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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Dear Auntie Pattie Koh,

I am off from work today, thank God I have sometime off to recover from so many ailing and angry airline passenger.

As you well know, I work for an airline and I am sitting on a telephone call center dedicated to all the complaints of passengers regarding their lost bags and what not. Needless to say, I get all sorts of passengers, but I don't know if they come in different size, shape and color.

I always come across our Kababayan who travels from back home and their BalikBayan boxes or their suitcases is either missing or gets delayed. I have come across one particular passenger, who was very nice, at the onset of the call and the conversation. She was telling me she originated from Manila then has to change plane in San Francisco, making San Francisco her port of entry, then she took the last leg of her flight into the airline that I work with. Nice lady -- she was telling me that the bag carries lots of "Pasalubong" for her grandchildren and her children. She was very nice about it, even the bag is missing for the last 13 days already. It is good there is no perishable item inside the bag.

Because this lady is very nice, I told her I will go out of my way and call back to the Philippines and ask help from her first carrier. So I did, and I was able to speak to some of our Kababyan back home. My friends on the phone and we help each other's problem. I told these Kababayans, that I have a feeling that this bag of Aling Simang (not her real name) is still with this airlines warehouse in Sam Francisco, and asked them if they could call or send some meters to their office and look for the bag, since I cannot get intouch with them from my end. They did located the bag, that same afternoon it was transferred to my airline and was then reunited with Aling Simang at around 8:30Pm pacific time. Before the bag gets delivered, I call Align Simang and was able to talk to the husband and advised the husband to wait for the bag. He was so polite and very appreciative for what I have done.

Nice people, that I went out of my way to assist and help solve their problem and locate their bag.

At around 1:30am (central time) I got a call form this woman. I immediately felt the Pinay 'twang, although she was trying to hide it. So, thinking that I can make her feel at home, I started talking to her in Tagalog, since I am gaited at the iternational calls and all of us speaks many different languages in the department and we are all allowed to talk to any passenger in their native tongue, if need be.

So this Pinay asked me, still in English, how come I immeidately knew that she is a Pinay. I said after working on the phone for a long time, I could immediate;y recognize a Kababayan when they speak. I hae said it in a very nice way.

Eto nah! She started giving litanies of her travel, how she was treated and finally said to me " I am using a VUSA, do you know what a VUSA is?" She then continued to talk and said, "it is so hard to get visa back home to come to the States and I will still go and travel to Canada". then she continued on, in a very Matrona like tone of voice, "I want you to see to it that you people deliver my bag tonite, we will just go out for dinner and donot fail to deliver the bag tonite, I am on a tight schedule, for I am heading out to Canada".

I just kept on listening, until she started to talk and be smart with me on the phone like my salary and pension is at the palm of her hand. I have to cut her off and told her that I will my best to get her bag delivered to her, if not tonite, maybe the next morning. Then she said in a very arrogant tone of voice, still in English, "Listen!, I am the one paying for your salary and the customer is always right, and what I am telling you --- you need to follow it to the letter, do you understand me?"

I was so intimidated from how this woman talk and command herself on the phone, so I immediately answered her in a mocking tone of voice (I don't care if the conversation is being recorder)...." Oh, I am sorry you are the one payng for my salary.... but that was very odd, I just received my paycheck this afternoon, and I did not see your name and signature in my paycheck!".

And so Dear Auntie Patti Koh, eto na naman ako, sa iyo. Sometimes, some of our Kababayans, (not all) but some, when they come to the states, it is as if they are the best thing that ever happened in this country when they came on a VUSA travel (Visit USA).I was asking myself, "is this woman going to overstay and join the rally of un-documented alien for recognition, or just simply going to tour the US and Canada as a PrimaDonna!. 'Dios Ko Day!"


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