As a youth,
it was my mother who taught me that 97% of life is “just showing
up.” Whether it was ski trips,
football practice, church choir, or allergy shots, she made absolutely sure I
made it there and that I made it on time.
Oh sure, I groused about it a
wasn’t any fun. Her admonishment? “You committed, you’re going.” It was as simple as that. Few lessons in life have proven so
valuable. It amazes me how many people
today actually pay money to hold deposits or reservations, then fail to show
up. I’ve seen tickets (pre-paid tickets,
mind you) to places like
go unused. I’ll never understand it.
place on earth like
there, he’ll get a far away look in his eyes and stagger to a seat as he
remembers the sun, the surf, the sand, the paradise that was his last trip
of the great white north that it’s a tough ticket to come by. My wife and I went on our last vacation to
things I remember most vividly was how far in advance I had to make the
reservation. Sixteen months in advance,
I cashed in some frequent flier miles and reserved our first class seat to
built yet, and they weren’t even taking reservations, but had plane
tickets! The problem was; we wanted to
go during the winter time. Every other
the cold during the winter time too, particular in March when you’ve already
endured 4 months of sub-freezing temperatures.
Thus, a long lead time is required.
this game too. Two weeks ago I had to be
for work. My office had flip-flopped on
the decision to send someone a few times prior however, so for awhile I was
going, then not going, then going, etc.
I made a hotel reservation the very first time I heard I might be going,
and they gave me a confirmation number that locked in a rate of $429. I know, it sounds high… but it was a very
nice hotel right in Times Square on Broadway and 46th, a week or two prior to
Thanksgiving; another tough ticket. As
my company flip-flopped they also moved the dates of travel around. Every time they made a change, I checked the
travel website and the rate of the hotel would climb since we were getting
closer and closer to the departure date. Finally with less than 7 days of advance
notice, everything got locked in. The
hotel wanted more than $700 dollars.
company made the reservation and a curious thing happened. The confirmation number they used was the
same one as the original they’d given me.
In other words, the hotel reservation staff was just flexing and moving
my existing hotel reservation around every time we called to make a change. When I arrive for check-in I was asked to
sign a commitment card that had the $700 rate on it. I played dumb and said, “Excuse me, but
my records indicate a rate of $429 with my confirmation number. Can you double-check that for me,
please?” “You’re right,”
he said, “I do show an initial rate of $429. It seems some changes were made but since
this rate was quoted, I will be happy to honor it for you.” Nice. I
save my company almost $300 per night.
That’s a decent chunk of change.