Earlier today, I got a call from one of our sales reps, who was returning from an interstate business trip.
“Hi Taskmaster, sorry to be a pain, but is there any possibility of a lift back from the airport?” says the sales rep.
Now, Old Taskmaster has no issue driving close friends and family to the airport if I can. And there are some situations where you should give someone a lift back from the airport – like when old Uncle Ludwig from Uzbekistan is making his once in a lifetime trip to Australia or when you need to make a good impression on a potential business client flying in from interstate.
But for everyday business trips? In the age of cheap airfares and overpriced airport parking? To make life easier for people who not only want to waste time on meetings, but want to do it in a different legal jurisdiction as well?! Forget it!
“Sorry, I’m too busy this afternoon. Anyway, making your own way back to the office won’t do you any harm. In fact, it’ll be good for you. It’ll instil in you a sense of rugged individualism and teach you the value of self-reliance! Call it character building,” I say.
“Okay, well is it okay if I get a cabcharge back to Taskmaster Towers,” the sales rep replies.
“I’m sorry, your number for Taskmaster Taxis is incomplete or incorrect, please check the number and try again! Alternatively, you can catch the 901 bus from near the Tiger terminal to Broadmeadows station [in Melbourne’s outer-northern suburbs] and then catch the train in to town. I’ll cover your two-hour public transport fare,” I reply.
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“Broadmeadows? As far as Melbourne suburbs go, you do realise ‘Broady’ has a reputation a half-notch above Frankston, don’t you?! For goodness sakes, that’s where Eddie McGuire came from!” the sales rep exclaims.
Realising they weren’t going to win, the sales rep tried to spin the situation as a sales spiel.
“Okay, how’s about I catch the SkyBus back to the city and walk to the office. While it’s a little more expensive, a feature is that I’ll return to work quicker and, potentially, less mugged. The value for you in that is I’ll work more productively for you as a result,” the sales rep says.
“SkyBus back if you must. You’re still only getting a two hour ticket fare though – that’s the efficient market price. If the value of SkyBus is so fantastic I’m sure you’ll invest in it with your own cash. Now get back to work!” I exclaim and hang up.
A little harsh? Perhaps, but I can’t afford to pick up every schmoe who needs a lift from the airport. Even if you completely disagree with my take, it’s worthwhile setting your own clear rules about when you will (or won’t) drop people off or pick them up from the airport.
Get it done – today!