About me

My Photo
Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
View my complete profile

Friday, March 12, 2010

5 Things Travel Agents Do To Suck Up To Me (And How I Handle Them)

They Give Me Free Stuff
This is the most basic, transparent form of suking up. Expect an abundance of Kurma during Ramadhan and a flood of calendars during the end of the year. The thing is, these things are given to kind of buy you to using their service. The average person would certainly feel guilty everytime they use the service of other Travel Agents (from henceforth will be referred to as TAs).

How I Handle Them:
Accept their gifts, smile sweetly, say thank you and show them the door. Short and sweet. Check. Expressed appreciation. Check. Made no promises to use their service. Check. Unfortunately for them, I'm not so average. Being the cold-hearted bitch that I am, I choose TAs based on their COMPETENCY and not from their freebies.

Establishing Faux Friendship
TAs like these act really friendly to me.. Like, really, really, really... You get the picture. For example, there is this one Peninsular lady who grew up in Tenom, Sabah. When she knew I was a Sabahan, she would talk to me in Sabahan slang at the top of her voice so that the whole office would hear. I guess she felt that by showing that she had something in common with me I would use her service more. All she succeded was made me feel exploited... Neeeexttt!!!

How I Handle Them:
Smile and nod at the appropriate time if I'm in the mood and have the time to humor them. When I'm busy I'd just carry on doing my work and emphasizing my distractedness. Rude? That's simply a huge hint for them to stop talking and leave. If they don't take the hint, they can't blame me when they end up having a one-sided conversation with themselves now can they?

Practicing Extreme 'Effective' Communication Skills
Okay, we all know that the basics of effective communication skills includes maintaining eye contact, giving a firm hand shake and talking in a calm, clear tone of voice.. One TA in particular took it to the extreme. She would stare intently into my eyes up to the point where I felt that it's just so wrong. She would tell me her name, her company and her purpose for coming to my office loudly but sloooowwwwly as if I'm a retard. Lastly, when she shakes my hand she clasps it in a painful vice-like grip and wouldn't let go until she has finished here little introductory speech. She does this every.effing.time.we meet.

How I Handle It (she's the only one):
At times when I manage to spot her before she could see me I would just hide. Can you imagine a cartoon caracter sneaking away with just its toes moving? Yup, that's me. If I couldn't escape her, I'd just plaster on a smile, try to tug my hand free when it's appropriate and make an excuse that I need to go to the loo to cut the conversation short. She must think that I have a bladder problem because that's the 'default' excuse that I use.

Feigning Ignorance
These kind of TAs are very, very sneaky. They most probably dreamt of becoming a spy hero like 007 (My name is Bond... James Bond) when they were young and clung to that dream all the way into adulthood. They would ask me mundane questions first such as have I eaten or how was my day, etc. After a while they would start pretending to guess about the flow of flights, which department go overseas the most, etc. Of course since they only guess randomly it would always be a wrong guess. Try to show them what a smartass you are by correcting them and you'd be giving away inside information.

How I Handle Them:
Follow what the legendary boxer Mohammad Ali said: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Flit around the subject like a butterfly by never giving any definite answers and sting with a veiled (or unveiled) verbal barb like a bee when they get offensively nosy.
Eg: Saya rasa Encik ni tak patut jadi TA lah.. Lagi sesuai jadi CSI ke, 007 ke...
Yup, stung by a bee alright.

Flirt With Me
This it seems only happens to be done by tall, fair, handsome and macho TAs. They would outrageously flirt with me and compliment me on:
1. my looks
    Eg: Oh... Ini rupanya Phyllicia... Manisnya you ni... Comel lah....
    Um, okaaayyyy... Duh...
2. my heritage
    Eg: Oooohh... Dari Sabah ya... Patutlah rupa macam Filipino... Sabah Bah! Sabah bah!
    Which goes to show that even tall, fair, handsome and macho men can be dumb.
3. the way I talk
    Eg: Lembut je you bercakap kan. Kalau you ni doktor, pesakit dengar you bercakap dah separuh
          penyakit die sembuh.
    I guess that's why I was fated to be a P.T Kew. and not a doctor. If I was, the Government would
    most probably have me locked up in ISA or something for threatening the stability of conventional
    medical practices.

How I Handle Them:
How to get rid of unwanted male attention? Talk about marriage and babies. They usually leave skid marks.

I get to meet a whole lot of people from doing Air Flight Warants. Some are nice, some are weird while others are nightmares. From this post I may look like a witch but the reality is there are times when only a certain tactics will work. For example, I tried the solution in situation 2 for situation 3 but it doesn't work on her. No amount of zealous typing on the computer and avoiding eye contact would make her go away. So it's either the loo tactic or tell her bluntly to shut up and buzz off. I may be a cold-hearted bitch but I'm not heartless. Whatever it is, all I can say is a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.


Amanda Christine Wong said...

"Sabah bah! Sabah bah!" LOL. Idiots! Your post should be in a mag phy!

Phoebe said...

Thanks manda.. Hehehe... Yabah.. Their idiocy never ceases to amaze me. Hahaha...