I should have known better.
Apologizing in this country is futile. In fact, it is seen as a sign of weakness. Instead, Australians say “no worries” when they do you wrong. Somehow this is supposed to prevent the wronged party from worrying about the transgression. Mike has embarked on many a comical tirade on this very issue . And yet, I have continue to employ my Americana apologetic strategies when dealing with Aussies. It’s in my nature. At least, it was. Then I met Harry.
We accidentally booked the wrong dates for our Easter/Anzac road trip. Worse yet, we paid the full balance when making our reservation at the Wharf Apartments in Narooma. I apologized profusely to Harry, the Property Manager, when attempting to cancel the reservation. When I suggested that the cancellation protocol was a bit unclear and requested 50% of our deposit back, in accordance with the policy, Harry got personal.
He used aggressive CAPS and emotionally loaded punctuation!!!! I am surprised he didn’t throw in a emoticon with devil horns just to twist the knife. He hated us and our stupid mistake and let us know that we were incompetent, irresponsible and unworthy of reimbursement!
I am not sure why Harry was so angry. Maybe it was because he “wrote the policy” and felt like I was insulting his knowledge of contractual language. Perhaps he didn’t take kindly to foreigners. Or maybe he went on a bad date with Sally and failed to have what she was having.
Whatever the cause, I was dumbfounded by his rage at our request to be partially reimbursed. All I could think to respond with was, “I don’t like the tone you are taking with me” so I handed off the task of negotiating with Dirty Harry to Mike. And he delivered. The man whipped up a retort that made him sound like he practices contract law on the side just for pleasure. He used legal bonus words like, clause, tariff and restitution. We got our deposit back, but not before being cyber bullied for weeks thereafter by Harry the scorned Apartment Manager. Maybe he and Eileen should go bowling?
Words of the Day
Have a Blue: Have a fight.
Mean As Cat’s piss: MEAN!!!!!!
We had a blue with Harry who was as mean as cat’s piss!
We never actually got to stay at the Wharf Apartments. Or any other fancy apartment for that matter. Instead we stayed at the Tree Motel which included free instant coffees, an ash tray, 80’s VHS rentals and a parking spot near the “lobby”. Read Crouching Tiger, Hidden Baby for further details.
Have you ever had a customer service representative take your cancellation policy questions personally?