Clients. You have to love them–they pay the bills. But sometimes your clients can be exasperating. To be a travel agent you have to be a good listener and that includes listening to a lot of things that…well just don’t relate to travel. I am always amazed at the things a client will tell you or the comments they will make. Over the years, I have heard a bunch; these are my favorites. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and keep me out of court.
The most bizarre situation involved a couple – I met to talk about booking a group for a food and wine tour. They were huge foodies. What they neglected to tell me was it was a nudist group. Not that I am a prude or anything. I have been known to get a little frisky after a couple of shots of tequila. Which is probably the reason my darling husband of 20 years has banned me from getting near bottles with worms in the bottom. The whole nudist thing kind of creeped me out a little. I mean hygiene aside there are just some people who shouldn’t be parading around in the buff especially on a food tour. But we plodded on and with all the notifications their trip went off with out a hitch..err stitch.
Another time, a client was going to Las Vegas with his girlfriend and wanted to know if his credit card statement would indicate two people. After a puzzled response from me, I discover that he was taking his mistress! Of course, with a desire to have his cake and eat it too, he didn’t want any evidence to show up on his credit card statement. I have watched Divorce Court and I want no part of that action, thank you very much.
The list is endless and I have heard other bizarre tales about sex lives, lack of sex lives, horrific relatives, skin lesions. You name it. Many times we hear tales that just leaving you asking yourself “Why did I need to know that?” One of my clients,a professor at the Medical College told me about taking his class to the morgue and half the class ended up passing out and piled in a heap on the floor. Actually, I kind of enjoyed hearing that one.
Another client was a big, burly police officer who was afraid to fly. He kept calling me constantly for reassurance. I thought I was going to have to drive him to the airport and physically walk him to the gate. What do I look like, a psychologist? Then there are the bridezillas, the groomzillas, the superstitious and the plain weird. Bridal shows seem to bring out the cream of the crop of the travel weird. I love it when they ask if they need a passport to Hawaii. Or, why they need a passport to the Bahamas when they are a part of the United States. And, what 5 star hotel can they stay at in Italy for $1500 for 7 days with airfare, double occupancy? Can you guarantee my hotel won’t have bed bugs? Or, will they be discounting hotels in Mexico Thanksgiving week because of the swine flu?
Of course, for every weirdo out there, there is the hidden gem who really appreciates you and all the hard work you do. These gems come back happy and share their pictures. They thank you for everything and refer you to their friends. These are the keepers and the ones that keep you in business day in and day out. These are the ones that make it all worth it.
What about you? Please share your crazy client stories in the comments!
Mary Stephan is the President of Allons Travel based in Powell, OH. For more information, you can contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.