I am now working six days a week, minimum, and it’s taking its toll. I really, really need the money but the effort of getting it is exhausting me and turning me onto a mood cycle that I don’t like. I’ve been doing this job for over a year now and its starting to pall on me.
I am aware that I am not giving my best to it anymore. Previously, I would go out of my way to make sure that people got the best possible experience I could give them and I’d throw myself into it wholeheartedly. I can’t do that any more. I need to keep a little piece of me,for me. My clients are being shortchanged, although they don’t realise it. I have gone from being incredible at my job to merely good. I think the worst thing is that nobody but me realises it, which leads to an awful lot of self criticism. What was the point of me giving it my all, when results haven’t changed at all? Have I been expending wasted energy for the last year, when I didn’t have to?
Maybe it’s the day tour thing. I am with these people all day and there can be up to 60 of them. I don’t even have time to get to know them, let alone strike up a rapport. The sheer concentration of always ‘being on’, not to mention being responsible for other people’s lives via my driving, is making me super tense. I’ve never done full day tours as a full time occupation before; instead, I’ve loved doing extended work.
Maybe it’s the lack of empathy with my clients. For the first time in my career, I am not sharing the experience with them. The tour is all about wine tasting and I can’t do that because I am driving them, so I am automatically distanced a little and I have to work hard to overcome that distance. It doesn’t come from the heart.
Maybe it’s because I find the wine industry as boring as batshit. I’ve learnt what I need to for this tour and can bullshit my way through the rest or draw on more acknowledged sources (I generally choose the second option). I have so many useless facts about wine stored up in my brain and I am not interested in any of them.
It’s an alcoholic liquid: I drink it to alter my mood. That’s the basic premise underlying wine tasting, no matter how hard people make it into a culture. I can talk the talk but I’ll never have it as a passion of mine.
I got a phone call yesterday morning, from an operations manager at a big domestic and international travel company. He wanted to know if I was interested in becoming their Tour Director on Norfolk Island, seeing as how I know the place. It was just an enquiry and probably won’t lead to anything but my ego was tremendously inflated by the fact that this guy knew of me, through the industry, and he thought I would fit into that position. This is a big company, huge, and if I could get a foot hold in the door it would be amazing. Not to mention a new challenge for me, which is what I thrive on.
But the one week a month won’t pay my bills. I can’t afford to take it on. I was thinking lots about this and I’ve decided that, in the unlikely event of them wanting me, I would approach my own company and tell them and ask for that one week off each month. I know that I am immensely valued there and maybe they would be willing to compromise to keep me.
By the way, I didn’t wonder at all why they didn’t want a local. Norfolkers attitude towards visitors is generally somewhat casual. They need someone who understands professional standards. I have heard that they are looking at taking someone local, someone who lives on the island but came from ‘away’, so might still have the basic service attitude. Obviously, they would go with somebody like that if they could get them as it would cost them a lot less than flying me out from Perth once a month.
Still, I am hoping that they might use me for something WA based. If they offered anything here in extended touring I would take it. I am looking long term future here and this is a company that I have always planned to work for.