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Regretfully, what passes for customer service is often sadly deficient in areas where one might be tempted to assume it should rightfully reside. Our pals from the airline industry are among the worst offenders, as today's tale illustrates.

While you might assume this is a fictional account, as one who has spent many years in airline circles, let me assure you that the incident is wholly credible.

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It seems that a customer recently approached an airline counter with an upgrade certificate for a free trip to Hawaii.

The agent stared at the coupon and said, despairingly,

"Ho, you've got one of these."

"Yes," admitted the customer, "and 'one of these' means that I am a very good customer of your airline."

The agent sighed,

"Well, I guess I'm going to have to fill out the paperwork."

Annoyed, the customer retorted:

"I don't think you understand the ground rules. Let me tell you what they are:

"You are overhead; I am profit."

----------------A Final Thought ...

"Civilization and profits go hand in hand."

- Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), US Republican politician, president