Serenity Now: Monk vs. Airline

I saw this in the news and got a laugh out of it (only because it didn’t happen to me!).  I guess this is an example of the expression “trying the patience of a saint”.


“You have not been helpful”:  Monk loses temper dealing with United Airlines customer service

Another airline passenger lost his cool while talking to customer service — only this time it was a monk.

Brother Noah of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico says he failed to stay peaceful while dealing with United Airlines on the phone, the New York Times reported.

“I said to her something like: ‘Thank you for speaking. God bless you. I will pray for you. But you have not been helpful,’” he told the broadsheet.

When David Segal, author of “The Haggler” column, suggested this did not sound like much of an outburst, Brother Noah said he knows the tone of his voice “manifested anger.”

So what riled up the monk?

In late November, Brother Noah’s friend at the monastery, Brother John Baptist, flew to Malawi in southeastern Africa to see his sick mother on a $2,489 round-trip ticket, paid for by the monastery.

After arriving, Brother John Baptist realized he needed to extend his trip several weeks, so Brother Noah called on Dec. 10 to reschedule the return flight.

But United said the original purchase was fraudulent even though his friend already used half of the ticket.

A United representative reportedly suggested that the monastery’s leader could drive three hours away to a United desk in Albuquerque to work everything out.

Then he spoke to a supervisor, identified as Mark, but the issue was not sorted out.

“Everything became our fault. There was no evidence that Brother John Baptist had been placed on a new return flight,” Brother Noah told the Times. “No record of the conversation with Mark. I really struggled to remain calm and charitable. My monastic life is about staying peaceful in all circumstances. I failed during this call.”

To set everything straight, the monastery posted an open letter on its website outlining the experience and asking for help.

“Blessings to you! Christ in the Desert is having some difficulties with United Airlines. Perhaps someone reading this will know a way to help,” the letter begins.

This eventually led to a return flight, apology, and $350 credit toward future travels.

United Airlines did not immediately return Yahoo News’ requests for comment.


Here’s the link to the original story:




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