Fly the Freedom Skies
This Memo was leaked from an official at Preferican Airlines.
MEMORANDUM June 19, 2017
From: Preferican Airlines CEO and Executive Board
To: Preferican Airlines Board Members and Customer Service Agents
Subject: FLYING THE FREEDOM SKIES:
Guidelines for In-Communication with Customers
Due to the Trump Administration, which will make American Great Again, budget cuts have been necessary here at Preferican Airlines.
After a thorough cost-benefit analysis, management has determined that it is more profitable for Customer Service Agents to only use approximately half of the words normally used to communicate information to customers, leaving it to the discretion of the employees to decide which words to omit given a particular conversation.
Although management has the greatest trust in our employees’ discretion in these matters, we have written below some general guidance to provide a modicum of direction and ease in your upcoming In-communications. (For clarification about what In-communication means, see the Trump Twitter Message 8005: What Words Do Mean Really Anyway? and the joint publication by Kelly Ann Conway and Sean Spicer: How to Say Nothing and Still Get It Wrong, enclosed in this informational packet. Guidelines as to what Trump means when he uses words will be published later this year if anyone can ever figure that out.) These
In-communication recommendations will, starting next week, be included in the Preferican Airlines Operations Manual, in abbreviated form of course.
First we recommend that Agents say only half of what they would have said before, so something like, “Your gate has been changed. You are now departing from gate F7,” will sound something like, “Your gate has been changed.” A silent, slightly expectant gaze at the customer should then be deployed. If the customer says nothing, the Agent should remain silent until the Agent receives further impetus from the customer. If being silent proves too problematic, Preferican Airlines will provide paid training sessions for those Agents who are still saying too much.
Second, when possible, the Agent should replace lengthy communications (defined by the Trump Administration as five words or more) with short snappy phrases, such as, “I don’t know,” “I can’t help you,” or “Call the 1-800 number,” or during periods of severe economic slowdown, replacing verbalization with a blank stare, tinged with resigned diffidence and a touch of pique and censure, making it incumbent upon the customer to provide his or her own answers to such inconvenient and time consuming questions as:
Where is my gate?
How much time between connecting flights?
So am I flying stand-by or not?
Is the plane broken?
Third, stopping in the middle of an otherwise complete sentence and refusing to continue can save the company the cost of many words, and may indeed mean a raise for those who can say the least in the most amount of time. Agents should not feel guilty about this because most mature travelers are perfectly capable of finishing other people’s sentences for them. It is no longer the responsibility of the airline to provide services that the customer can provide on his or her own. (See the Operation’s Manual, Chapter 3: The Customer Brings his Own Sandwich, and also the chapter called, Autopilot: Not Just for the Cockpit).
For foreign travelers, at the economical price of $35, Preferican Airlines sells smart phones apps (called iGreat and WordU) which are capable of instantly generating the recommended questions to ask in any Agent-Ticket-Counter-Passenger situation. Thus, even algorithmic sets of inquiries can take place with minimum involvement from any Agent that might happen to be standing there in front of the customer at any time.
Does the plane leave from gate C47? C48? C49?
Will I be leaving at 7:40, 7:41, 7:50, 9:50? 11pm. Tomorrow afternoon? Never? Should I take the bus? Why has God forsaken me?
Such apps will also be helpful in determining the various meanings of “reservation”, “upgrade”,” acts of god”, “customer assistance”, and “delay.” They will also include revisionist interpretations of “flight” and “departure”, “arrival” and “luggage,” in keeping with contemporary sensibilities.
The fourth way an Agent can maximize his sentence inefficiency is for the Agent to end most of his sentences with an audible question mark and then stare at the customer expectantly, which places the onus on the customer to provide the motivation and direction of the conversation. The airline is here to fly, not to talk about flying. Thus “You missed your flight. Let me see what else might be available,” turns into, “You missed your flight?” and then a silent look that could be interpreted by the customer as a reprimand.
As stated in last year’s customer service policy updates, we believe it is the Agent’s job to communicate moral disgust to those folks who cannot seem to get to a plane on time, especially if those customers practice yoga. Missed flights create too much use of language for Agents. Think In-communication, NOT communication!
We recommend disapproving body-language, facial gestures, hand signals, and sounds that make a customer feel bad for being late, creating the impetus for customers to police themselves and to perhaps inspire them also to learn how to control automobile traffic, electric outages, terrorist attacks, car batteries and the weather.
When all else fails and the customer still expects some kind of help, the Customer Service Agent should then call security and have them punch the customer in the mouth so that she stops talking and maybe passes out and has to go to the hospital meaning that Agents can then sell the seat to someone else, provided the new customer simply uses hand signals.
Agents should never admit a mistake. Sometimes customers will say things like, “You booked me onto this flight last night after I missed my scheduled flight. I stood here and watched you. How do you think I got this print-out and the number of the flight and showed up at the right time? I’m only checking in because I have luggage. How could I not be in the computer?”
