Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The Trip and Katie Update
I am still somewhat annoyed, but my annoyance has been tempered by the fact that Katie is in India and I can't get my hands around her throat. Not that I could anyway (without a step-stool) - she's almost a foot taller than me.

At the end of the last post I was very frustrated and somewhat at a loss of what to do, given that Katie didn't want to pay her deposit but wanted to wait a month until she got back from India and had a chance to 'look over' everything, with an appointment with the travel agent the next morning who was pretty confident that if we left booking for much longer the five of us wouldn't get on the same trip. I was also on my way to our Monday night trip-planning meeting, where Felicity, Rose and Frieda would be, but no Katie.

At the Monday night meeting, I explained to Frieda and Rose about Katie (Felicity already knew ) and repeated what the travel agent had said about the very real possibility that the five of us wouldn't get on the tour together if we waited, and said to them "I have no idea what to do - tell me what to do."

Led mainly by Rose (who was absolutely flabbergasted when I pointed out that we were leaving in four months, and realised that as she's aiming on leaving in January, that it's only two months until she has to leave) the consensus was "Stuff Katie, book the four of us on tomorrow, and at least we're assured of being together." I did come in for a bit of grief from Felicity and Frieda, who said that they can see Katie's point, that nothing happened for ages (BECAUSE WE WERE WAITING FOR THE DATES PEOPLE) and then I was rushing them (BECAUSE KATIE IS GOING TO FREAKING INDIA UNTIL CHRISTMAS).

Rose rang up Katie (who was having a romantic dinner with her boyfriend) as I had flatly refused to (I was too angry to talk to her), and told her that we were going ahead and booking for the rest of us tomorrow, and that it was fine and she could book when she got back from India, but she'd lose the group booking discount of $100, oh, and she may not be on the same tour as us. Rose said that Katie was a bit short with her, but said 'ok'.

At 10 am the next morning I get a message from Katie, reading something like 'Am I sitll able to book with you today and get the group discount and pay my deposit later? Let me know it's urgent." I phoned her up and informed her that yes, I could still book her on the tour today with the rest of us, but she would have to pay her deposit and show her id within five days, and there was only two days until she left for India, so she'd have to do it tomorrow. Frieda had agreed to drop a brochure over at her house for her to read that day, so she could 'look through' everything before paying her deposit.

So I go to the travel agent and book all five of us on the tour. What a relief. Phone Rose and tell her Katie changed her mind at the last minute. She says "HA! I KNEW losing the group discount would get her!" Katie is notoriously tight with money. I text Katie and tell her she can pay her deposit to anyone at the travel agent, not just the lady I booked with.

Thursday I go to work. Katie has gone to India. At work Felicity tells me that Katie didn't pay her deposit after all. She went in on Wednesday to pay it but Maria, our travel agent, wasn't in, so she didn't pay it after all. "But I told her she could pay it with any travel agent," I tell Felicity. "Well, she wanted to ask Maria some questions before she paid, and she was out of the office." "Why didn't she ask another travel agent then?" I say, highly, highly annoyed. "She said she did but they didn't know, and they wouldn't give her Maria's mobile number so she could phone her and ask so she didn't pay."

So, after all that stress, then relief that we were all booked on, Katie didn't pay after all. I find it hard to believe that the other travel agents couldn't answer her questions though. And why the hell didn't she phone me and ask me these all-important questions? There's a good chance I would have known. And I can't imagine there being a question that wasn't covered by the brochure, if she'd read it properly. It is a very comprehensive, easy to read document.

I am so angry I cannot put it into words with Katie. Not just that she stressed me out big time with her refusal to pay, then her last minute change of mind, then her not-paying after all, but the fact that she didn't have the decency to contact me, the one who has gone to so much trouble for her, let me know she didn't pay after all. She must have realised that because she didn't pay, I'd have the travel agent chasing me for the missing deposit. Which is exactly what happened. Maria the travel agent rang my office on Friday and left a message for me to phone her, and when I did on Monday I was told that Katie hadn't paid her deposit. Which, if Katie hadn't told Felicity, who then told me, would have been news to me.

