Hail, Rex!

September 12, 2020

I am not acquainted with many people named Rex, and up until now, none personally. There’s Rex Harrison, Rex Tillerson, and Rex Morgan, M.D. (do comic strips count?) And of course Tyrannosaurus Rex. I know Rex in Latin means “king” and I think it’s a dandy name that should definitely be more popular than it is.

Well, last weekend I got to speak with an actual Rex. While I don’t know his last name, or really anything much about him, I feel as if I have a new friend. Rex works in a call center for Orbitz, and from the time difference and his accent I’m gathering it’s in India. Poor Rex was on the receiving end of the closest I ever get to a telephone tirade when first we connected on Sunday. I’d already been emailing Orbitz, and had been the phone several times with Aer Lingus and American Express, trying to figure out why, while our flights to Europe had been canceled, we were only reimbursed for ONE of the two tickets purchased. By the time I made it through the vast maze of extensions, and was on hold more than an hour, my mood had darkened considerably.

However, my snarling did nothing to dampen Rex’s pleasant manner. After hearing my tale of woe, he told me that Orbitz needed a letter from Amex saying that I had never disputed the plane ticket charge. Aer Lingus was apparently under the impression that I had, and marked the ticket “suspended” and un-reimbursable. “I understand your frustration!” Rex said (many times). “We will work this out!” Later in the convo he added, “I am sympathetic, both as an Orbitz representative and also as a traveler myself!”

Hours later, Rex and I hadn’t gotten very far. Aer Lingus wouldn’t budge without a document from the credit card company; Amex has a policy to not write about something that never happened. What Simon the Amex Supervisor agreed to do, eventually, was to participate in a conference call that I could set up, and he would tell Orbitz verbally that Aer Lingus had erred (aered?). You can imagine my dexterity in figuring out a conference call on an iPhone. Rex loyally stayed on the line as I tried and tried vainly to reach a real person at the other two phone numbers. By then, honestly, I was tempted to give up. But $880 is a lot of money for me, and represents quite a few writing assignment fees. Plus by now, Rex was nearly as committed as I was.

I wish I could say that all is resolved, but there are still more hoops to jump through. I am optimistic, however, and grateful to my chipper call center buddy for restoring my faith in humanity. He even called me the next morning to check in! It’s amazing what a little kindness will do in a situation like this.

Wherever you are, Rex, I salute you! Keep on keeping on, and I will too.



    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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