“READ THE SIGNS” aka “CAN’T YOU READ?”

I took my daughter to the airport today (never a happy moment) and was reminded of an “encounter” with a TSA-type relatively young man.

As you likely know, there are often more than two lines to get through the TSA check through. At my airport there was the “you can get through here really quickly IF you have a special pass” and then the one that most of us go through where you partially disrobe, try to keep your pants up while the belt goes into that little box and you hope it comes out on the other side and then get x-rayed.

Well, it was early morning and there were no signs put up indicating which LONG roped line was which. AND, I took the wrong one.

The person (aka young man) stopped me and (not so nicely) told me I was in the wrong line. I said there were no signs. He said, “READ THE SIGNS!” What I interpreted those words to mean was and what he actually implied was “CAN’T YOU READ?” (which might just be what he really said).

Okay, THAT was a big mistake. I found the person who appeared to be “in-charge” lodged my complaint.

My point to the person-in-charge was twofold. One, signs needed to be put up at the start of the line, not the end and that the “fellow” (I am being nice here.) needed to be aware that there are many folks who have difficulty reading or who cannot read. And, that such a statement, is rude to almost everyone and could be insulting and hurtful to others.

I, then, gave a short explanation of what dyslexia was like to many. He listened and apologized for the rude treatment by the, er, um, employee (still being nice, here.) and was told how to formally pursue the complaint.

We have all kinds of opportunities to teach others. We just need to choose the right time and know when not to try.

I was fortunate to find, not only ONE person who listened, but two. TWO?

Yes, two, because I sent my complaint with far more detail than in this posting (and nicely stated) and received a written apology with some sense of understanding AND $100 credit for my next flight.

Quite honestly, I did not think I would receive a reply, much less a written one. But, I did and appreciated the effort of the airline to do so.

Morale of the story?  It’s OK to voice your concern, but do it in a non-threatening manner. It works out better in the long run. I KNEW that “speaking” to the culprit in this story would NOT have ended well. I might have felt better telling him what I really felt at that moment—for a short time—but in the long term, it would have likely caused more harm. I am just wanting to believe that the issue, once addressed with him, resulted in his and future passengers all being better off for it.

 

By | 2017-10-31T10:09:54+00:00 October 31st, 2017|Case Studies|

2 Comments

  1. Alison L. Fraser Ed.M. November 7, 2017 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your successful airport anecdote. While you inferred that the employee was saying “Can’t you read?” I have heard those actual words pass clerks’ and others’ lips more than once. Even more horrible is when someone makes a mistake-even numerical– and they say “that’s my dyslexia showing!” I really have to keep my blood from boiling out of its veins. Once that’s ben accomplished, I always become very academic and give them a concise explanation od dyslexia and what it’s like to live with this neurological condition. they and their buddies stop laughing.

    • seds_admin November 8, 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Hi Alison
      I just wanted to thank you for your comment. You more than just “get it.”
      Vaughn

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