Wednesday, November 7, 2007

They Need A 7-Eleven in Antarctica

This will most likely only be funny to me, and the other people who work with me.

We send many, many people on Antarctica cruises, and the word "cruise" is kind of a misnomer, as there are no Vegas-type shows, or 24-hour buffets, or shuffleboard on the Lido deck.

These trips are pretty phenomenal, and very much geared toward the wildlife and natural history of the region, which means you LEARNS on the trip (Ed note: Learns, not really a word). They are considered "expedition-style" trips in that there is no specific, set itinerary - everything is weather-dependent, and we constantly remind our clients to keep this in mind.

Deception Island is one of the desired stops on these trips, because it is considered to be an active volcano, and you can basically sail into the flooded caldera, where the staff digs a trench in the sand, and the passengers flop around in the trench in their swimsuits, pretending it's nature's hot tub. They LOVE this.

On my trip, we had some inclement weather, and didn't make it to Deception Island. This did not upset me, as I had no plans to don a swimsuit in Antarctica - hot tub or not.

So we have to remind clients that it is a possibility but no guarantees.

My poor co-worker, Shelley (the one who got the Flu in the mail), was on the phone with a very high maintenance client. This woman calls regularly, and keeps poor Shelley on the phone for hours at a time, asking inane questions and worrying about the sky falling or some such nonsense. So today, while Shelley was on the phone, she was scribbling notes on a pad of paper, which she then waved wildly in my direction. The top line said:


And then underneath that, she wrote a few of her client's questions, one of which was:

"Is there an 800 number where I can call and request the stop at Deception Island?"

My boss said "She should tell her, there IS an 800 number, but it's unlisted - all part of the Deception".
I love that we live in a culture where everything SHOULD be available at your local convenience store, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; or if it's NOT available, you should at least be able to CALL someone - at a toll-free number - to make your outlandish requests.

These two are most definitely looking for some sort of convenience store. I think they need ice for the party.