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When tour guides mess up badly

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It was perhaps the worst 24 hours in my life. My family were all away, and when they are, my dog gets anxious. So do I. Neither of us sleep well at all. But last night I'm doing a Google search for a boutique store I remember visiting in India. I click on what I think is the site, and 13 Trojan Horse viruses enter my computer. Last time this happened, my documents, my photos, in fact almost everything that I hold dear to me was lost. But Microsoft was onto to it this time. For 1.5 hours I waited while it scanned my computer looking for badness. Then at 3am a neighbour knocks at the door. I am having a heart attack she says. Take me to the nearest hospital she says. Your son? I ask. Turned off his phone she says. So off we go.

She frets, she panics. No heart attack. She is given a sedative. Just feeling very anxious at being on her own the doctors say. I go home. My dog is frantic. While I was with her not a thought enters my head about anything else. Just her yells for her son and cries for help. A truly horrible, horrible night. But when I open my front door, I see my uniform and sign and then it all comes back to me like a huge wave.

There are 5 messages on my phone. Where are you? I missed my meet and greet and 10 clients were left without anyone to meet them this morning. I will feel wretched for weeks to come, hoping for some kind of forgiveness that will never come, while they will perhaps forget their unfortunate beginning to their trip to Australia pre cruise. The drivers eventually found them all. As for me, tonight my dog keeps barking at the slightest noise and is sitting by my feet. I have been asked to lead a tour next week but have as yet received no paperwork. I can't reconfirm any of the arrangements until I get this. Perhaps they are trying frantically to find another guide instead. It has happened before many times. You have your bag packed, you reschedule your life, and then they call to say not you anymore. For the meet and greet this morning, there was meant to be a reminder call last night. It didn't happen.

They phoned the wrong guide instead. In two days time I have another meet and greet at the airport. I don't know any details as yet. Most days when I do a meet and greet, I don't know the details. I just turn up and someone hands me a list of names and the flights they are on, and I take it from there. My dog could not do the work that I do.

To the ten who arrived in a foreign city with noone to meet them, I am truly sorry.

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