Tag Archives: Career Change Strategies

Jillian 9a – Worst Travel Experience … continued

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Wellington Airport.

Waiting at the antiquated and squealing, jerking baggage carousel. Finally it stopped. Nothing for Jillian.

Okaaaay.

What now?

It was then that it hit our friend Jillian. SHE HAD NOTHING. Her business clothes, fresh undies, toiletries, make-up, hair-brush the paperwork and stuff for her meetings, proper handbag - all was in that luggage. That luggage which she no longer appeared to be in possession of. I know, Churchill would not like that hanging preposition but bugger it - Jillian has lost her bag for God's sake.

Panic. She ran around frantically looking for someone, anyone to help her. Signs that existed were in English and Maori, but nothing appeared to help her figure out what to do.

Finally as she was close to breaking down here alone in Wellington, NZ on this fateful evening without anything, she began to cry. But she quickly decided that this was NOT the way for a business woman to act. With tears still clinging resolutely to her eyes she finally slowed down, and found a counter that was the most likely hiding place of those whose job it was to trace lost luggage.

"Nah. wasn't on the plane, Luv." said the helpful chap after asking someone on the other end of the old fashioned phone/intercom system, the same question phrased at least 4 different ways. Talk about the bleedin' obvious.

"So what do I do?" Jillian asked. "When is it likely to get here? What happens in the meantime?

"Dunno, Luv," he explained. Pause!

Obviously the answer to all 3 questions.

Jillian filled out a form. He had finally offered, "We'd better do a form, Miss"

He gave her a voucher for some airline stuff, soap tooth brush and the like - shit, yeah, she remembered that's in the bag too. Of course – it would be.

Then he added the clincher, "Since its after 5.00pm the airline counter is closed and you won't be able to redeem this until tomorrow. Sorry!"

“Sorry 'bout that.” he repeated unhelpfully.

“Shit, Shit. Shit.” Just another example of her shitty life, she thought. “Why doesn't stuff go right – just once would be OK? OK?”

Bet this wouldn't be happening to her boss Jack, she thought. Not bloody likely. “Why is it always me?” she wailed to herself.

Nothing open at the airport. Ironic isn't it. If she had know there was going to be no baggage as soon as she landed; shops would have been open and emergency supplies could have been obtained. Easily.

Outside, feeling completely naked with only her small clutch purse, an emergency touch-up lipstick and a credit card.

A taxi. Yep. That's the next step. Thinking. Thinking!

N.Z. still closes down in the evenings. The motel she was booked into was up in Lower Hutt. Quite  distance away.

Let's go.

Big mistake. The motel was staffed by a large bored woman with no interest in anything but the latest episode of “Close to Home”.

No emergency supplies. No help. No luck. Bad Day? No shit!

By this time the taxi had roared off.

“Was that a petrol station we passed just before the motel?” Jillian thought.

A short walk – thankful for small mercies – and YES a service station.

And finally a bit of luck. A small washing line and pegs. A traveller pack of soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and even some deodorant. Not much else. But how good is it to have something?

Back in the room taking stock.

A quick, but horrendously expensive international phone call later, Jillian had managed to let her boss know what had happened and asked if he could fax some brochures, prices and anything else he might be able to lay his hands on, that might be a help. He said he could. Another small win.

Freezing. Naked and attempting to wash her smalls with the bar of soap Jillian wondered if it could possibly get worse.

It could. And did.

Nothing was dry in the morning and as the soap had not been rinsed out thoroughly, the undies were wet, cold, stiff and VERY uncomfortable. It was cold and windy, no surprise, and she looked and felt utterly ridiculous in her summery Melbourne costume. And COSTUME was really the word. She felt like a clown.

There was something for her at reception, not the least of which was the staff and other  guests laughing at this amazingly stupid Australian woman in the green and gold.

Taxi to the office of the older, straight laced MD of the company considering doing business with an unknown Australian firm for the first time. One with a YOUNG female sales rep. What are they thinking?

