I’m back from tour and it was terrifyingly wonderful except for the last trip home in which my bag was lost for a full day, and then when they found it and returned it to me it was missing my laptop. They also took my laptop case, charger and every other thing in that particular pocket except for a copy of my book, which they left since it was apparently the only thing they didn’t think was valuable. So basically I’ve been robbed and insulted. Nevertheless, I am trying hard to remain positive and I hope that the person who took my laptop enjoys it and that they get syphilis and their genitals fall off in church.
To distract myself I made a bunch of new stickers that I plan on putting on all my possessions from now on. I’m sticking this one on my suitcase.
But in brighter news, my friend (Marty Kelley) made me the most bad-ass fairy ever and made my day feel much less shitty so I thought I’d share (the thing in my pocket is a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper):
Marty is awesome and you should go buy all of his stuff. And then put my stickers all over it so no one steals it. This is the way this dangerously bitter new world works apparently.
PS. Victor says I’m over-reacting to this because I’ve never had anything stolen before and that I should just calm down about it. Then I calm down and he screams “BUT HOW MANY TIMES DID I TELL YOU NOT TO PUT YOUR LAPTOP IN YOUR SUITCASE?!” The man is a complicated basket of mixed messages.
UPDATED: I think Zazzle might be intentionally fucking with me just to cheer me up. Actual reviews that show up under one of my stickers:
UPDATED X 2: I know this is really to complicated to follow on twitter so I’m posting the whole American Airlines fiasco here in case you’re confused. Also, feel free to skip this whole section if you don’t like abject whining. First off, let me start out by saying that, yes, I am an idiot for ever checking anything valuable in my suitcase. I thought the amount of security and video cameras at an airport would work in my favor, but apparently not. I gave my luggage to a Chicago O’Hare skycap well in advance of my flight (and yes, I tipped him), however my bag never left Chicago (no reason given). American Airlines found the bag in Chicago and said they’d deliver it to my house whenever it came in. I got an automated phone call from AA at 6pm saying the bag was on the way to my house but it never came. It finally came at noon the next day and I was very grateful until I realized that my laptop, case and charger were gone. I already knew that it was unlikely I’d every see them again and I knew I couldn’t prove they were in the bag so I knew it was my loss for being stupid, but I still wanted AA to investigate and to know that someone had stolen something of mine while in their care. Victor called but they said that he had to come to the airport (an hour away) to file a complaint. My travel agent called and was told “Passenger must bring back the bag to the airport and report the stolen/missing items in person. Bring along the bag, the original bag tag and lost luggage file claim.” This? Is ridiculous. Especially in lieu of the fact that I was just told (by AA) that American Airlines says they aren’t responsible for missing computers, cameras, furs, jewelry, antiques, sunglasses (insert long, long list here)…basically anything that anyone would actually want to steal. So basically I’d have to drive an hour and lug my bag up to AA so that they could say “Yep. No laptop here” just to make a complaint about something they wouldn’t fix anyway. Way to put the onus of responsibility to make sure you know about theft on the customer, American Airlines. I’m certain this cuts down on complaints on your side.
Here’s why I’m writing about this: I’m lucky. I can afford to replace my laptop and I learned a valuable lesson about trusting airlines, but what about those people who can’t afford to replace their things? What about the the people who can’t afford to take off work to make it back to the airport in the 24 period they give you? The system needs to change. As I told American Airlines (in DMs once they followed me back) they need take theft claims seriously over the phone. They need to investigate them all. They need to use all of the video cameras all over the airport to actually find out why we can’t trust them with anything valuable without expecting it to be stolen. I want nothing from American Airlines personally. I just want them to look into changing their system so that it works better for both them and for their customers. And that’s what they should want too. As I said to them on twitter, “I can buy myself a new laptop. What I can’t replace is the sense of trust I once had in your airline.” I hope that changes.
PS. I have to say that although they seem to have no real power at all, American Airlines is great at actually responding to people on twitter. If they can be that great at social media response surely there’s hope that they can be great in this area too. Also, I’m sure there’s a ton of work that they already do cut down on stealing and I commend them for whatever they’re already doing. But it’s not enough, and I hope that they can see that and make a change. Also, I’ve asked to speak to an exec but the best they could do for me was send me to an automated feedback screen that practically asked me for a DNA sample and then sent me the formiest of form letters ever. So, what could AA do to fix this? Contact me. Have a board meeting about the issue. Change the policy to allow theft complaints given by phone to count. Tie employee bonuses or raises to the amount of theft complaints received by customers. Use the same camera system you use to make sure no one puts drugs in my bag without my knowledge to make sure no one takes anything out of my bag without my knowledge. At the very least, acknowledge that the system is flawed and say what you’re going to do to try to fix it. For everybody. Not just me.
UPDATED X 3: American Airlines just sent me an email basically telling me that I’m shit out of luck and they’ll continue to do exactly what they’ve been doing in the past. I’m paraphrasing here, but that’s the gist. They explained that they want people to come in personally because they want to check themselves for signs of forced entry. I’m not sure why people wouldn’t be able to see that themselves since it’s their bag. Also, it’s a fucking zipper. Exactly how much force do you need to open it? (My opinion? Not that much.)
They also sent me a list of shit they don’t cover for theft and it was so long I fell asleep halfway through it and I plan on using it next time I need to write a 500 word report about everything that exists in the entire fucking planet. Basically you’re covered if (a) someone steals your flip flops and (b) you have the time to go to the airport so they can launch a full investigation of said flip flops. I would print their whole email here in order to be fair to them but the still-very-formish-letter closed with this: “The information in this email is confidential and is intended solely for the addressee(s); access to anyone else is unauthorized.” I’d feel bad for even quoting that sentence, but guess what else was intended solely for me and access to anyone else was unauthorized? MY FUCKING LAPTOP.
Guess this makes us even.
Also, in their defense they did just offer me a $100 voucher to make up for the bag arriving a day late and I would email them back to tell them that I don’t want their voucher, but according to their email “for security purposes” THEY DON’T ACCEPT REPLIES. Well, thank God for security. You’re doing a great job with it, American Airlines.
Comment of the day:
|The airlines could fix this immediately AND become an overnight internet sensation if they live-streamed video of baggage areas not accessible or visible to the public, like the Shiba Inu puppy cam. ~ mrtl|