Oh, Porter! Porter! Take My Bags!

by admin on March 7, 2011

MIL, DH and I were in Hawaii to attend a family function. MIL is from Hawaii and DH was born there. DH is half Japanese (on his mother’s side) and half Hawaiian (on his father’s side) so he looks like a local. Especially when he’s been in the sun for a while. Keep this in mind.

Since gasoline on the island was horribly expensive, MIL rented a car that everyone could carpool.  We spent a little over a week in Hawaii and had a wonderful time. Our flights returning home were a few days apart since DH was deployed to Japan at that time and had taken leave to come to this function. MIL left first, leaving us the rental car to return the next day when DH took his flight back to Japan.

The day of DH’s flight, we go to return the rental car. The rental car lot is pretty big. Once you park your car you have quite a walk to get to the building to return the keys and get your bill. Once DH and I park, he begins to take the bags out of the trunk. While he’s doing this, I’m standing next to him taking the bags as he hands them to me.

As we unload, another car pulls into the lot and parks a few cars down from us. A woman gets out, pops the trunk and takes a huge suitcase out along with a shoulder bag. She sees me and my husband and walks towards us, dragging her luggage behind her. She stops right in front of us, drops the shoulder bag at my husband’s feet, looks him in the eye and says, “Take my bags to the office.” With her tone of voice I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had snapped her fingers when she made this statement.

After we pick our jaws up from the ground, DH tells snobby lady, “I don’t work here. I’m returning my rental car.” He turned his back on her and we walked away.

It must have taken snobby lady a while to get to the office too since we didn’t see her after we turned in the keys. Those bags did look really heavy. Hopefully she learned that the world isn’t at her beck and call.  But I doubt it! 0128011

It’s bad enough that the snobby woman wrongfully assumes the storyteller’s husband is a porter for the car rental company.  The most audacious part of this story is the woman’s selfish presumption that her need to have her baggage carried to the office takes priority over the storyteller’s ongoing interaction with the alleged employee.  What on earth possesses someone to think they are so special that they can interrupt someone else’s transaction and redirect the employee’s attention to their wants?   When I sold high end patio furniture eons ago, I had a few customers who rudely and arrogantly would interrupt my conversation and sale with another client to get me to focus immediately on what they wanted as if the other customer simply did not exist in their little universe of one.    That’s when I learned that saying, “I’m sorry. I cannot accommodate your request at this time”, was the most effective means of stifling such people.

Addendum:  Don’t bother submitting comments that rant about the snooty woman’s alleged racism.  I will not be approving them.  The OP makes the case that her husband is part Hawaiian and therefore could be presumed to be  “a local” and we have no idea what the race of the snooty woman was.   Since the OP doesn’t include that she herself is of the same racial heritage as her husband, it would appear that snooty woman’s behavior of looking right through her as if she did not exist in order that her terse demand took precedent indicates this was pure selfish entitlement.

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

gramma dishes March 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Maitri ~~ I would have loved to have seen someone put your suggestion into action. That could have been truly entertaining — and not really rude at all!!! ;-)

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karmabottle March 8, 2011 at 7:01 am

One of my worst “employee” moments came two years ago. I was voluntarily working the ticket gate with another lady at a middle school basketball game. People constantly ask, “Have you seen a tall man walk by here?” and other such questions. We fielded questions like those all the time.

That night a lady passed by us and offhandedly asked, “Have you seen a boy walk by here just now?” I replied, “No, sorry.” because in the last five minutes, not a single kid had come through—only adults.

The woman totally wigged out! She told me that I “had a bad attitude” and “need to learn to come up with a better answer than ‘no’”.

My reply as I’d run out of patience was, “I don’t have a better answer. No kid has passed by here. And for the record, it’s not my place to keep up with YOUR child. That’s YOUR job.”

Slightly rude, but very gratifying.

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Enna March 8, 2011 at 7:16 am

I remember when I was at a stall and I wanted to buy something, thinking the lady looking at the glass ordements next to me was the stall owner, I ssked if she was the stall owner and showed her waht I wanted to buy. She wasn’t but she called the lady who did own the stall over – she might have known the owner/chatting to her which is why I made that connection. Mistaking someone is natural. Being rude about it is nasty. I was polite to both ladies and the stall owner wasn’t busy so I was seen straight away – if she was busy I would have waited.