Short ride. Reading through the info supplied, Jillian found it was extremely limited. No company info, hers or the prospects. “Guess we trust to memory”, she thought. Very basic, black and white brochure and a price list.

Great. “I wish I was dead!” she lamented to herself.

Well it turned out to be an OK meeting. They seemed to understand her predicament. Laughed, but she was beginning to expect that. She was so cold, thinking and speaking was a chore, but it was finally over.

The journey home in the big metal tube in the sky was as uneventful as it could be under the the circumstances, and the credit card took a BIG hit. The Big Sky Mall.

Booze, (Scotch, Gin and Red Wine), promotional rubbish including a jacket to cover the summer gear and a watch and camera she didn't need but the retail therapy helped. Yes it did. Pity there were no shoes.

Well probably a good thing there were no shoes.

The next day; back home. In her own apartment. Properly clothed, a little less mortified, and with a developing hangover, Jillian phoned her boss.

An order had been faxed through during the night and even though it was a small one, it made our Jillian smile. Maybe the chafed bits were worth it after-all.

That was about it, though, for orders from this company, and it kind of put an end to Jillian travelling for the rest of her time with this employer. Unfair. But that's the way it goes for a woman in a man's world.

As the ticket and accommodation had been purchased using her Amex card, Jillian was able to claim for all the lost stuff. Suitcase and all. A nice little win she thought. Bought some new clothes with the money. Sweet, Bro.

3 months later, her very badly battered bags arrived home. They had been to Hawaii and Los Angeles. Lucky them. “Even my bags have a better life than me.”

#ourjillian

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CCS003: 5 Success Principles

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Jillian 9 – Worst Travel Experience

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Well Jillian could only think of one worst experience. I'd have bet on more - but I only really wanted one so this is good.

Here goes.

It was early in a year we won't mention.

Jillian had some business meetings in Wellington in NZ. And it was hot, Damn Hot in Melbourne. Well over 30 degrees most days. Wellington was going to be windy as usual and her appointments were going to keep her right on the edge of the harbour. Even more wind. It would be much cooler than Melbourne, and probably even cool by Wellington NZ standards. Well it was. I'm not making this stuff up.

It was the first time Jillian had been promoting this line and it was very important. A sale here would make for a fairly decent commission (did I tell you she was at one time earlier in her peripatetic life a sales person? - It was only for a relatively short time, so it may not have come up before.)

Anyway, at this time, early in her working life, she was a sales person A commercial traveller as she found out they called them in NZ.

And this was not only going to be a lucrative 'one-off', but on-going sales were likely to keep it ticking on for some time.

She boarded the plane with one smallish suitcase, which, unfortunately, would not fit into the overhead locker. "Shouldn't matter," she said to herself. "Nothing valuable in there." Famous last words.

Since it was only a short trip both in duration of the flight and the time over there, Jillian was a tad casual about things, she now understands, but after all her business attire WAS in the suitcase and she had everything she needed to imbibe a few cold wines on the flight.

Did I say it was hot in Melbourne? Imagine this.

Hair tied back in a semblance of a pony tail. Multicoloured halter neck top in greens and golds. It was not revealing - designed for day-wear not the beach. And she was going on an international flight. So. Fine. OK?

It was teamed with a cotton wrap-around skirt of similar hue. and a pair of not very high, but still high heeled ankle strap, open toed sandals with wedge heels, light green in colour. Quite cool and summery. Very nice.

Not Business attire. Definitely NOT business attire.

Jillian arrived in Wellington. The airport buildings still seemed to be fashioned from a couple of WWII Nissan huts and not a lot of sophisticated equipment was in view.

And it was, as already promised, windy outside, (no aero-bridge - Just a wheeled set of gangway stairs here in good old Windy Wellington), and a LOT cooler then the Melbourne summer.

To Be Continued ...

#ourjillian

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Jillian 8a – Best Travel Experience

Another time when we were talking about travel, Jillian spoke about a wonderful experience she had had in Mumbai or Bombay.

