Starting At The Bottom | Travel Research Online


Starting At The Bottom

What better place to begin another series of earth-shaking messages than at the bottom? Trust me this will become more clear in a few minutes.

To give you an idea of just how my mind comes up with my messages, I am inviting you to picture me entering the men’s room in my local library. The hilarious story I am about to tell is completely true.

Try to picture this. It may remind you of an old Seinfeld rerun. You enter the library’s facility only to spot a grown man (me) down on his knees twisting and turning trying to get a new roll of toilet paper to cooperate.  One hundred turns one way followed by two hundred turns the opposite way all accompanied with less than attractive vocabulary.

When spinning the new roll each way for ten minutes fails to solve the puzzle, it is time to bang on the silver canister that hides the paper until your fist becomes numb. Now you have given yourself a reason to curse at nobody in particular while hoping nobody decides to join you in “the room.”

I am absolutely certain that this scene is being played out in every library, gas station and Denny’s restaurant from coast to coast seven days a week, 365 days a year.

I believe that some cost-cutting genius is to blame. We all know and appreciate the need for scrutinizing budgets and shaving costs.  In fact, we are all probably sick and tired of hearing about it as we realize the importance of doing so.

Some genius from corporate headquarters surmised that cheap, flimsy, single ply, tightly wound, glued at the seams parchment would give the stockholders the most bang for their buck while presumably getting the job done.

Easy for him/her to say. How about a little field research? This “I have a better idea” approach is fast becoming the client’s migraine.  We have less ice cream in the box, less soup in the can, less spaghetti in the box; and now glued together thin as air, I challenge you to find the end, toilet paper.

This brainstorm creates havoc for us guys who have better things to do than to spend quality library study time digging our finger nails into the middle of a roll of paper in search of a starting position.  It’s the same principle as finding the end of a roll of scotch tape.

Okay! You’ve got the picture. The scene has been set. Let’s get on with today’s three messages.

1. Slice and dice your budgets as you deem appropriate. But please, please, please do not skimp on the important stuff. Like marketing. Like employee development and motivation. Like customer service. Like toilet paper.

2. People will notice the small stuff and hold you accountable. Don’t waste people’s time having them searching for the seams. When quality counts, don’t skimp. (Don’t know what counts? It’s your people, service, marketing and sense of humor.)

3. Spend more time at your library. But you might want to go before you go.

Hey folks, today is the day we have been waiting for.  Today is the day to take yourself less seriously while accomplishing more than you ever thought possible. Let’s make today a day to remember and be proud of. Let’s lighten up and spread the good word.

Mike Marchev is a non-linear thinker who makes his living shooting from the  hip. Check out his new collaborative project titled The Travel Agent Success Series

  One thought on “Starting At The Bottom

  1. Richard Earls says:

    Great article Mike! Many thanks.


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