Here it is important for Agents to simply stare blankly at the customer, giving no sign that what he says makes any kind of sense. Employing an emotionless robot voice is also helpful. Agents should say things like, “ “There’s no record of that transaction here. You will have to call Customer Service.”
“But I’m standing right here,” the customer will probably say. “And so are you!”
“Customer Service,” is what the Agent should repeat. No verbs should be added. And then the Agent should shake his or her head and make clucking noises in order to make the customer feel like he is an unfortunate simpleton.
Alternatively, after looking over the customer’s notes or paperwork while again shaking the head and looking perplexed, Agents can simply ask: How do you know exactly that you are supposed to be on this flight?
See instructions below for reading the signs of an imminent meltdown on the customer’s face. Remember that any passenger who is in hysterical verbal paroxysms is one that Agents are entitled to completely ignore, saving heaps of all that very expensive language (See Operations Manual Chapter 24: Why Your Anger at Us is Not Our Problem Even if It’s Our Fault).
A fifth technique of customer In-communication consists of saying just enough to get the customer really curious about her fate, forcing her to step forward in her life and take responsibility. Preferican Airlines refuses to take any kind of responsibility for getting a passenger from one place to the other when the passenger is obviously very capable of doing it for herself, even though she has bought a ticket so she doesn’t have to. Those who are not capable of doing so should not be flying.
Thus the communication, “I can’t find your reservation in the computer; let me see what I can do,” turns into “I can’t find you anywhere,” with the nasty implication that perhaps the person standing at the ticket counter trying to go to Dallas does not exist. Proving that one does exist despite lack of paperwork to the contrary is one of the primary survival mechanisms of contemporary civilized human beings, and should provide the necessary angst for the passenger to start asking his or her own questions and providing his or her own answers, obviating the need for Agents to do anything at all, providing immense savings to the company. This is in keeping with the new Preferican Airlines slogan: The Less Service the Better.
Preferican Airlines management predicts that customer satisfaction will rise rather than fall as the result of implementing these In-communication policies because passengers will be proud of themselves for independently working their way through problems that were previously thought to be insurmountable, thus building sense of self-esteem and empowerment in would-be passengers. Think of the sense of ego-inflation that occurs when a customer finds that she is unmistakably the sole cause of a miracle: getting on a plane when she has a ticket!
In the privacy of the home (and never at the ticket counter) Agents should imagine what it is like to be a contemporary passenger: to feel the pride that comes when all the others around you have collapsed into wailing heaps on the airport floor while you step over their beleaguered bodies and shredded spirits on the way to the x-ray machines in the spirit of unmitigated Darwinism.
Being an unassisted passenger these days can be a really incredible high: would you, as a respectable Agent, want to remove this potential for a peak experience from any passenger? It is obvious that Agents serve the greater good; by providing the right verbal impasse at the right time, natural selection kicks in to determine who really has the right to fly although everyone has bought a ticket. Only those most deserving, those most willing to work for it; only those who can remain inside the air-conditioned ramp of reasonableness in the midst of insoluble interlocutory obstacles will be welcome to fly the friendly skies of freedom.
It is in this way that the management and employees of Preferican Airlines are looking at the big picture; the overall welfare of the customers in the context of their lives instead of being concerned with simple transportation from one place to another. Employees can rest assured, therefore, that this systematic way of denying service to customers is actually a valuable service, one that Preferican Airlines will be charging for starting in the next fiscal year. A surcharge of $10 will be added to the price of a ticket for the extra silence Customer Service Agents are obligated to use on a daily basis.
This long term vision of Lifetime Passenger Welfare more than offsets any initial negative consequences from a customer’s aggravation that not only can he not get on the plane, that no one will even speak to him reasonably about it. Because of these new In-communication Policies that allow customers to become better and stronger people, after an initial lag, customer satisfaction levels over the long term are expected to increase, and Preferican Airlines will be able to ensure the current customer base and perhaps increase it, resulting in better job security for certain tiers of employees who have proven to be most deserving, in a word, the most silent.
In sum, all transactions with customers should end on a positive note where the Agent communicates honestly the corporation’s gratitude that the customer has chosen Preferican Airlines, thus the following phrase should be used copiously: Thank you for trying to Fly the Freedom Skies.
Remember staff: Incommunicate Responsibly!
Laughing Coyote has written the following in response to the new great regulations:
Strategies for Validating Your Own Reality while at an airplane ticket counter
The 6 Signs you have a reservation to fly in a plane somewhere
- You have a ticket in your hand or on your phone
- The ticket has your name on it.
- You are at the airport (planes are visible)
- You have luggage
- The person who brought you here has left
- A stranger is threatening to check your underwear for bombs and you can’t call the police because they are the police.
- Everyone looks like a terrorist.
Note: Potential Candidates for becoming a Preferican Airline’s passenger should be aware of the following:
The guidelines for Flying the Freedom Skies are consistent with the
socio-economic policies of the Trump Administration, the summary of which reads as such.
- It’s always wartime so every man for himself. (The other gender has been cancelled).
- Don’t expect anyone to do anything for you because that’s socialism, not fascism.