Pat and Bee's Life

At the speed of crazy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I suffer, sometimes, from being to involved in the client side of things at work. It's a hard line to toe.

We are short agents, and so we get very busy with getting corporate clients out the door, especially since they tend to book so very last second! (Do you hear me DCS engineers?! BOOK EARLY DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!)

Anyway. The problem!

I have to many clients and problems to solve to be doing office manager type work.

The issues this causes include having to put everything off until it becomes so critical I can not ignore it and it must be done right now! This leaves our clients feeling that I (and the office, by extension) do not value their business. In a world where what I do is often just a few clicks away for people who do not need or want specialized advice and information this is disastrous!

The solution? Hire someone full time, and someone part time and train them as much as possible before throwing them into the front office to learn as they go. The problem here is that we pay minimum wage, no medical/dental/vision benefits, and very little chance of a raise in say, 4-5 years. This severely limits the people who want to work with me.

Of course, of the people who do want to work with me they are either so young that they can not afford to travel (which, as I have learned, makes selling it VERY difficult!), or so set in their ways to want to truly learn that the computer is your friend and that there are new ways of doing things then the book/paper tickets that were so common even 10 years ago.

So my desk gets crazier every day. My client list falls more and more behind. Things slip. I've already let some very important clients and business paperwork (debit memos from the airlines and such) go so far past date there's no hope of salvaging though I must try.

But where does that leave customers? Unappreciated, uncared for, not special. If someone treated me that way, you can bet that I would be either doing it on my own or finding other help. There is no excuse for treating your customers poorly. For not putting them on a pedestal and truly going the extra mile, for each and every one.

Which leads me to yet another issue. I've been in this office almost 13 months. My formal training is 3 web training classes which are about 20 minutes each, in the use of the Sabre booking engine. GO ME! For some reason, everyone I work with no thinks that I'm somehow qualified to handle exchanges that our office manager for 20 years has trouble with! WTF! Are you kidding me?

I work hard, I try to pick things up quickly, but you can only throw so much at me so fast before I just crumble. I am reaching that crumble point today. My brain is tired, my mind is weak from the constant rush of ticketing/booking/rebooking/finding another hotel cause they don't like the first one/rebooking cause they didn't turn in their paperwork and apparently they think I enjoy working 4 hours on a reservation for which the office will bring in $20, cause they made their own hotel and car reservations!

And in all of this, I don't feel that our office is acting in such a way as to promote teamwork. Which isn't really their fault! I'm not there to be a leader, a cheerleader, an encourager, teacher, and vent for those horrible clients that just make you want to kill something. Usually that something is the client.

So I sit here, on hold with British Airways and when they say "Enews" I swear it sounds like they're saying emu's. It threw me off guard the first 12 times I heard it....

And I wait for 5:30.

Because tomorrow all of these people for whom I am waiting for authorization to ticket will call and say they need me to rebook their itineraries because they didn't turn in the paperwork on time and the prices have changed and I will re-do all this work because someone feels my time is inconsequential and that I have nothing better to do, and I will sit here and take it. Because my customers deserve to have nothing less then the best that I, and my office, can provide.

Come on 5:30.


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