Thursday, June 4, 2009

N. as in "Gnome"

I had a giggle fest 2 nights ago silly enough to match any laughter I have had in the past year. It seems like in traveling, you start to see people and things and can make your own little "what not to do" list in your head. Not talking about the "what not to wear" portion of travel, when you see couples in matching wind suits and a family of 10 in matching shirts; although those situations provide humor too.

I'm talking about the customer service aspect of travel. Let me tell you my story and it will make more sense. Tuesday night I was booking long-term parking for Ryan as he is flying out of O'Hare this morning and the young man I was working with just couldn't quite seem to get it together. My first clue should have been when he repeated my credit card number back to me more than 3 times with errors. But here is the kicker. When it came time to validate the email address I was providing for a confirmation, I wanted to clarify a letter for him so I said something like, as in "d" for dog.

Well, this young phone operator decided that in that moment, he would go above and beyond the call of duty and repeat back the email address to me with a word to clarify each letter. g for girl, d for dog, e for elephant. and then we got to the letter "N". And out of his mouth came "N for GNOME!" GNOME! That starts with a "g" bud! I lost it and had to hold the phone away from my mouth for the rest of our conversation. He proceeded through the alphabet and after hanging up, Ryan entertained with things the rest of the night like "your nomenclature makes it difficult to understand you or "I don't gnome what to do next". Maybe this guy should get a job with Travelocity since they use a gnome in their advertising!


  1. I am really tired so that was really funny. I have tears in my eyes. = ) That reminds me I meant to tell you that I came across the infamous picture of you in your bathing suit for the polar bear dip at camp. Ha, that was a hilarious moment I will giggle over my entire life! Hope you are having a great time in the sun.

  2. Hi there, I found your blog through Shauna Niequysts's blog. Happy belated birthday! I love the title of your blog and it sounds like the past year has been quite a time of adventure and growth for you. My Enniagram is a 6, by the way.

    This customer service issue made me smile. I wrote a devotional on the topic some time back I thought you might appreciate given this experience. God uses so many day to day things to remind us of spiritual truth. It can be found at
    A recent blog entry of mine dealing with both thoughtfulness and thankfulness that also would probably be fairly similar to the kinds of writings you do here is at
    The entry is called "Thankfulness on a Thursday."

    Wishing you many blessings.

    Carmella Broome
    Adolescent, Adult, Couples, and Family Therapist
    Author: Carmella's Quest: Taking On College Sight Unseen (Red Letter Press 2009)