“Gees” literal translation from Afrikaans is spirit. Gees is more than that, it is a mindset, an attitude, an involuntary happiness.
I love people, meeting new ones, connecting with old ones or just chatting to strangers if I am stuck in a queue somewhere. Recently work has dictated that I sit in my office at home, lonely as a cloud, and phone strangers. Yuk!
Well, let me tell you a little about strangers that are also Marketing Directors. They are the most elusive people on earth. They are either out the office, in a meeting, on maternity leave, off sick today, overseas, they died yesterday, are at a funeral, the only place they are not, is at the receiving end of the telephone. A few times I actually got to speak to a real live one, and generally they were nice people until I did the follow up phone call and they were, yes you guessed it, on leave, deceased, overseas etc etc. (mainly they were overseas or at networking functions using their “gees” as a draw-card to promote something in South Africa. My lack of gees was probably extreme jealousy)
Now, before you can actually speak to a real live elusive Marketing Director, you have to go via the reception of the Hotel, B n B or TOURISM RELATED establishment or attraction.
People, hello, this is a service industry, we live in the number 1 holiday destination in the world!
Could you please do the following. Firstly say the name of your place clearly so I know I did not dial incorrectly. Sometimes I could not understand what was being said. Please try and say, Good morning ABC Hotel, how may I assist you, without sounding like gmornabchotlhowcaniassistyo. That phrase is not one word, you are paid to say it clearly 400 times a day.
Secondly, could you try to sound bright and cheery, enthusiastic and delighted that you have a job and you live in Cape Town.(remember the number one holiday destination in the world, you live here, yay)
Please do not sound like you are bored, texting your boyfriend to ask why he dumped you, or browsing the web for suicide sites while you talk to me.
Thirdly could you nail the Marketing Director to his or her chair between the hours of 9am and 5pm, it would really be appreciated.
OK, so I got a little off track there, so, there I was doing all this phoning, loosing my voice, wearing out my fingers typing as each phone call is followed up by an e mail that never gets read, and getting more and more depressed.
Running out of milk became a highlight of my day as it meant I had to go to the shops where I could talk to people, and of course get diverted into my favourite local coffee shop and have food while chatting merrily to friends, strangers and even deaf people.
So, I was starting to sound as bad as some of the depressed souls who work in tourism answering phones. Salvation ! into my inbox came a few rays of hope. Invitations to a variety of networking functions over the next few weeks.
Today, thank you, bless you, I bow down and worship you, Cape Town Tourism for inviting me and getting me out of the house to your coffee & connect session.
I met product owners, marketing directors, tourism officers and they all wanted to talk to me. I could engage with my whole body and soul, become so animated that my passion exploded out of me, my mind was racing with new ideas and I was happy, and productive and successful. I think my hair even got shinier and a few wrinkles vanished. I beamed and glowed and bounced and my soul smiled. I got my gees back.
No more sitting in the office for me, I was born to be OUT THERE, interacting and working with passion. So thank you to all the lovely people I met today. Next time, remind me to tell you about the inspiring Warren Moses from the Radisson Blu
Oh yes, I think I also wanted to make the point that if you are in tourism, you really should have a passion for it, if you dont, please apply for a job at a funeral home, life line or complaints desk. Thank you.