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Aje March 8, 2011 at 7:24 am

I confess, sometimes I do interrupt the ladies at the office where I work with my questions. However, you should probably know that neither one are people persons (how did they did a job assisting thousands of children I wonder?) and when they’re having a conversation, even if they see you standing there they will keep talking for 5 to ten minutes about anything random while you’re waiting to go back to work. So sometimes I interrupt with a gentle, “Excuse me, I’m so sorry but could you tell me…”

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Kai March 8, 2011 at 7:54 am

@Cat, I once had the same thing happen to me when I was 16. It was about 5pm and I was walking home from work (Burger King), so I was in the uniform but had a jacket on over it. I was walking along a main road and was just passing a big Truck accessories store. This guy in a white van saw me walking past and called out to me. I looked up, saw him, put my head down and kept walking. So this guy drives out of the parking lot, had to drive down to the bottom of the road so he could do a U-turn, so he could then stop next to me and tried to offer me $50 to get into his van and do whatever sick thing he had in mind.

Now as I said, I was 16 (and I look young for my age too. I’m almost 25 and last month when I was trying to hire a venue for my wedding, the lady said she would have to put it under my mothers name as they can’t hire out to 17 year olds. Ah her face when I explained to her my age…lol), not to mention in my BK uniform.

Problem was, there was indeed a prostitute hiring herself out along the main road so he just assumed that it must have been me. Yuck. Scary part though was he got upset because ‘the prostitute’ was turning him down as a customer. I ran off and got away from the sicko as quickly as I could and went to the cops.

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DGS March 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

Unbelievably rude, but sadly, all too common these days. The other day, DH and I were at Williams-Sonoma, in the process of purchasing a new set of pots and pans and debating their various merits with a very sweet and incredibly helpful saleslady. A mother-daughter pair were also browing in the store and registering for the daughter’s wedding. (Now, my pet peeve, as someone who is a good and avid cook – not just my opinion, also family and friends have complimented my cooking and asked for recipes/particular dishes to be made for their events – are people who shop for/register for all kinds of fancy kitchen gadgets and do not even know if/when they will use any of them, what they are for, etc. You don’t need a $400 Dutch oven if you have no idea what you might use it for; same goes for $35 silicone tongs, a set of fancy zesters, etc. But that’s me being judgy-wudgy and is besides the point). The mother of the said pair was pointing at things the daughter might need/use/enjoy showing off, and the daughter was using a clicker to register for them. They passed by one of the display tables that were very prettily arranged, knocked off a glass contraption filled with lemonade or juice or whatever, and the contraption broke into a gazillion pieces, spilling liquid everywhere, including splashing it on DH, me, and the sweet saleslady.

The saleslady didn’t even have a chance to turn around, when the mother of the mother-daughter pair, without batting an eyelash, uttered, “Well, isn’t someone going to clean this up?” and sauntered off into another part of the store. The daughter didn’t even turn around. The manager, a middle-aged woman, came running with a dustpan, a broom and a mop, and our saleslady sweetly excused herself to help the manager clean it up. Initially, I went over to the mess to help the clean-up, but the manager told me that they can’t accept my help for legal reasons (I guess, if I got cut with a piece of glass, I could sue?), so fuming, I went over to the mother-daughter pair, tapped the mother on the shoulder and said, “The least you could do after upending an entire display case is apologize to the store manager”. The mother cursed me out and told me to mind my own ____ business, calling me a “fat you-know-what” in the process. At this point, I said, “I’m not fat, I’m pregnant, (which I am), and you are incredibly rude and entitled”. The manager came over, hands on hips, and asked the woman to leave the store, or she was going to call mall security to have them removed from the store. At this point, the daughter threw the clicker at the manager and me (!!!), and both of them stormed out of the store. We helped the manager set the display case back up, paid for our pots and pans and left, and as we were leaving, we heard the store manager describing the mother-daughter pair to the police on the phone. I have no idea if they got escorted from the mall, but I do hope that they received their comeuppance, although I doubt they would have learned any lesson from this experience.

