I knew it was going to be a bad day when, on opening the door to the travel agency, I saw the same guy who used to work at the Ford place. He bounded from behind his desk and came to the door to shake my hand, a most unusual behavior for a travel agent. "Good morning! May I sell you a Hawaiian vacation?" he asked. "No, thanks, I just need an airline ticket from Boston to Baltimore," I said. "I need to go on Thursday." "I have just the thing for you," he said. "First class, change only once in Denver. Dynamite seats on these airplanes, yes sir!" "No, I just need a coach ticket. And isn't there a direct flight from Boston to Baltimore without stops?" "I like a man who does his homework," he said. "You'd be amazed how many people just come in and ask about all the flights they can find. Will you be trading in another ticket?" I was beginning to get irritated. "I don't have a ticket now. That's why I'm here. What flights are there to Baltimore on Thursday morning?" "If I could get you a departure time you liked, would you buy a ticket _today_?" You could see that he was hungry. "Here's a flight at 10:30." "No, I need to be there by ten. Is there something around 8:00?" "You are a skillful bargainer," he countered. "I'll have to ask my manager." He disappeared for a few minutes. "My manager says he can give you an 8:30 departure, no earlier. Of course, you'll want to buy flight insurance and our special carry-on bag..." I got up and headed for the door. Surely there's another travel agent somewhere. Maybe Japan Air Lines flies to Baltimore. Or Lufthansa. As I left, I could hear him calling, "You know, these flights to Baltimore are very rare...Consumer Reports rated Baltimore very highly...We may not be able to get any more of these tickets..."
(From the "Rest" of RHF)