Friday, May 13, 2005

Work Diaries (24): Get me the ticket!

We hired a freelancer to work with us on a very important project. Of course we’re responsible for all his reservations.
I contacted the hotel 2 weeks before his arrival, everything went so smooth. Actually I never had problems with any hotel I dealt with here, except for one, and it was just regarding some formalities with their boss. Other than that, hotels in Tunisia are so reliable, helpful and hospitable.

Then I had to make an internal flight reservation for our freelancer. I never had any problems with any travel agency I dealt with either. But there’s this one that we found the best so we kept dealing with them. But this time was an exception!
I made a reservation 1 month in advance for an internal flight. I got the confirmation, and THEY suggested they’d drop by our office to deliver the ticket and get the payment upon delivery. I agreed!
Of course I called every other day to get the ticket but they always assured me they’d bring it “tomorrow”.
The guy arrived, few days left and we have no ticket. I called and suggest I’d send them someone to pick it up and give them a cheque, but they INSISTED they’d make up for the inconvenience caused by the delay and will deliver it themselves. Again, made the same mistake and AGREED!
1 day before the flight: They call and apologize because they wont be able to deliver it. I fight with them, transfer them to my boss, who fights with them again, and then AGREES that they deliver the ticket next morning since the flight is at 3 p.m.
The day of the flight:
8 a.m.: I call to remind them how urgent it is they keep their promise, they say: Don’t Worry!
10 a.m.: I call again, they tell me: Stop Worrying, don’t you trust us?
11 a.m.: I call again, they tell me: sorry, we can’t deliver it. If you like you can come.
The boss & freelancer were in a meeting with a client until an hour before the flight. I can’t leave the office, because there are tax audits who will come in 30 minutes. I call the boss…
Eman: Hi, we have a problem, the travel agency can’t deliver the ticket!
Boss: what? Those x@*^&*%^#%^& ...He hangs up.
I redial: Boss, so what do we do now?
Boss: those H@^&#()#*()KHJDHJKD …He hangs up
I redial: Ok, they suck big time, but what do we do?
Boss: deal with it. Those &*(HDSO&()#@HL
And he hangs up, leaving me the responsibility of “dealing with it”!
I try to call a messenger to go there, but they are not available. So I call the agency and do just like my boss: DEAL WITH IT, I WANT THE TICKET ON MY DESK ASAP!
10 minutes later I get a fax from them: Dear Mrs. Eman, we were finally able to solve the problem, we will send you the ticket first thing in tomorrow morning!
I call them and remind them he should be on board at 3 p.m. TODAY! They explain they can’t deliver it today no matter what. So I end up begging the messenger to make an exception and go pick the ticket, he does, he saves the day and the freelancer got the ticket on time.

I call them and ask them why this has happened, although they've always been very professional, they answer: you should've made the reservation early enough!!