Sunday, 3 February 2008

Sunday Rant VII

It's difficult to rant in London, while the sky is so blue and the sun is shining (albeit feebly) and where everyone is outwardly stoic, civilized and "stiff-upper-lipped", but here's a short one.

When I plan my photo expeditions, I thoroughly research my itineraries and discuss them with the local agents to ensure they are feasible, interesting and exciting. The feedback from these agents is invaluable, and I insist that they give me their honest feedback and their own ideas (the more off the wall the better), since cookie-cutter itineraries are not what I get excited about.

After circulating the itinerary to people on my mailing list, and filling most -if not all- of the spaces in the expedition, I then post the photo expedition's details on my website, without the detailed itinerary. In time, I get additional expressions of interest to join the expedition and requests for the full itinerary.

The itinerary is promptly emailed to them, and then....silence. No feedback, no replies, no reactions. By the way, the cost of the expedition is made public...the only added information they need is the day to day itinerary

Now, I realize that people change their minds, may not like the itinerary, they may find it too strenuous, they may find it too easy...a myriad of very valid reasons....that is not the issue. The issue is that these people seem to think that it's appropriate to email me a request for an itinerary, claiming to be a "world pilgrim", a "seasoned traveler", a "keen student of Asia"...and so on, but don't seem to understand that they should -out of civility- advise me that they are no longer interested. No, this behavior is both inappropriate and rude.

Is it an "itinerary grab"? Possibly...but why not grab the itinerary and email me saying that they changed their minds. Even if they're thieves they can be polite and courteous....that may even keep them in my good books. Heck, I might even send them future itineraries. Incidentally, if it's an itinerary 'grab'...good luck on getting the same price from the travel agents.

Quoting George Bush: "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."