January 2022 Employee of the Month: Property manager negotiates peace deal with angry passenger
As a Miami-Dade Aviation Department Property Manager at MIA, Diana Amaya is used to facilitating agreements with airport leaseholders. Last November during her lunch break, she found herself in the middle of a very different kind of negotiation.
After completing a site inspection, Diana and a co-worker stopped at a restaurant inside MIA for lunch. As they got in line, an argument began between a young male customer and the store manager about an online meal order the customer claimed he had made. The customer told the manager he had been charged for the order, but the manager said he did not have proof of the payment and could not provide him with the meal.
The customer became angrier, began using explicit language, and threatened to call the police. At this point, Diana intervened by introducing herself and pleading with the young man to take a deep breath and calm down. After lowering his temper, the passenger explained that apparently because of a Wi-Fi glitch, the online payment was not transmitting.
Diana was able to de-escalate the customer and he eventually apologized to the manager and other customers nearby for his behavior. The manager also apologized for the misunderstanding and offered the customer a free meal. Both men again apologized to each other and even shook hands. The young man was close to tears when he thanked Diana for encouraging him to calm down.
Because of Diana’s initiative to find a friendly resolution to the customer’s complaint, she was named MIA’s January 2022 Employee of the Month.