my oldest daughter travelled to detroit a few days ago to be there for the birth of a friend’s baby. she took a brand new suitcase with her; it was one we bought special, and it was one we paid more than we usually would because it was more durable than the ones we usually get and it had the special wheels that swivel 360 degrees so it’s easier to push around in the airport.

usually i’m kind of a cheapie, but i figured that sometimes it pays to pay more. in this case, i knew i wanted her to have the easiest possible time maneuvering since she would be travelling alone with several bags. also, i figured that since we have several flights upcoming and the suitcase would be getting some wear, it made sense to get the more durable one, even if it cost more.

are ya with me so far?

when she went to retrieve her bags in detroit she saw that one of the wheels had been ripped clean off the end of the suitcase. it hadn’t been jostled or scraped. it had been pulled off with such force that some of the actual material from the side of the bag had been pulled off along with it. since this is not her first time flying, she knows that you have to let them know before you leave the airport if there is damage to your suitcase or you are outta luck (last time she flew they exploded the zipper off of her case and then taped it shut, or some such similar nonsense.. she was so embarrassed that she waited until she got home to have *h call them, but by then it was too late to do anything about it. lesson learned…). so, in spite of being in a hurry she went to the far away desk to let them know they had ripped the wheel off of her brand new suitcase.

and she was told that they don’t take responsibility for wheels or handles because they stick out. and the person told her there were signs posted to that effect.

so, let me digress for a moment and say that i do understand and expect that airlines have to handle gazillions of bags very quickly. i don’t expect them to gingerly wrap each person’s belongings in bubble wrap and kiss them gently before softly placing them into the cargo hold. i understand that there is friction as the bags rub against each other and that one should rightly expect some scuffing and scraping and whatnot. i do not on any level think that one’s luggage should remain at all pristine throughout a trip, and i think that if a person wants that, they need to charter a private plane. so i’m not one of “Those People” who just complains at the slightest provocation and expects that airline to accommodate my various neuroses.

but this suitcase was brand new, of good strong quality, and was clearly so violently mishandled that it looked like it had been mauled by an angry rhino.

and the airline’s only defense was that they have a printed policy that exempts them from responsibility.

so this happens to be one of those things that just consistently slays me. that someone who seems like they may, in ordinary life and under normal circumstances, be a reasonable thinking human being becomes- by virtue only of  wearing a uniform and working somewhere- a mindless automaton.

and they say this totally irrational stuff and then point to some piece of paper like it was handed down from On High or Divinely Proclaimed from the Great Computer in the Sky and it is therefore unassailable.

so if i print out on a piece of paper that i have the right to spit in the face of anyone who wears a navy blue polyester blazer and i can point to my stated policy, does that really make it ok?

can i use your snazzy cap as a public restroom if that’s my published policy?

can i do any weird, offensive, off-the-wall, or otherwise unacceptable thing and justify it as long as i print it on a sheet of paper first?

really? is that what we have evolved to?

i wish i could think of really funny examples instead of just mean ones, but i’m coming up blank. when i lived in israel there were signs all over the zoo in 3 languages- english, hebrew, and arabic. but there was one sign that they only put in hebrew and arabic:

it said don’t hold your children over the edge where animals may eat them.

no joke.

funny that they didn’t feel like they needed to caution the english speaking tourists about that, huh?

there are some really hilarious signs on engrish.com

don’t hate me if you think that site is somehow racist

or you can hate me if you want, but just do it for the right reasons. i’m not racist; i’m just honest. and that site is really truly funny.

i would repost some of their signs here but i’m too lazy.

see, i told you i’m honest.

and i’m off topic.

and *h is home and i have to help unload groceries.

unless i quickly print up a policy that i no longer help with household chores

😉