Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Working While Oblivious

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 10:23 AM

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It’s so strange, scary and even threatening when someone is employed at a place like an airport and does not know about his or her duties. Someone with no knowledge or open mind to the entire world. That scares me, especially after finding a case of a man that was killed a few months ago at an airport in Canada for arguing. At the airport you can get arrested for raising your voice or just complaining, even when you are right, and the airport employees knowing that, treat travelers however they want and forget that their job is still part of customer service work.

The Chicago airport gave me a bad impression of airports. As I was traveling to Canada on the 6th of August, an agent looked at my travel document and said to me that I can’t get into Canada. I asked why. She said, “This is not a passport.”

The fact is that she has just never seen this kind of document before. She built her case on one phrase in the travel document that reads “This is not an American passport.” Hell, it is not an American passport, it’s a travel document! They are issued to people who aren’t American but possess a permanent residence visa. This agent had no clue and called three of his coworkers to prove to me that I have to obtain an American passport even when I am not an American. I looked at them and just asked them to give me someone who understands these things. They denied me until my flight departed.

I was so annoyed and speechless, and then awhile later, this other guy comes over and they tried to convince him too that I was not eligible to enter Canada. I looked at the guy and asked the woman to step aside, as she does not have a clue about the document. I explained the situation to the man and he helped me check in and get on the next flight, that came two hours later.

My concern is: why would they employ someone who doesn’t have a clue about the world around him at the airport? That’s a small incident which can get someone with a short temper arrested, or make someone miss his trip.

Imagine if I were in Africa trying to get back to the USA. I would possibly get stuck there due to the lack of knowledge of this one agent.

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