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Friday, July 16, 2010

Chapter 2 - part five

'What do you think are the most common complaints made about tour managers?’

‘I’m not sure. Shagging their clients?’ That answer got more funny looks. I only thought of it because of their previous scenario.

‘What else?’

At this point we had a frank discussion, as I was genuinely interested in their answer to this question. It turned out that all the things I assumed that tour managers HAD to do were the main things that complaints related to — not being organised, not speaking clearly, not being approachable. It seemed to me that I was capable of doing the main things.

‘Fine, so you can probably do all that,’ said W1. ‘But here’s the thing…I don’t think you can be funny.’ He sat back in his chair eyeballing me, arms folded. Gotcha! Flipping heck, do I look like Billy Connolly?

I retorted ‘I CAN be funny. If you’d let me finish my talk I had some funny stories at the end.’

‘I still don’t think you’re funny. Tell me a joke. No, better yet — tell me a DIRTY joke.’

Pass. They had me on that one. I can’t remember jokes for the life of me. I’m the person that gets to the end and forgets the punch line. I learned early on to leave bad enough alone. I guess sometimes I come across all proper like, but I didn’t go to a co-educational country high school being the only girl in most classes, without hearing quite a lot of dirty jokes. I just can’t remember any. If they wanted a stand up comic then this gig was not for me. They noted this weakness and moved on. Not long afterwards, they wound it up.

‘Thanks for coming in. We’ll be in touch.’ I shook hands with W1 and W2.

‘Thank you. That’s certainly the most interesting interview I’ve ever had!’

It still is.

As I left I heard W1 say to W2 that Mr Zambia was next. ‘I’m going to enjoy this one,’ he said, rubbing his hands.

I smiled as I walked out. I would have loved being a fly on the wall as he pressed Mr Stress Head’s buttons.


Two weeks later I received a letter. Three letters reaching me at the hostel without being pilfered, it was a record. I was so nervous I could barely open it, then when I did I scanned it for the words ‘unfortunately’ or ‘regret’. I couldn’t see either word so I forced myself to slow down and read the entire letter.

‘Dear Shannon

Thank you for attending an interview at our offices on 14 January 2000. We are pleased to offer you a place on the European Training Trip commencing with a week of study in London on 21 February. Please sign and return the enclosed list of conditions within one week, or this offer will lapse. We reserve the right to terminate your place on the training trip at any time after commencement if we deem you are not up to our standards.

Congratulations on your success so far.’

I couldn’t believe it. I was in with a shot at the Dream Job.

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