Christmas Day was meant to be a time for families to get together, drink, eat prawns, drink, and um eat prawns. But instead, many of you Travel Agents are travelling to Bali, going on a cruise or skiing in Japan.
Back at home, somewhere, deep in the bowels of places like ‘The Logan Diggers Services Club’, your mum and dad are meeting up with other travel industry Christmas widow mums and dads and speaking in hushed voices about all of you.
In between calls for the meat tray raffle and reminders for the complementary member’s bus, you can hear weeping and what it sounds like when parents’ hopes and dreams are buried alive, slightly muffled by an Elvis impersonators crap redemption of “Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me.”
“This was supposed to be just a summer job.”.
You were supposed to put your big boy pants on after a couple of years of seeing the world, but here you are… still doing this ‘thing’.
Your parents can’t even admit you’re in travel. When their friends ask what you do, they stammer, and follow the path of parents of drug mules and say, “She’s in ‘transport.’” A common phrase heard on the Gold Coast is, “Yes, she used to work in transport, but now she works for Mercedes.”
Whilst you think they are going out for a Christmas meal without you, in secret, they are meeting, finding comfort in the pains of other parents with sons and daughters in travel, and helping parents of novices work through the language, addiction and bullshit they have to contend with their babies thrown into the deep end of this industry.
Welcome to ‘Parents Disappointed In Their Travel Youngsters’ or ‘PDITTY.’
These are your parents, and this is why they are so disappointed in you.
NOTE: To stop further embarrassment to parents of sons and daughters in travel, the actual names of people and travel agencies in this story have been changed to those of my relatives and imaginary (I think) VFR travel agents.
1. You’re not producing grandchildren
Randy is a Lucky Happy Travel consultant who is also a stay at home carer for his two parents, Geri and Dick, both who are suffering from advanced stages of homophobia and the early onset of dementia.
Randy is in his early 30’s but showing no signs of settling down and starting a family, much to the disappointment of his family. Randy sleeps, goes to the gym, works, goes clubbing and travels whenever he can. Says Dick,“Randy is a real ladies man, he’s got really high standards, dresses immaculately, goes to the gym, has manicured eyebrows, fake tan, shaves his arms. But most times he comes home empty handed with a different mate. Maybe he just needs to lower his standards a little. We’d like to have grandkids one day.”
2. You’re a d#$#$#ce
David and Bernice’s daughter, Barbara, just started at Hello Goodbye Travel and was struggling to make ends meet. Says David, “We decided to forego some luxuries and give what we could to help her with rent and buy her food.”
When Barbara’s rego was due, David and Bernice made the ultimate sacrifice and cancelled their annual trip to Brisbane. “We generally go to the caravan park at Rochedale every year for a holiday, it’s a nice little spot, it’s close to KFC and everything, but Barbara needed her car for work, so we stayed home.” One week later Barbara flew business class to Las Vegas on a famil and stayed in a strip view Suite at Caesars. Adds Bernice, “Barbara is a total d#$#$$.“
3. You’re f$#$#ing useless!
Chuck tried to embrace Tray and Jay, his twin sons’, decision to pursue a career in travel, but soon became not only embarrassed by his sons’ choice in career, but the fact that they were completely useless at what they did.
“They’re #$#$ing useless, the both of them,” Chuck explained.
Despite both Tray and Jay going to Enjoy Happy Friend Travel’s Global Ball and ‘apparently’ being very successful, mentioning their names at the Qantas First Lounge has not gotten Chuck free entry, mentioning their names sailing on the Queen Mary 2 did not get Chuck an upgrade from an inside cabin to a suite, and showing their business card on an Etihad flight did not get Chuck from an economy seat into ‘The Residence.’ “#$#$ing useless,” laments Chuck.
4. You’ve wasted your college degree!
Dorothy and George made years of sacrifices to pay for their son, Bill, to attend a university where he got a degree in Veterinary Science.
After graduating, he headed off to Europe for what was supposed to be a summer of travelling, but years on, he’s still running Happy Friend Best Lucky Travel. “It was very disappointing,” said Dorothy, “He was very good with dogs.”
5. You’re pimping out your parents!
Marian, a recent widow to her loving husband Clay, had been placed in a retirement home by her Happy Happy Happy Travel Agent daughter, Harriet.
At first, Harriet visited monthly, and then her visits slowed down to just birthdays and select holidays, but then Harriet started to visit fortnightly. Says Marian, “At first I thought she realised what a total #$#$## she was being, but then I heard that she was visiting the home without even coming to visit me!”
Marian soon found her daughter’s business cards scattered around the home, and Marian’s friends booking round-the-world cruises with their new ‘adopted daughter.’ “She wouldn’t even give me the leftover biscuits after hosting a Scenic Canada and Alaska night,” Marian sighs.
6. You’re sleeping your way through the alphabet!
Kirk’s daughter, Annie, began as a novice at Best Happy Good Happy Hello Friend Enjoy Dragon Happy Travel.
Kirk found out that she was dating her “2IC,” which he wasn’t sure what that meant, but soon found out that she was then seeing her “TL.” Next Annie starting having a series of short relationships on famils with BDM’s from APT, RCI, MSC, G, P&O, QF, VA, AAT, and somebody from AFTA at the NTIA awards.
Currently, she’s with an NSM from an LCC, and all Kirk has to say is, “FML.”
7. You’ve joined a cult!
At first, Mark and Kimberley noticed their son, Benjamin seemed happy. He had a new set of friends, he had a steady and impressive income. “But then things changed, he became increasingly focussed on his new life, he said he was ‘working long hours,’ but always came home smelling of alcohol, and it was like he started speaking a different #$#$ing language,” said Mark.
When Benjamin started disappearing for nights and weeks at a time, the family organised an intervention through a highly recommended psychiatrist, but they weren’t prepared what they found out.
Kimberley reflects, “I was like, ‘Benny, are you in a religion or cult?’ and he said, ‘No,’ so I said, ‘Benny, is it Amway, we’ll still love you if you are, but please tell us, is it Amway?’ and he said, ‘No, no it’s not Amway… I’m the top novice in my area at Happy Ending Travel!’”
Shortly after the intervention, the strain on the family and the reality of the situation became too much. Mark left Kimberley, citing an overwhelming sense of guilt for ‘not being around when Benjamin was younger,’ but Kimberley still does her best to maintain a relationship with Benjamin, albeit with contact limited to non-expo months and non-transfer days. “They stole my baby,” weeps Kimberley.
8. You’re tearing your family apart!
Jodie and Kieran went on to get their MBA’s, but their sister Kendall didn’t and spent two years travelling the world, and then she became a lowly travel agent. But do Jodie and Kieran go to Singapore for piss-ups? No.
Do Jodie and Kieran have BDM’s bring them coffee each morning? No?
Do Jodie and Kieran get flight upgrades, free trips to Hong Kong, and invited to Adele by British Airways? No.
Jodie and Kieran are up to their ears in school loans, will be lucky to go to the Gold Coast for 3 days, and spend their weekend babysitting Kendall’s kids. Jodie and Kieran, and all of your brother and sisters hate you.
That’s why they started the support group for Siblings that Hate their Irresponsible Travel Siblings or “SHITS.” If you have the “SHITS” with your travel brothers or sisters, there’s a place for you, and you’ve got to pay for your own coffee, there’s no fancy dress, no shots for the novices, and there’s f’all to win.
Sound familiar? Do any of these reasons relate to you? Share your thoughts below.
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