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Presenter: Good afternoon, and here we are with our special program for teens where we explore advantages and disadvantages of all sorts of professions. Today we have Carl Fox, a travel agent. Hello, Carl!
Carl Fox: Good afternoon.
Presenter: So Carl, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Carl Fox: Well, as you already know, I’m a travel agent, and I work for one of the major chains on High Street. I’ve been with them for about 10 years and while I’ve been working I’ve studied for a number of qualifications.
Presenter: What inspired you to become a travel agent?
Carl Fox: People often ask me why I decided to become a travel agent. As a young adult I loved travelling and worked for a while as a rep in Spain. When I came back to the UK I decided to stay within the travel industry, and my experience of working in resorts abroad helped me to get a job as a travel agent. I have to admit that one of the main reasons I wanted to be a travel agent was that we get cheap flights and holidays. It’s a great perk!
Presenter: I see. What are your responsibilities at your job?
Carl Fox: Basically, I’m a sales person. I advise people on the holiday options available to them, you know, different destinations, types of holiday, ways to get there, and so on. When customers have decided what they want, I book it for them and make any other arrangements they might need, such as car hire or tours. My responsibility doesn’t end there, though. I have to make sure that clients know if any visas are necessary, or if they will need vaccinations, and how to get them. If they are flying, I need to tell them what time they have to check in, and make sure they know what time they will be arriving. I also give information on likely weather conditions and anything else I think will be useful for them.
Presenter: That’s a lot to do! And I bet it’s getting more and more difficult to work in your sphere because of the rivalry.
Carl Fox: Well, not because the rivalry is too high, it’s the same everywhere. The point is that more and more customers want a tailor-made holiday, not just a package from a brochure. However, I love the challenge! It’s a lot more interesting for me if I can organize the whole thing – make out an itinerary, book flights, ferries, trains, accommodation and everything. I love providing a personalized service, especially if it’s to places that I know. I can really help customers get a great holiday that will be ideal for them.
Presenter: People who are going on holiday must be relaxed and easy to deal with, right?
Carl Fox: Generally yes, but not always. Sometimes I get difficult customers. One man came in wanting a flight to Venice the next day. I checked out times and fares on the computer, and found a very reasonable flight at a suitable time, so we booked it there and then. A week later he came in and he was absolutely furious. He wanted to know why I had flown him to Venice, in Italy, when he had had an important meeting in Vienna, which is in Austria. I didn’t know what to say, but since then I’ve always been careful to check that people really know where they want to go.
Presenter: That’s a case which is funny and sad at the same time and it’s hard to believe it after all.
Carl Fox: Don’t I know!
Presenter: Any downsides to your job?
Carl Fox: There must be some but I love my job so I simply don’t notice them.
Presenter: I see. Thank you very much, Carl.
Carl Fox: My pleasure.
3. Carl Fox says that he …
1) likes to travel.
4. Which of the following is TRUE about Carl Fox’s reasons for wanting to work in a travel agency?
1) Travelling advantages the job offered.
5. Which of the following is NOT Carl’s responsibility?
2) Vaccinating the clients.
6. Which of the following is Carl’s responsibility if his client is flying?
3) Informing the client about weather conditions in place of destination.
7. What kind of holiday do modern customers prefer to order nowadays, according to Carl?
3) A specially designed tour.
8. According to Carl, what’s the best thing in providing personalized service?
2) Possibility to arrange a perfect holiday to a customer.
9. Carl told a story about his client who …
3) confused the names of two cities.