October 15th was the two month anniversary of joining the team at Morris Murdock Travel. So far the pluses outweigh the minuses; but there are still many things that are still taking some time to get used to.
The first has to be the hours. Imagine, I need to be at the office at a set time for a set number of hours each day. Sounds kind of silly to those millions of people who go to their jobs at a set time each day but for those of us who have tasted the freedom of come and go as you please, it is a major transition. But I knew that going in, so I can’t complain about it too much–but I still do…in my head.
The second has been the lack of opportunity to flex my Disney muscles. I am one of four agents in the office and we take turns in assisting walk-ins and phone calls. I swear it seems that everyone else is snagging the Disney trips! My own company was “Mouse World Vacations” and we created about 6-10 Disney trips a month. So far in two months I have done 5 Disney trips total–two of which were clients who followed me over to the new company. I spend a lot more time researching strange (to me) destinations like Peru, Branson, Israel, India, Russia, Little Rock, Washington DC, or Vancouver. I am researching tons of different cruises and even just plain old airfare. I miss the days of knowing all the answers. Specialization is almost impossible in this kind of setting.
I hate Sabre (and Worldspan too!). About three years ago I learned Worldspan and after about two days in the real world I realized how outdated and just plain annoying those systems truly are. There was a reason why GUI’s were created and operating systems like Windows and Mac prevail. DOS sucks and Sabre and Worldspan are like DOS. There are way too many commands and codes to remember, too many chances to make an error, too many formats and way too many error messages. Spare me the lecture about “once you know it, it’s far better” I’ve heard it a lot. Nothing is easier or closer to error free then putting in SLC in the “From” box and MCO in the “To” box, then clicking the calendar for the dates. Much better then “115OCTSLCMCO” then “01Y1*” then “1R20OCT” then “01Y1*” then “WPNCB” or “WPNI” then on and on and on and on to ticket the damn thing. Arggggggg!
But before I turn this into a gripe-fest (oops, too late) there are still so many positives about this change. It’s nice to be around people again. The island feeling of being on your own and having a home office is sometimes a little depressing and kind of lonely. So far everyone here at Morris Murdock has put up with me with smiling faces. In this office I also have two agents with 20+ years in the business who are great mentors for me and have not shown any annoyance at my stupid questions (mostly about Sabre). I also have a “real” office and I now work for a very well known company. Now when I tell people where I work, they actually know of the place and hold it in good light. I also have a cool office where I feel and act more professional. Plus on top of it all I have gotten a regular paycheck despite the few days that the office is a ghost town and the phone is eerily silent.
Ring….there goes the phone again. Maybe someone needs a family reunion at Walt Disney World for two weeks! More likely they need “the cheapest airfare to Pittsburgh for next Monday (sigh…)
Graig Wilkins (odd spelling and all) is now a travel consultant for Morris Murdock Travel in Utah. He still specializes in Disney destinations worldwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org