I believe in the value of relationship. That's why I shop in independently owned stores and use the services of professionals. I know their name. They know mine. When push comes to shove, I want help from someone who actually knows me (the freshest brownie - Chris at Lilac Bakery; an emergency shoe repair - Brian at The Shoe Doctor; the most sensible investment advice - Darryl at National Bank).
Today's case in point: My travel agent, Linda Burndorfer of Out 'n About Travel.
Yesterday (Friday), I was headed to Edmonton for a 50th birthday party this evening (Saturday), but when the Air Canada desk agent suggested the weather was wicked and the plane had only a "fair" chance of landing, I rebooked for an early morning flight instead. However, when I checked on its status well before dawn today, it said DELAYED and then delayed again. What to do? Head to the airport only to wait around and be sent back home? Or call in the professional?
I picked option #2 and called Linda's office telephone number.
Within 15 minutes she called me back (and it wasn't yet 8:30am on a SATURDAY! Thank you iPhone that keeps her fully connected) and within 30 minutes of that she had worked some kind of travel agent magic and rebooked me onto an already-full flight this afternoon.
I don't know how she did it. And I don't need to. I only need to know that she can. That I can call her before it's really reasonable to do so on a Saturday morning. And that she'll know my name and do her magic, adding value like the professional she is.
Moral of this tale? Personal connections make life better - and easier. And, next time you need to book a trip, contact Linda at Out 'n About Travel: outnabouttravel.com