Felicity suggested to Katie, who jumped at the idea, that 'one of us' go in to the travel agent five days before Katie returns from India and book her on the tour again with us, so that when she gets back she can go straight in and ask Maria her questions, then pay. 'One of us' means me, naturally. I told Felicity that there was no way I was doing it. She got pretty annoyed with me, and said 'why not, I thought it's a good idea'. "Because I've done all I can for Katie, and I'm not involving myself anymore. If Katie wants someone to do that than you can. I'll give you the travel agent's details." Felicity was quite put out at this, and muttered something about how she didn't want to go in, and I should, which I just ignored.

And not one of these girls has thanked me for all I have done, besides Rose. Not that I'm after gushing praise, but a little 'gee, thanks Cec for all you've organised,' wouldn't have gone astray. Instead I get criticised.
posted by Cecilia @ 11:52 am  
6 Rantings:
  • At 7:50 am, Blogger Mouldy said…

    That is a tough situation to be in. My advice would be this; you know you are the bigger person here (you did all this arranging and didn't even get any prasie) but the thing is that you will never feel satisfied with any praise they offer now because you are too annoyed. As you are already the bigger person, do what the bigger person would do and forget it. Get enthused by the fact that you are going and all your stress will dissipate.

    Does that make any sense? Just a thought.

    May I ask where the tour goes? And if you are in the South of England at all, give me and Dancin Fairy a shout and we could even meet up - at least point you towards some local secrets.

  • At 1:00 pm, Blogger Bug said…

    That's a very magnanimous comment by Mouldy but I'm sorry, my reaction is "what stupid bitches!" and as for Katie, "what a stupid fucking bitch!"

    Ceci, are you sure you WANT to go away with these people? Will you have a good time with them? After what happened last time, please don't let yourself get stuck with unpleasant, selfish killjoys!

  • At 3:09 pm, Blogger Cecilia said…

    Hi Mouldy - if you go to this link http://www.topdecktours.co.uk/content.asp?Document_ID=16992 you'll be able to see our tour in all its glory! Just the 'mainstream' places of Europe, where all tourists go the first time, plus sailing along the Croatian coastline! Bliss!

    I'm planning on dropping in on Brighton, either before I go on the tour or after. I have to see this indian palace! And I want to see a pier with amusement arcades and things. We don't have those here!

    Buggy, I have the FUNNIEST thing to tell you! I was telling that person I went away with last time about my woes with Katie (whom she knows through her boyfriend, who is one of Katie's boyfriend's best buds) and she says "Oh, I hate people who are tight with their money!" OMG like she isn't the original skinflint! This is the girl who said 'but haven't you already bought something for your grandmother? You don't need to get her TWO presents' when we went away last time.

    Yeah, I think I will have a good time! At least they all like to party! And I get on really well with Rose, who has already declared she just wants to 'do everything' and she doesn't care if she has to live on redbull for 28 days. I'm a bit worried about the driving-tour part, namely because I'll have to do most of the driving, and also because I can see them getting out of the car at somewhere like Salisbury and saying, 'so, what's there to see here? What, just another Cathedral?!'

  • At 6:07 am, Blogger Doug said…

    I've always worried about going on vacations with friends because of just the type of thing your are describing. Of course I'm a bit of the "dly by the seat of your pants" vacationer and very rarely plan an entire trip. I usually know what I want to see and plan to go on certain days. When I went to Germany I just liked soaking in the lifestyle but the 1 day I was with my stepmother and my dad, it was like every hour was planned out which wasn't really me.

  • At 8:50 am, Blogger Bug said…

    I agree with you, Doug. I think plan how you're getting there and where you'll stay the first night or two, but then just go where's good!

    Cec, Last Trip's Girl is a wanker. And has ALWAYS been cheap! You'd still better be amped for you and I to do Greece and Portugal, though - I'm looking forward to it, even though it'll have to be at least 2 years away

  • At 12:08 pm, Blogger Cecilia said…

    Of course Bug! Notice Greece is off my itinerary this time?

    I think we're opposites Doug - I like to know which city I'm going to be in and on which day, and book accommodation in advance from Australia, so all I have to do is show up and sightsee! Yep, I'm a planner!

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