Sunday, March 08, 2009
Short and Sharp Lesson
A couple of months ago, I was seeking a plane ticket to travel out of the country. I did my research and discovered that there were competitive rates given by just a few companies to that destination. Anyway I phoned around to about 5 agents, and couldnt get a flight for the specific date I had in mind, 23rd of April. I was still insistent on finding a flight for the specific date though, that I phoned another travel agent on the off chance.
After being on the phone for 3 minutes, the man on the other end, told me that he would have to go into an 'advanced stage search' because he hadnt been able to get me the date I wanted. Again I was on hold for 3 minutes.
Just as I was about to give it all up and sign off, he said aha....
When I droped the phone twenty minutes later, I was kicking myself for two things; for spending 20 mins and still not having a ticket to show.
How was I strung along by a person who knew in the first 30 seconds, that they didnt have a ticket for the date I wanted?
In the analysis of it, it is quite clear to see that I was roped along because of my desperate desire for a ticket for the 23rd.
The way travel agencies work over here is that they are all interlinked (not just being owned by same families or parent companies or even person!), they are also working with the same airlines, so they all pretty much have the same dates available though you can get a few 'quid' knocked off the final price depending on which Agency you go with. So the variation is on price and hardly ever on travel dates. AND I KNEW THIS.
After the first four minutes I knew I wasnt going to get the ticket because I had previously phoned 5-6 agents and they didnt have any, but I kept on the phone, because I was so invested in that ticket on the 23rd and the dangled carrot in front of me that it might just be possible.
Not only that, the man on the other end was a skilled manipulator. Something in my voice must have communicated that I was desperate and that means ripe for stringing along. Humans are intuitive and just at any point he sensed I was about to give my quest for a ticket up, either by my breathing change or my beginning a sentence to that effect, he would make the appropraite comments to keep me hanging on. He said things like 'now here we go ..., annnnnnd..., just two seconds here and I'll.... .
A combination of black women's desperate desire to keep alive the dream of a coming black utopia (built by black men and women) combined with the understanding that this desperation can be capitalized on for personal gain, by those who wouldnt be too worried if 'black love' and 'black unity' happened or not (largely the black male section of the black community), and you have this situation where black women are continually strung along, misused and exploited by the dangeled promise of utopia coming to pass. And this is exactly what is happening, people whisper in your ear at the appropraite times that they need to, to keep you on course, and then they sit back and enjoy the fruits of your dedication and toil towards the dream. For some, the gain is purely psychological and is the fact that you will always be around as a safety net if they ever need you or the knowledge that you are sitting at home yearning for a black man and the huge ego boost this gives them.
But guess what, just as it was my money clocking up on that phone by that unscrupulous agent who refused to let go of my custom even though he knew he wasnt going to give me the ticket afterall, it is your biological clock ticking as you wait in hope of 'black love' and 'black marriage' etc spurred on by the appropraitely timed responses of a casual male friend with priviledges, even other black women who cannot imagine not working towards 'black utopia'.
Yes as clear as it was in that situation, you are the one paying for this quest, therefore you need to be the one with more sense to call it a day. If the other party has nothing to lose either way and most importantly is investing minimally and is able to gain more from the situation, they will continue to keep it going.
I dare you to have the courage to drop the phone!
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Posted by Halima at 10:29 am