This past weekend, I made a decision that affects my business life a great deal. I turned down a seasonal job offer of being a Program Director (also known as a coach tour escort, or a tour director) which would have supplemented revenues for my small company, which is an independent travel agency.
The reason for this refusal was because I found out the company making the offer had been deceptive with me for months regarding remuneration (and who knows what else?).
Basically, I was lied to – initially in a Skype interview, and later in person by two managers.
After catching them in their lie, and being told I simply “misunderstood” what they had told me regarding fees to be payable to me, I declined the job offer. The amount of work I did to prepare for this seasonal, very public position, was not only done in good faith – but comprised dozens and dozens of hours of research, and money spent on collateral materials.
Shortly thereafter, they offered me a different deal, which would have supposedly still paid well, but – as the saying goes, ‘once bitten, twice shy’.
This tour company, very well known in the United States, had broken its trust with me. I later found out much information on the company’s inner workings, so I’m now realizing that I dodged a bullet in the miserable process.
“…Avoid those who are not trustworthy. Do not do business with them. Do not associate with them. Do not make excuses for them. Do not allow yourself to get enticed into believing that ‘while they may be dishonest with others, they would never be dishonest with me.’ If someone is dishonest in any aspect of his life you can be guaranteed that he will be dishonest in many aspects of his life. … If you want to build a reputation as a person of integrity then surround yourself with people of integrity.”…
- Amy Rees Anderson in Forbes, 28 November 2012
In this day and age of enhanced security when travelling anywhere; when air rage erupts during flights between personnel and passengers; when tour companies are vying for a hungry customer base who still wants and needs to travel … one would assume that new, highly qualified employees and contract workers in the travel industry would be treated with ‘kid gloves’. Ummm…not so much, all the time.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl (1905-1997)
One can’t change a dishonest company. But we can dismiss that company; ignore it, knowing there are other companies with integrity and ethics with which we can and must engage.
I really wrote this blogpost to remind others to do what I failed to do:
- Ask for a written agreement of your upcoming employment, providing details of when and for what you will be paid. Are there exceptions to NOT being paid when you’re in training?
- Will your expenses be paid if you have to leave your home base for either training or employment?
- Do they pay any benefits at all, or are you considered a contract worker, a part-time employee, or a partner in the company? Or, are you seen as a full time employee?
If the company had enough faith to want and then hire you, none of these questions should be out of the ordinary.
If you have any tidbits of advice you’d like to pass on to job seekers, particularly in the travel industry, please comment. I’d be happy to pass on your knowledge and/or experience!