Drum roll maestro. The envelope please. And the prize for the least caring and most incompetent professional goes to….the wedding planner.
Our student was to get married on a beautiful island in the Caribbean, and my wife and I were invited. The bride put us in touch with her wedding planner to learn about the most accessible route to get to the island, since Ora, my wife, uses a wheelchair. We had two options: either fly to the neighboring island and take a small plane to our destination, or cross from the big island to the small one on a ferry. We explained to her that it is challenging for a person with a disability to maneuver access to small planes and get into ferries without proper ramps.
Since the wedding planner lived on the island, we figured we could trust her. Without hesitation she recommended that we fly to St. Martin and then we take the ferry to the island.
Her ineptitude revealed one of two things: She either never took the ferry, or never saw a wheelchair. Third option: She never gave a darn.
To get to the ferry, Ora and I had to take an inaccessible taxi for a 45 minute ride to the other side of St. Martin, and traverse a rocky path to the dock with the scooter, only to discover that the ferry DID NOT have an accessible ramp. We somehow got into the ferry to experience the most vomit-inducing experience of our lives. The 25 minute ride felt like 25 years of incessant convulsions. It was like having my internal organs in a Vitamix stuck on max.
The small boat was obviously not built for the rough seas we faced, unless you enjoyed near death experiences. Upon arrival at the hotel we discovered that the promised accessible room had a “small” step, which proved, once again, that the wedding planner had never seen the room or had never seen a wheelchair, or, more likely, had never cared. We returned by plane, which was small, and challenging to get into, but more tolerable than the vomit boat.
PS: Share your customer disservice experience in the comment box. Stay tuned for second and third place in the coming days……
Isaac Prilleltensky is an academic and humor writer. His most recent book is The Laughing Guide to Well-Being: Using Humor and Science to Become Happier and Healthier. Follow his humor blog at www.thelaughingguide.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org