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Construction Chaos
Heathrow is in the middle of a space crisis -- too many passengers and not enough room for them. The airport is building a new terminal while renovating old ones. But Terminal One is even more of a madhouse during renovation. Lifts (elevators) are out of order. Signs are either lacking or confusing the passengers. Baggage carts are competing with humans for elbow room. All this will make Managing Director Cato's stint as customer service duty manager especially challenging. It's his job to keep customers happy, help them solve problems, and keep the airport safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Tony Bryant, a working-class, no-nonsense kind of guy, is one of Heathrow's 54 customer service duty managers. He'll show Cato the ropes during the top man's first day on the floor. His expectations? A bit low, actually. "Office people don't really know how operations go on," Bryant says. "They can, they say and hear how it goes on, but I think they actually need to come down here and see. You're in a confined space, you've got limited access, limited staff to do the job, so I think he needs to see it."

Cato gets his first hands-on experience when a female passenger with a baggage cart she can't take up the escalator is upset. The elevator is broken and she can't get her baggage upstairs. She complains to duty manager Cato. The boss is inefficient and can't find a working elevator. He deftly falls back on the "excuse our appearance" signs explaining the remodeling construction. But he still must carry the woman's baggage up the escalator by hand.

Next: Airport Signs (Mis)Direct Passengers >>>

Cato helps a passenger with her baggage.
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