(I Really Hope) This Is a True Story.
A friend of mine, who traveled a great deal, told the following story, swearing it actually happened.
Some years ago at Honolulu International Airport, he was second in line to check in for a flight to Los Angeles. The man in front of him was giving the poor reservations agent a very bad time – grousing about the airline, complaining that the flight was delayed and generally being loud, rude and obnoxious.
Through it all, the young man behind the counter, who happened to be Asian, remained calm and polite.
Finally the big blowhard went way over the line. “This kind of incompetence,” he sneered, “is what I expect from you people.”
Still, the res agent kept his cool, and finally the jerk went stomping off toward security, clutching his boarding pass and baggage claim check.
My friend, who had overheard everything, complimented the young man on how well he had handled a very unpleasant passenger and asked him how he had managed to keep his cool.
The agent smiled. “I just tried to remember,” he said, “that while that guy was on his way to Dallas, his bag would be heading for Tokyo.”
MORAL: Be nice. You never know when you’re going to piss off the wrong person.