Sometimes you need a helping hand | TravelResearchOnline

Sometimes you need a helping hand

Last month, I was proud and privileged to take part in an “event” that really demonstrated the professionalism, generosity, and the breadth of knowledge of the travel industry. There are always plenty of resources available when you need to know a detail about a cruise ship or the name of the latest General Manager at a resort. But what happens when you are somewhat isolated, have a very difficult situation, and need some help. You certainly can’t just lay it out there for the world to see–it could be embarrassing and potentially illegal. So just how did the travel industry come together for this one agent? Let me explain.

Mary (not her real name) reached out to the TRO Community for help with a touch subject. She asked for agency owners (preferably brick and mortar agency owners) to contact her.

She had an employee that she was considering firing and needed some help, guidance, and most likely some re-assurance that she was doing the right thing.  It was a bit complex.

This was a good employee who was reliable and great with the customers. Sometimes (one of the issues) was that she was “too great” for the male clients. She had a habit of dressing office-inappropriate and had been sent home a number of times to change. Policies and procedures for the agency were ignored and the owner spent an inordinate amount of time re-explaining how to do ‘this’ or why they do ‘that.’  And then there were the multiple visible tattoos. All this added up to an image the owner did not want to portray.

But despite the nagging voice telling her to fire the employee, she kept her despite the lack of adherence to a dress code, the performance, and the tattoos. After all, the owner reasoned, she was good with clients and to a certain extent, a friend.

So I reached out to the experience at TRO in desperation to make sure I was making the right choice. In a few short hours, numerous agency owners offering advice contacted me. I spent most of the day in a collaborative effort, sharing personal info and strategies to minimize the loss, to my 2-person office. It was a very stressful day, but the professional advice from TRO members helped me stop second guessing myself, and get off the fence. The employee was terminated that day, and I am still heartsick over it; but feel I made the right decision and am very grateful for the agents at TRO. I know it won’t be easy to start over, but it is nice to know that the advice from other members is just a few clicks away!

It has been said that no man is an island. As much as we like to think it, we cannot do it all by ourselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses; and at times, we simply need to reach out and ask for a helping hand. Despite the fact that we are all competitors (in a sense) we are also colleagues and co-workers. Together, with our collective knowledge, we can go far. So, when someone reaches out—be it the newbie asking a “dumb” question or a seasoned veteran—lenbd your hand if you can.

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