Author Archives: Sherrie Funk

There are 7 articles by Sherrie Funk published on this site.


Just a Matter of Time

I have a docking station on my desk and every day, according to my mood, I change my playlists. Today, as I was listening to Brook Benton sing “It’s Just a Matter of Time”, I thought, you know, it really is just a matter of time until some of us older, experienced travel agents will literally be moving on to retirement.

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I’ll never forget the day my daughter, Angela, called me in tears because my grandson’s teachers thought he was autistic.  Truman was three at the time, and it was devastating.  Angela and Jim T – my son-in-law – immediately took him to his pediatrician who sent them to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.  The psychologist who tested him didn’t see signs of autism, but did note “OCD” (obsessive compulsive disorder) tendencies.  Truman was also given an IQ test and tested at 126…at three years old!  There was no doubt that Truman was a smart kiddo.

However, Angela and Jim T noticed some other issues.  Truman had never slept all night – ever.  He would get focused on something, and regardless of what they wanted him to do, they could not get deter his focus.  He was reading at age four.  Genius?  Maybe.
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It’s Not About You

Think of a time when you’ve been out shopping.  You’re looking for a specific item.  A sales clerk asks if they can help.  You tell them what you’re looking for, and they steer you to a different brand, or a product with more bells and whistles than you want.  Most likely, they make more money on that product than what you want to purchase.  You get frustrated and leave.  Why?  The clerk is not thinking about you. And, that’s what this particular sale is all about – YOU.

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Do You Have Clients Who Need a Sign?

Maybe it’s me.  Maybe it’s the hot weather we’ve been experiencing in Nashville that’s fried my brain.  Maybe it’s the law of numbers.  But, somehow, we seem to have gotten our fair share of local yokels lately.  Bill Engvall is a good ole’ Southern boy, who is part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.  He does a set called “Here’s Your Sign”.  His philosophy is that there are some people in this world who are just too stupid to go outside.  These people need a sign that warns others:  “I’m Stupid!”           

A few years ago, Charlie, my husband and business partner,  was demonstrating a new software package, and one of the people looking at it saw some of the comments Charlie had put in for the client.  It read:  “Your cruise has been cancelled because you are just too darned stupid to go out of the country.”  The guy looking at the software got a real chuckle out of it.  The problem is, it’s true.

Here’s just a few examples of our clients who need a sign.  I’m sure you have your quota of them also. Read the rest of this entry »

CAN YOU READ THE SIGNS? Part III

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign.
Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind

Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

– The Five Man Electrical Band, 1970

Downtown Nashville is difficult to get around.  There are a number of one-way streets.  If you are a newcomer to our city, you might find yourself going in circles because of your unfamiliarity with the direction of the streets.  The same holds true for travel agencies.  Sometimes we find ourselves going in circles and not accomplishing anything.  That’s where our signs are leading us in today’s column. Read the rest of this entry »

CAN YOU READ THE SIGNS? Part 2

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign.
Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
– The Five Man Electrical Band, 1970

My grandson, Truman, is eight.  He has been reading since he was four, and now reads everything he can get his hands on.  He also reads signs.  When we took him to DisneyWorld for his fifth birthday, he would read every sign he saw.  Then, he’d ask, “Hey, Grammy, what does that mean?”  I would patiently tell him.  Then he would ask “Why?”

I think, that as we get older, we need to not only read the signs, but also ask what they mean and why.  Here are some more signs that are relevant to how the economy is affecting the travel industry and travel agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

CAN YOU READ THE SIGNS?

There are advantages and disadvantages to being married to your business partner.  The advantage is that we can “talk business” whenever we want – at the office, at home, on vacation, it doesn’t matter when.  The disadvantage is that we can “talk business” at any time.  Our business never leaves us; it’s with us everywhere we go. 

The past few years, we have had a lot to talk over – 9/11, the Iraq and Afghanistans wars and now all of the unrest in the Middle East, earthquakes,  volcanoes, tsunamis, the stock market, home foreclosures, gas prices.  You name it, it has all affected the travel industry. 

Last week when I got home, I turned on the national news and POW!!!  Right on the chin!!!  The stock market had taken another big hit, which, in turn, meant our retirement account had been hit also.  Read the rest of this entry »