OK, so, if pushing option 1 doesn’t get you to the right place to do the job, why not try pushing option 2? Or 3? Or 4? Or keep pushing until you get the job done?
Good advice to myself too.
I kept pushing. Pushing. Heaving. Rambling. Ranting. Ruminating. Persisting. Then a couple of close friends, in our usual daily Facebook chat together, suggested something really simple. “Why don’t you call the store manager?”
Lights! Cameras! Action! Clutching the phone ever so tightly because of all the tension already built up by now, I took a deep breath and called the agency. I wanted to give the travel agent a final chance before calling the manager – why? I don’t know why. Quite silly of me to keep hitting my head on the proverbial wall, right? But anyhow, for whatever reason, probably Providence taking pity on me, I didn’t manage to reach her (I haven’t managed to reach her for the umpteenth time anyway, maybe she was avoiding me? heehee!), so I asked for the manager (name listed in their website as such). Voila! Should’ve done this from the very beginning, oui?
The store manager promised to help me get the best deal possible on the price that I was willing to pay. This is a travel agency specialising in student travel after all, they should be used to poor broke students trying to get the best deal possible. But that travel agent didn’t bother one single bit to explore all available options on behalf of the customer. And I was too locked inside a state of stupor-petrification-putrefaction to think.
The irony here is that I did reveal to the agent that I have Asperger’s and need her help to deal with this crisis. Well, sometimes, people are more sympathetic when they hear that you have a disability, but other times, people either do not care a hoot, or they become even more hostile. I have no idea which one this agent was, all I do know is what I have experienced as a result of my two days of interaction with this one individual.
The store manager got me exactly what I wanted, on the dates and times I wanted and needed, and on the airline I wanted, i.e. Singapore Airlines – which by the way, turned out to be cheaper than the Finnair that the other agent was booking me on!
1. I have wonderful friends who are patient and willing to listen to my quite incessant stubbornly persistent rambling and thinking aloud (ranting too). And they care enough to give me suggestions and advice, without criticism.
2. I have rights as a consumer and I should exert them within the correct given boundaries, regardless of whether I may appear to be a harsh taskmaster or demanding diva.
3. Some neurotypicals are just more empathic than others. Some neurotypicals are more efficient than others. Just like autistic people. Humans are a varied lot, they can be frustrating, but they can also be wonderful.
4. Next time, just get the funds, and book online.
P.S. Hugging the hound does help restore calm, but guess what, my hound is now actively initiating loving hugs and comforting her mum when she senses all is not so right with me. Win-win situation, innit?