Yesterday I had an incredibly stressing incident at work that had me shaking for hours afterward: We had a couple come in and needed a shuttle to a hotel, however they didn’t speak English, only Spanish. I tried to explain to them with drawings, sign language and what little Spanish I remember from high school how much it would cost to go one way and for a round trip. Well, apparently he didn’t comprehend and when I printed out his round trip ticket he started pounding on the desk and yelling No, No, NO!!! He tore up his receipt then grabbed all the scraps and stalked off. I had the supervisor cancel his order. A few minutes later he comes stomping back with the police in tow. We had to explain the circumstances to the police while the man was screaming at me and pointing to my drawings and costs. He then went to another shuttle company who quoted him $2 less which seemed to infuriate him further so continued to yell at me from across the airport. Apparently they were better at drawing so he bought a ticket from them. His wife got involved by wanting to make sure the credit card was cancelled, but spoke no English and started yelling at me to speak Spanish. I had had about enough so I said, “‘olelo Hawai’i ame pelekane au. Keia Hawai’i ma ‘o Amelika, ‘a’ole Espana kakou! ‘olelo pelekane kakou!” Then I translated it for her, “I speak Hawaiian and English. This is Hawai’i in America. We don’t speak Spanish, we speak English!” I wrote a note telling her the charges had been cancelled, told her to give them to someone to translate. They left.
I love working in transportation at the airport. I so enjoy meeting people from all over the world. But, occasionally we run into people who have just had a bad day, don’t understand or are just curmudgeons. I’m thankful they are few and far between.
So, this weekend I’m going to go to Waianapanapa State Park to camp overnight. I’m so in need of some time away from work, my sewing machine and a new place to explore. I will take photos!