Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Then why did you ask?

--> When I checked in at the airport recently, the ticket agent told me I was in seat 1C (a first class seat - complimentary upgrade). He asked me if that seat was OK. I asked if there was a window seat available, and he said "No". Then I asked if there was another seat that was not in the bulkhead row. And he said "No. 1C is the only seat available". I gave him an odd look and blurted out "Then why did you ask me if that seat was OK if it was the only seat anyway?" He tried to explain, "well - there was another seat before but there isn't now." I laughed and told him it was ok, I was just joking with him. Not sure he saw it that way. I guess I need to learn not to blurt like that (but anyone who knows me knows it's not likely I can stop).

--> I dislike haggling with the taxi drivers at Puerto Juarez, so I usually try to get across the street and flag one down rather than go with the ones in the line up. But yesterday I decided to see what price they'd quote me, so when they stopped me I asked. "what is the price to the airport"? (I knew the correct price, I wanted to see if they would be fair with me). The 'jefe' (boss) wouldn't answer, he just took me over to the first car in line. I know this routine, they want control of my luggage before giving me the quote. I asked again - this time the driver. He looked at me and said "$30". I said "No, it's $27...$30 with tip". Both the driver and the jefe said "Oh yes, $30 includes the tip" (which of course is optional and should not be part of their quote, but I know the game). They were probably thinking - 'if you knew the price, then why did you ask'?

--> At the Cancun airport, terminal 3, there is a Chinese food place I like. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a combo platter. The server asked me if I wanted two spring rolls. I said I only wanted one. He said "No. A combo plate has two spring rolls". I could tell by the tone of his voice that I was going to get two whether I wanted them or not. I took two. And ate them both.

--> Yesterday, at the same Chinese food place, I ordered fried rice and a spring roll. I thought I was ordering a la carte - no combo - and I'd get exactly what I wanted. The female server asked me if I wanted two spring rolls. I said "No, I just want one". And she said "No, an order of spring rolls is two". I could tell I wasn't going to win this one, so I said OK. But I was thinking - 'why did you ask when you knew you were going to give me two anyway?'.

Of course I ate them both.


IslaZina said...

Sometimes I just want to blurt out, "Clearly you are not paid to think." I think of it as a telemarketer mentality. And have you ever taken a telemarketer call here? Worse than anything north of the border!
A cabbie that picked me up on the other side (turned out ot be Pentacostal!) said it's one union, but PJ and the Airport have the toughest shop stewards. A cabbie from Centro in Cancun is always the best deal.
The cabbies on the bench nearly beat up a cabbie who dropped someone off when I got into his cab, much to his chagrin I might add. They hijacked him to the bus stop and were working him over as the Pentacostal picked me up. So sad. And in hard economic times, it's only going to get worse, I fear.eafyvs

Islagringo said...

oh I could do such a good post on this theme! Too bad you got to it first! LOL!

Sue said...

Zina - I'm afraid I am not as polite as I should be with telemarketers - anywhere. I resent the interruption of my privacy and peace of mind. Miguel is much nicer, but it takes him a lot longer to get rid of them too. Often I use the excuse that I don't really speak Spanish - then they bail.

I don't see it as a matter of not thinking, more they are trained on customer service, but are applying it when it really doesn't make sense (i.e., when there is no other option, don't offer one).

I'm sure we could all write cabbie stories, it's a setup that doesn't usually work for me and I avoid it most of the time. I think I will do a post about the last several cabs I took between Puerto Juarez and the airport, because there is a story there. A story of the economic times of low season, and honest cabbies.

And Islagringo - go for it! No reason we can't feed off each other's thoughts. I'd love to hear your experiences.

Bennie said...


I know what you mean about putting a filter on what we say on the road. Being the frequent traveler too I am often asked those same questions when there is no option. I am just immune to it now I guess, I just shrug it off and go on.

On the telemarketers I have not had the joy of hearing one there in Mexico. But I have asked them to hold on while I got a pen and paper to write down what they are calling about, then just leave the phone off the hook and continue with what I was doing before. I guess it's the evil part of my nature huh?

WOW there is no way to summarize the scams with the cabs. Everytime I've been there it's been something, one time they wanted to double the fare since there were two of us... I didn't fall for that one, another they priced at the same price from the airport, again I knew better. It's always been some attempt to take the rest of the peso's from my wallet. I can't wait to see those posts.