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Monday, May 30, 2011

Trip Advisor

I’m sitting in my home office this lovely Memorial Day afternoon—looking out at the sun shining on our back patio and hill—and hoping TLC is feeling better. She’s a bit under the (warm, windy Texas) weather, so I’m filling in for her today. She was going to do a post with some recently discovered recipes. Instead y’all have moi!

So you know how TLC has dreams of being one or more of the following: a country western singer; a “name” designer for OPI; a party/wedding planner; The First Woman President of the United States of America; the first official American “Princess"; or a cRaZy person that swims with sharks? Well, I have dreams, too, of possible new adventures. For one thing, I’d like to be a Trip Advisor and this would be my “job description:”

A person(s) would pay me to go with them on trips that last at least one hour—one way—but could last up to nine days. Much past that time frame and I start really missing my own bed, Cobbler and Morty. Oh, and Hubby. I’d ride in the front seat with my client and let them know if they were speeding or tail-gating. I’d help this person find where they were trying to go. Even if they thought they knew exactly where they were going, I’d probably be forced to tell them they weren’t going the best way and help them find a better route. I’d do all of this in a quietly patient manner. But with authority and knowledge. Occasionally, I could see the necessity of having to be a little firm—if the client didn’t seem to be taking my advice.

You’re thinking of (at least) two questions right about now, aren’t you? (Yes, I border on having psychic abilities, too—there’s another possible endeavor.) You’d like to know how much I would charge for this “service,” and why, pray tell, anyone would need me (because of things like Garmin and other GPS systems, cellphones, the ability to Google Map where you need to go on your home computer before you leave, etc., etc., etc.)?

Here are my answers:

(1)  I’d charge $30 an hour (only the actual hours I’m in the car with the client, though)—plus expenses. This could get quite technical and detailed, depending on where the destination is and how long I need to be gone. If it’s a long trip, say, to Florida from Texas, I’d also need Diet Dew, food and hotel money. I’ll need to know what hotels I’ll be staying in. (I’ll admit I am a little picky. I would not be agreeable to a place that could have bed bugs.) If I’d be staying at one of the client’s friend’s or relative’s homes, I’d need to see lots of pictures and would reserve the right to demand an alternative option if those pictures had obviously been cut out of a Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

(2)  One should not be looking down at a cellphone or even at the Garmin. It’s distracting and dangerous. I would be tres better than that wacko GPS lady that cannot truly see where you are and who often says: “Recalculating. Recalculating. RECALCULATING!” until you want to throw her out the car window while traveling in excess of 70mph. (I’ve called my Hubby’s Garmin GPS lady “Nina” for at least six years. If you’re a 24 fan, you’ll remember her from the first couple of seasons. At the beginning, she seemed to be nice, law-abiding, attractive. A smart woman and CTU patriot. In reality, she was a traitorous, conniving Devil-Witch mole, intent on sabotaging and destroying any and everyone in her path. We were so trusting and naïve, weren’t we?) Plus your “Nina” cannot tell you things that I can tell you, such as:

SLOW DOWN. The speed limit here is 45! Okay, now it’s 55. Go faster! NO—it’s NOT 70 yet! Watch that car in front of you—they’re acting a little confused. You need to back off from that 18-wheeler! What if he decides to put his brakes on? Then what will you do, going 70 MPH? Huh? I’m right, aren’t I? Are we truly in that much of a hurry? Ignore that RUDE gesture. Seriously. You’re doing great. I think you missed your turn, but I need to use the restroom, so could you please stop at that Diamond Shamrock up there? If it looks yucky inside, we’ll need to try another service station, okay? Are you trying to scare me and make me a nervous wreck? I’m here to help—not criticize, but you have to be open to my fabulous assistance, Silly Hubby.” Oops—I meant Silly Person Who Has Hired Me As Your Trip Advisor.

image via ELC's cell
(Yep! It's at her casa!!!)

These are only a few examples of how I can support a client as they’re navigating their trip(s).  I can encourage the driver to stay focused and get him/her to his/her destination, minus speeding tickets from the Highway Patrol and/or accidents. Or help prevent huge arguments with the client’s spouse, children, siblings, loved ones or friends. (Those people can fly—we’ll pick them up at the airport.)

And another advantage to hiring me: I can pop in my iPod. If I’ve remembered to charge the battery. Right now it has 231 songs that include country western, Broadway show tunes, Frank Sinatra, Il Divo, Celine and many other awesome singers and genres of music. My client would love it—because I could also SING. OR tell them the words they might not understand (except for some of those Il Divo songs that are in Italian). Or give some interesting background on the artists. A true educational experience.

If I need to provide references as to just how good I would be as a Trip Advisor (Is that a catchy-enough name for my new business? Actually, I think that's already been taken by some company. Hmmm. How about Trip Boss?), I can give Hubby and TLC. They'll be honest. Promise. (I might be able to impose on Sunny and Nelly, although I’m a little worried they’ll suggest the client make me pay to tag along.) I’ve helped Hubby and TLC tremendously over the years. In fact, Hubby and I arrived home last night from our second trip to Houston in two weeks—it’s five hours one way. He couldn’t have done it without me. I’m confident he’d love for me to make some money of my own, not to mention having some “breaks” from me now and then so he can watch Pawn Stars without having to beg.

Let me know what you think about this possible “job” and/or if you’re aware of anyone who would consider hiring me. (Okay, that $30 per hour is negotiable and I do mean downwards.) I feel I need to get on it—before someone younger than 57 decides they’re gonna steal my idea. It’ll be hard to compete with recent college graduates that look like Victoria Secret models or who can sing like Miranda Lambert.

{PLEASE say a prayer sometime today for those who are serving our country—and for those who have served and/or have given their lives or become injured or disabled so we can live free. And for their families.}

God Bless America!


Autumn said...

You're hired! I would LOVE to have you along as a trip advisor. As my hubby would say, between the two of us, we'd only be half dangerous. And I do think GPS's can be annoying. My voice is British, and named Geoffrey. He can say 'RECALCULATING' in SUCH a condescending voice!

The Leightons said...

Yeah--I knew someone would hire me! And, guess what? There will be NO CHARGE for Autumn! LOL. This is EXACTLY why you are my sweet, precious friend--you know all the right things to say. Geoffrey and Nina should get together and MOVE far, far away from us, right?

Love and Hugs!!!