Untours Cafe

An Explosive Experience in the Zurich Airport

31 May 2007

Barbara and I left Zurich for the USA on 30 May this week. As usual, we shipped our luggage to the airport, so we did not have to schlepp the bags from two trains. The baggage is kept at the "to claim" section of the airport's SBB station where one picks up it with claim checks before checking in. No problems as usual. HOWEVER, this year we were told that they would sell us baggage checks for our use when we returned in a couple of months.

As I went in to claim our bags, the lady was berating a couple of young students who must have asked a dumb question. She was too old for PMS, but still was a bit nasty to them. She looked at me like I was some sort of hairy mole on her body but took the checks and got the bags. The I asked about the baggage checks for our return trip so that we could, as we usually do, pick up the bags in Sarnen. She consulted her screen and informed me that this was not going to happen because there was no code in the system for Sarnen. When I pushed the issue with her, she flipped the screen around to show me that there was no code.

I realized that I was dealing with a closed mind and a loosing situation, so I walked out and went next door to a ticket counter. While the lady there in the usual polite tone told me that of course one could ship bags to Sarnen. About that time, here comes Brunhilde with three baggage tickets to Sarnen in her hand for me and some comment about her being on the wrong web page. She led me next door while admonishing me not to go looking for other opinions when she told me something.

Well, for me that did it, I let her know what I thought of her and her obviously "bad day". She was not happy at my evaluation of her, her day, SBB in general, and my lack of concern that she had worked for SBB for thirty years. To the last comment, I mentioned if she had not learned in thirty years how to satisfy a customer then maybe all her days were "bad days". Just as we were nose to nose things blew up!

The pick up station has two large glass sliding doors that open automatically to facilitate large baggage wagons, etc. There was no one near us or the doors, and the doors were closed. She was facing them and my back was to them. A huge explosion sounded!! I remained motionless ( If I had not been so pissed, I likely would have ducked). Brunhilde turned as white as clay, grabbed her chest and ducked downward. I heard glass clattering to the floor and turned to see safety glass shards in at least 5000 pieces falling to the floor. As I turned back to the counter, I said, I told you that you were having a bad day, now see what you have done?" She screamed, "You didn't move; you are a cool one!" I advised her that she had better be careful what she said to me because there was another door right behind me.

Then she began to laugh. Other SBB personnel arrived and I advised them that "She did it." The all began to laugh. She said that this man didn't move!! The fun continued as I told them that I ought to get a discount for being in a war zone, and that with a start like today's had been, maybe I shouldn't get on any airplanes today. She and I discussed our mutual feelings about the state of the SBB baggage system currently. My theory is that the clowns in charge of making the rules, don't ride the trains to work. Her idea is that they hire people with book knowledge but no practice. We are both likely right.

Anyway, whatever was eating at this lady got blown away by the door explosion. She smiled at me as I left, likely because she realized that incontinence was still a problem for her future.

I don't know why a glass door broke in that way with no one near it, but it was nice that the doors are safety glass. Anyone next to it would have been spooked but not cut. I suspect that the pane got torqued a bit for some reason in its track and went boom.

Views: 72

Comment by Bill Kover on October 2, 2009 at 2:03pm
As I was reading this I kept thinking "Lady, you are irritating the wrong Guy!". I was right! Good for you Vance! Must people would slink away to avoid a confrontation. But people like that need to be confronted. The next time I hear glass shattering, I will think of Vance.

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