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By Brenda Langerud
Jan. 28, 2013 11:09 a.m.

Recently, for a variety of reasons, I needed to make several hotel reservations for later this year. Family, work and a huge event in our destination city were converging to create the perfect storm of “reserve now or be out-of-luck”. The 1-800 reservation number I called led me to a clearly out of the country, out-sourced business. The reservation agent was cheerful, calm and thorough but English was not her first language and we struggled to understand each other for the first go-round of name, address, email, credit card number, confirmation number, etc., etc.
By the time I was repeating the contact info for the third room, we were more comfortable with each other; I was thrilled to find the type of rooms wanted at an “early reservation” discount and she ventured a question- “Your family be with you?” I replied, “Yes” and the flood gates were open. “What a joy! Wonderful, wonderful! One cannot replace happy family time!” she gushed. I was silent for a moment remembering the earlier pre-recorded standard message of “this conversation may be recorded for customer quality” and wondered if she could be penalized for straying from the designated script. But it was true – “happy family time” was a perfect description for the needed reservations. “Yes, it will be.”, I replied. And so we ended our conversation with the needed task completed and a reminder of its’ purpose.

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