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Katy March 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

Dorothy,
At my doctor’s office there is a sign that indicates where to wait, which I usually do wait at if the receptionist is busy. That day however I wasn’t paying attention and thought she wasn’t busy.

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RP March 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I wouldn’t have assumed that DH worked at the resort, unless he was wearing a shirt/hat/other kind of insignia that said “XYZ Resort” on it.

Agreed. Even if he WAS a local, that doesn’t mean that he’s an employee. His color or ethnicity aren’t enough explain the assumption made here. Depending on what he was wearing she may have made the ‘polo-shirt assumption’. The poster who’s a teacher earlier in the comments mentioned this too: Wearing a polo shirt in a store means that you’re an employee, even if it doesn’t match the employee uniform.

But I get the feeling that this woman does this sort of thing all of the time. Actually, I’m wondering if she even thought that he was an employee. She may have just figured, “Well, he’s helping her so he should help ME TOO!”

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Lizajane March 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm

People keep saying things to the effect that the woman assumed he was a resort employee. They were at the rental car lot, which I assumed to be at the airport, or at least at a car rental business. Do some resorts have car rental lots on the property.? I’ve only stayed at 3 large resorts and none of them did, to my knowledge. Not sure it even matters, but it may give a different perspective to some.

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RP March 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

@Lizajane – I don’t know. I was assuming that if she assumed he was an employee that she either thought he was employed by the car rental company, the airport, or that the resorts offer baggage handling help right up to the airport.

I’ve never seen car rental employees help people with their baggage but I’ve never been anywhere fancy and had to rent a car.

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Mike Johnson March 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Well I have been in the situation of being mistaken for an employee often times but one time in particular stands out. I like wearing solid color polo shirts because I think I look at least ok in them. This leads to problems the best being asked for assistance, actually politely, in a store. When I told the lady that I didn’t work there she went the usual ballistic about my lying, not being helpful, lazy etc. Off she stormed to find a manager. Well so far pretty typical story but this is where it gets bad. Sure enough she found a manager and they found me. Two minutes (not exaggerating) of the manager chewing me out for my poor customer service, lack of decorum and what was I going to do to improve my behavior I had had enough. Maybe this was rude on my part but I pointed out just what an idiot that he had to be to 1. not recognize that my shirt wasn’t one of their uniform shirts and 2. not recognize that I wasn’t one of the employees that I assumed he made a schedule out for every week. I guess he would have had some excuse if this was some super store but it had maybe 20 employees. Seriously, you don’t know who works for you with only 20 some employees. At least they both had the good grace to look chagrined about the whole debacle.

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Ralph March 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I live in a well to do neighborhood, a bedroom community for many Wall St. types. My wife is one but I am not. I usually meet her at the train station and we walk home together. One day last summer, I got home early and changed my clothing to more recreational attire, and went to meet wife. I stood near the platform while the express train disgorged its passengers. My wife would be on the following train. Well, a man about my age came up to me and said, “you,” I need a ride to such and such an address and I don’t want to wait.” I know that I should have directed him to the cabbies but something about his imperious statement did not sit well with me. I told him to wait on the corner. He walked away, to the corner, and my wife appeared, having gotten the express train.

We walked to the nearby Starbucks. I had a funny story to tell her.

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Javin September 24, 2011 at 4:40 am

LMAO! Wooooowww. I used to have vaguely similar experiences on a regular basis. I wore a lot of khaki slacks and blue shirts, and as a shameless gamer, spent a lot of time at Best Buy. I would often have customers coming up and asking me for help. Maybe it’s just the geek crowd, but I never had anyone be rude about it at all, and sadly, I usually knew the answer to their question. I would often help them find what they were looking for without them being aware that I wasn’t an employee. I later read that one of those “flash mob” groups did something like that on a grand scale. It was hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utkkXCF8ZVc

I think my favorite comments were the “LUNCH MEAT!” ones. :D I just don’t know how I would have responded, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been with much etiquette.

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