Tales from the Secret Agent: Pulling teeth

By Lisa James
24/07/2023
Home » Tales from the Secret Agent: Pulling teeth

I sometimes think I should have gone into dentistry, as getting information out of some clients is like pulling teeth.

“When do you want to go?  

“Anytime.”

B&B, half board or all inclusive?”

Don’t mind.

And, of course, every travel agent’s favourite: “What’s the budget?”

I have a visit from exactly this type of client today.

“It’s our 30th wedding anniversary and the Mrs always wanted to do a safari,” I’m informed.  “And then a week on the beach,” he throws in.

“When are you thinking of going?” I say, thinking he’ll have at least a rough idea – it’s for a special occasion after all.

But no, Mr Flexibility can go anytime in 2024.

“Is it bed and breakfast you were thinking about?” I ask.

“We would prefer the all-inclusive as we like a drink with the entertainment,” comes the reply.

It’s obvious he’s done zero research but I’ve a few minutes free and I’m keen to see where this goes.

“And what’s your budget for this trip of a lifetime?” I ask him.

“Hmmm…” he goes, rubbing his chin.

“We haven’t really got a budget” he says, which translates as: “I’m skint, I saw you had no one in and thought I’d waste your time, the bus isn’t due for another 20 minutes and it’s warm in here.”

“Well, how about 1 January for the departure and we can look around the four grand per person budget as a starting point,” I say.

Watching the colour drain out of his face is the highlight of my day as he makes his excuses and leaves…


Next, a lady waltzes in and asks about the cruise deal on the board outside.

As the board holds 20 fabulous cruise offers, I ask her which one she’s interested in.

“The £429 one,” she replies. “What date is it leaving?” I ask her hopefully.

“Oh, I’m not sure,” she says.

Knowing I’m going to have to lumber my exhausted carcass outside to look for it, I heave myself up out of my chair and wearily follow her to the board.

It’s a P&O and it clearly says it’s a five-night France and Netherlands departing 19 September.

“This one?” I say, pointing at it.

“Yes,” she replies. “What countries does it go to?”

“France and the Netherlands,” I reply.

“And what date is it departing?” she asks.

“19th September,” I tell her, pointing to the card.

“Hmmm… do you have anything similar going end of August to the Canaries?”

Give me strength!

More Secret Agent tales can be found here.

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