Monday, August 22, 2005

Kooks are Out!

The end of the season is coming soon... and the kooks are out! What do you do when the people are one hour late? We had two people who called in on Saturday around fifteen minutes before a 9AM meeting time. They said they would be 20 minutes late. Our early morning staff asked them where they were. The person refused to give us a location except that they were "just outside of Sacramento." We explained that we would try to contact the crew (cell phone coverage there is spotty at the campground) and let them know to try to wait for the people.

Around 15 minutes later, we got another call from the late party again. This time, we practically begged them for their location, asking what exit did they just past. The person sheepishly answered, "... we just passed 59th Street exit in Sacramento." Alarmed, we explained that they were approximately one hour away from the meeting site. At that point, our morning staff instructed them that they most likely had missed their trip since everyone was already loaded into the bus. The person started yelling at our staff person. We tried to explain that 36 other people were down there on time and would not wait for two people for an hour. Our bus driver also had other pick-ups that morning and was on a scheduled run. The person hung up angry and then called back asking if they could just go straight to the put-in. We explained that they wouldn't make that either, since the bus had left already and they were on schedule to put-in around 9:30AM. At this point, we asked them to email us on Monday to ask for a reschedule.

The person started screaming profanities and making statements about how they had paid all this money and that we better accommodate them or else. The expletives were alarming and the person said that they would get our staff person fired because we couldn't do anything for them that day. So, what should we have done? We tried to delay the trip as much as we could, but we can not risk the wrath of 36 other people who were on time to wait for two people who were clearly one hour late? It seems that every year at the end of the season, the kooks come out.

Late Sunday night, we received a message for a late addition to the Monday Middle Fork American trip. We rearranged the trip, bumped a trainee out, and reconfigured the shuttle. On Monday morning, at 7AM we received a call from them letting us know their older son had woken up ill. They were such nice folks to let us know as soon as they could and they were not screaming at us about refunds and lawsuits. We will be rescheduling them either this year or next because of their gracious behavior. And the other folks, well, we hope they haunt someone else's rafting company.

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