

She knocked money off our rooms for that night.

She made sure that I knew she was sorry.


James from Georgia, you were an asshole.  A MAJOR ASSHOLE.  You made sure that our Disney trip started off on the worst possible foot.  You made sure that there was so little magic in our first moments in Disney that you really should be fired.

I don't care who you work for James from Georgia, as long as there are customers involved we ALWAYS COME FIRST.  You did NOTHING to make me believe that you, or anyone else there, wanted our business.  You did NOTHING to show me that you actually did understand what we were dealing with that night.  And certain did NOTHING to make it easier for us to get into a room and get some rest so that we could start making our Magical Memories.

James from Georgia you soured us on Disney and as a result you made it so that I will tell this story to every person I meet.  You made it so that you will forever be associated with my kids' first trip to Disney World.  You made it so that we will think very long and hard before we EVER plan a trip back there.

James from Georgia, the letter that the Disney executives get will be much more put together than this rant which I've shared on my blog.  My blog that is read in multiple countries and just about every state.  The Disney executives will get a clear picture of yours, and their, incompetence and the pure dissatisfaction and disgust with which my family's Disney vacation began.

James from Georgia you were an asshole.  You were a poor representation of what Disney is supposed to be.  You were a terrible customer service agent and never once did I think that you thought about what if this was you and your family going through this.  If you had, I firmly believe that you would not have been such a doucho and you would have found a way to ACTUALLY understand and apologize.

So, James from Georgia, the story is out now and it will go from here because I plan to write letters, my mom plans to write letters and your name and our pure disgust with you and your treatment of us will be ALL OVER THOSE LETTERS.

Have a Magical Day James from Georgia, I know this helped to make mine a bit more Magical.


Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

you get him babe.

Not only was he an asshole, he was an ARSEHOLE too.


(seriously, I had always heard that Disney bends over backwards and their customer service is second to none... so DAY-UM!)

Kate said...

Too bad you couldn't wish that asshole a "magestical day". heehee

Jake from San Francisco said...

As a hotel employee, I can firmly say that you have misplaced your rage on this issue. More often then not front desk workers have very little leverage in correcting clerical issues like the one you experienced. James from Georgia, while he may not have articulated this to you, as the minimum wage Disney job he has to suffer being screamed at through didn't require him to have oratory or critical thinking skills, he likely arrived at work several hours before with NO IDEA about the unusual circumstances that happened on that night. It is almost unheard of for a hotel to overbook to that degree. Something happened, something far beyond the range of poor little James from Georgia's control. So, while he had probably been browbeaten by many screams from exhausted traveling shrews, by the time he got to you he was so emotionally drained that he had to rely on the failsafe mantras that corporate hotels teach their employees as a fallback. What you did that night was embarrass yourself in front of an already well-harassed kid who worked for an unfeeling and huge corporation doing the best he could with the tools he was given with limited resources who could help you. So brava, you immature harpy.

Betty said...

Wow, you didn't handle that very well... Exploding at a customer service rep usually makes them go out of their way not to help you. Also, 400 room overbook? That sounds pretty crazy. I bet dollars to doughnuts that James didn't overbook by 400 rooms. You should have immediately, and politely asked to speak to a manager and taken it up with him or her instead of a desk clerk. Now you'll know for next time!

Happy Travels!

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