You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! | Travel Research Online


You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Today’s message comes from my archives, but I feel it is worth repeating.

I once called a trailer dealer (boat) and was told that the salesman I asked for was on vacation for the next four days. Hey! I am the first one to endorse well-earned vacation time. An incredibly high percentage of workers today fail to take their vacation time which, speaking for you the travel professional, is a pity. What I found of particular interest (spelled chagrin) was that there was no offer to provide an alternative salesman.

I took the bull by the horns and asked to speak to another salesman. I was then silently put on hold with no warning. For a moment I thought I might have been disconnected.

What seemed to be a lot of time (4 minutes) the operator came back on the line, and asked who I was holding for. For the second time I was placed on hold while listening to a local (insulting) radio station.
Click Here!

The radio team was explaining why at a wedding it was bad practice for the groom to throw up on the wedding cake. (Hey! I want to buy a trailer!) They agreed that since it was the bride’s party, it was okay if she got sick on the cake. (Who knew?)

The operator cut in again and asked me if I wanted a call back. I reluctantly agreed, and started sharing my phone number with her. She promptly informed me that she had to go find a pencil. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

The operator returned and somehow interpreted me as be someone who might interested in hearing about her stress level for the day. I found this quite amusing in that it was only 9:10…am. Back to wedding party.

A salesman then entered the call. I pretended I was not upset with their entire organization, since I knew who held the trump card. For a moment I wanted to share the protocol on losing one’s lunch on wedding cakes in case he was heading for a wedding soon. I didn’t. I told him what I was looking for and he put me on hold while he tracked down his product book.

The story continues, but I am making myself sick all over again so I am going to stop now. I am afraid stories like this grow on trees. I hope I have not just identified your business model.

There are many lessons here but I will leave you with just two. Never answer any telephone without a pencil and paper at the ready. Second, if you are not the bride, don’t regurgitate on the wedding cake.


P.S I will tell you that this joint probably thinks that they are one of the best in the business.

Do you think you are one of the best in the business? Call yourself. Find out. Look at your company from my point of view. Fix what needs fixing. If you are cool with the way you come across to your customers and prospects, I certainly am okay with it.

Incredible! Please, please please tell me that this did not strike a tender chord with you and/or your organization. Got any war stories you want to share?

Mike Marchev Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

Share your thoughts on “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!”

You must be logged in to post a comment.