If you don't tell her, I won't; but India was another country I omitted from my list a few posts ago. Oh dear!

This is a really nice story and well worthy of being included in the best experiences category. India, unfortunately, is often on the other side of the best/worse experiences for travellers and I can vouch for this. One evening while walking on Chowpatti beach, during the most fantastic Ganesha Chaturthi Hindu festival, celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed God, Ganesh - remover of obstacles and the God of beginnings and wisdom, when Hindus immerse idols of Lord Ganapati with a variety of herbal leaves and plants into the Arabian Sea; I realised, too late, why no Indian people were bare footed in the sand. Oops.

Back to Jillian. On her 1st visit to Mumbai, she was able to snag a kind of a taxi, a really old, rusty and run down, but garishly painted in swirly rainbow colours, car of some sort with an unkempt scraggy young boy as a driver. The longish journey into the southern Mumbai suburb of Colaba was punctuated by very loud, very colourful fireworks, and a madly waving driver indicating with hands and bobbing head large numbers of incredible sights not to be missed, although the road appeared quite capable of taking care of itself without eyes, or hands on the steering wheel.

And the SPEED. Oh well that's another thing altogether. This guy took a shine to Jillian - a slight mix-up with money and a largish tip changing hands may have helped. He adopted her. He became her personal taxi driver in Mumbai. Slept on the bonnet of the cab outside her hotel. "I look after lovely white lady without man." he used to say. He must have had other clothes in the cab as he was sometimes in an ordinary shirt and trousers, sometimes an Indian dhoti with a shirt, not very clean and not always much more than threadbare. His odour was acceptable most days so he must have had a bit of a wash in the nearby Arabian Sea. In itself this is a risk as some of the stuff floating in and on this water had the ability to make things worse. Much worse.

Mumbai is a city where traffic cannot even begin to be described, taxis and hire cars are seemingly non-existent, cows roam the streets and motor bikes make up a greater population than sheep in the whole of New Zealand. And everything that moves - (except for the cows which can sit in the middle of the road often not moving at all for hours; and of course, because they are sacred you can't touch them), everything moves at lightning speed.

Walking is hard because of the beggars living, eating, feeding babies, defecating, yelling, and sleeping. The streets are often an extension of the slums. Jillian was very nearly run over by a young chap with no legs zooming along the footpath at warp speed on a skateboard.

So, it is good, no read REALLY GOOD, to have your own personal taxi driver. He can move anything - except cows (even a personal taxi driver can't do that), park anywhere, help you avoid the unavoidable beggars and peddlers and spruikers, circumvent for you the prominent back street, garishly decorated, overpriced emporiums where you can get the best fake Prada bags ever made. "I mean even the leather is fake," Jillian screamed hysterically at me.

And he can recommend shopping for real bargains, theatres for Bollywood movies, street food to avoid and that to eat, sights to see and – those that are a rip off. He can inform you of traditions and religious stuff to help you avoid the major gaffes most of us make.

In short he is an additional God to add to the possible 330 million others.

#ourjillian

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Introduction

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Hi,

Here you will see interesting (I hope) stuff that I feel the need to publish from time to time.

Sometimes it will be for fun, occasionally it will be something I've learned that I would like to share, and every now and then an offer I would like you to consider. And some of these will be free.

Offers might be:

  • something I am doing myself -
  • seminar, workshop, e-Book, printed book, CD or DVD
  • product specials, free or paid
  • coaching opportunity (again free or paid or a special promotion) or
  • something from third parties. (I may have some financial interest in these - I may not. Depends.)

You might like to:

  • like my page on Face-book,
  • opt-in to my email list (this will give you a gift and some special offers no one else can see)
  • join my LinkedIn network
  • get involved with any of the other opportunities that are offered from time to time.

I hope you enjoy the stuff here and if you do - feel free to contact me, comment or share with friends.

Thank you for your interest,

Colin Rochford - Career Change Strategies

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