Be Chairful What You Ask For

| Working | March 28, 2013

(My colleague has been dealing with an agent who wants to book a last-minute tour for his client. Unfortunately, the tour is solid-booked and the operators have told us that there are no more seats. I get the agent on the callback.)

Agent: “You have to book this tour! She wants this tour! I want you to call the supplier right now and tell them that you only have one more client to fit on the bus.”

Me: “Sir, my colleague told you yesterday as I will tell you now: the bus is a coach and there are absolutely NO more seats available. I cannot physically book your client in.”

Agent: “Give me my rep’s number!”

Me: “I’m telling you, he won’t be able to get you a seat, either.”

(I give the agent their rep’s number. The agent reads the number back to me.)

Agent: “I called that number last night and he wasn’t answering. I want this tour!”

Me: “Sir, here’s the thing: say by some miracle I DO manage to book this in for your client. She is going to be standing in the aisle of a moving coach, travelling at high speeds, over some very unkempt roads between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Now, are you going to be the one to take the blame when she comes back to you after being away for nearly three weeks demanding her money back?”

(There’s a pause while the agent considers what I’ve said. Eventually, they come to their senses.)

Agent: “…Do you do custom-made itineraries?”

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