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Office Angst

I happen to work for someone who travels, on average, at least two-and-a-half weeks per month. Consequently, I have the honor of handling all of his travel arrangements. Actually, I often feel like a travel agent myself, as the one we currently use is pretty much useless at this point, aside from the actual process of booking the tickets. When I had to put together travel arrangements for people a few years ago, we had a really cool travel agent who was a total professional, did things in a timely fashion and immediately locked on to all of my bosses quirks: what airports he hated to be laid-over in, which flight times he preferred, etc. I  left the company for a year and a half and when I came back, found out we were using a new travel agency, which I hear we are only using on the recommendation of an employee who, well, who doesn't even work there anymore! (and it's not because he retired.&#41 The first obstacle is the language barrier: the current travel agent's primary language is not English, which means we may have to have the same conversation two or three times just to make sure that we're both on the same page, so to speak. The second obstacle is the fact that it takes her 24 hours minimum to even fax me an itinerary. Meanwhile, The Boss is asking me every 20 seconds what time he's leaving and does he have an upgrade. The third and largest obstacle is the Forgetfulness With a Little Giggle. Travel Agent: "So, is this the itinerary he would like to use?" Me: "Well, he won't be able to look at it until tomorrow morning, can we wait 'til then?" TA: "Ummm, yes." Me: "Are you sure?" TA: "Uuummmmm. Yes. Sure." Me: "You're sure? Because I'll make a decision if it has to be booked today." TA: "No, we can wait." The next day, Me, perturbed: "Why is this itinerary $700 more expensive than what you quoted me yesterday?" TA: lapsing into broken English: "You give me no time…you know, there is a time we have to book the ticket in…" Me: "But you told me that it was no problem if we waited until today." TA: "Ooohhh, I forgot that yesterday was the last day for that fare…he hee he hee hee!"
I've taken to just logging on Microsoft Expedia, looking up the flights/fares myself and telling her which ones to book.   

Posted in Scowls.

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