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Ask and Hear

In course of my job as travel specialist, I came across a lot of travel scenarios and arguments.

One evening, I got a call from an Indian woman about a flight cancellation. At the onset of the call, she sounded so calm when she mentioned the reason why she is calling.

While I was reviewing the restrictions of her booking, I asked her the reason for the cancellation so that I will be able to advice her more appropriately.

She replied “We won’t be able to travel anymore. I can’t go. My husband, who is the other traveler on this itinerary passed away just yesterday.” And then broke off.

I was left speechless. Of course we are trained how to empathize and I could have automatically answered her with the usual line “I am so sorry to hear about the loss. It must be hard.”

I had her talk more about it instead. Not that it is interesting to hear anything of that sort. Then she went “This is supposed to be our first trip back to India after a long time. He was excited to be there.”

It seemed to me she is fine talking about it. The rest of what she said was garbled and I didn’t ask her to say things over again so I would understand. For a long moment she cried on the phone and I said nothing.

After a while she opted to call back when she would feel better.

I asked her on what would make her feel better so we can deal with the issue right away, saving her another call back.

Then there was dead air.

After a few seconds of silence I suggested that we pray for the soul the departed.

Enthusiastically, she said yes.

But I don’t know how to pray the Indian way. So I said something like “I know we are not on the same religion and we have a different outlook when it comes to worship. But let me do it the way I know how.”

So we went ahead with the prayer.

After the lengthy prayer, she sighed and said she is feeling better.

So I reviewed the restrictions of her international economy ticket and the airline's policy for extenuating circumstances. In cases where the traveler’s reason for cancellation is death in the family or in this example, death of the traveler, the ticket will be refundable. I immediately processed the refund of both their tickets.

The rationale of this story is simple. Ask and hear.

Oftentimes, people would be so process-oriented and would be focused much on the procedures in doing what needs to be done. Often times we fail to listen.

Posted by bondabe 03:00 Archived in Philippines Tagged round_the_world

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Ask and hear. That is so true. Loved this entry.

by callboi

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