It struck me suddenly this last weekend when I was emptying a monster load from the tumble drier. Well it was a monster load of socks and as we all know the time sucking part of laundry is not the hauling of the hamper down two flights of stairs, nor is it the checking of labels, the sorting into darks and lights, programming for non-spin or hot wash, the pocket checking nor the buttoning up.
No. It’s those damn socks. Where do the odd ones go? I have yet to find a way to keep partners together so that the wash, rinse, tumble cycle progresses into an easy return to the proper sock drawer. Like a well choreographed dance routine. Something that would get top marks from Dancing with the Stars.
Dream on – the navy sock you thought was a perfect match to the other navy sock is not actually because one has a different type of elastic top. Why does this bother me? Because putting two wrong partners together (even though they look very much alike) just doesn’t feel right. Going through this “pairing exercise” the great rush of elation when I find two perfectly matching socks is quite a rush. It got me thinking about how sorting socks and booking travel are very similar.
There is nothing quite like the thrill of matching up the right hotel/cruise/vacation with the right people. Likewise as a travel agent there is nothing quite so sad as seeing someone on a trip that you know definitely should not be there. I was once part of a walking tour in Rouen France. 90% of us were enthralled with our guide’s summary of the beautiful churches and history of the area. One couple (well it was him rather than her so I guess he is a bossy husband and she plays the mouse) eventually stormed up to our guide and shouted at him saying that they didn’t come all this way to Northern France to look at churches. Well I do sympathise to a certain extent (you know what they say about the ABC’s of European tours – Another Bloody Church) but the tour description was quite clear that we were going to do a guided walking tour of old historical Rouen and no – we were not going to go to the shopping district.
Not easy being a tour guide
Getting to know people and what they want and what they like in their day-to-day lives is what makes us as travel agents different to the internet. We like matching up the odd socks. Finding the perfect pair. Knowing that if you have a client who loves good food and cooking where to steer them for the opportunity to go to a pasta making class in Tuscany or a walk with the ship’s chef into a local market in Croatia.
Knowing by looking at a particular hotel’s decor or location that your client just won’t like that. Some might like big names like Hyatt – safe, North American, sterile but comfortable. Others might want those small boutique style hotels, independent historical buildings with quaint rooms and interesting art work. Each to his own.
Our job – pairing up those socks. The right vacation for each and every individual. Yay – it’s a cool feeling when it happens. Love it!