Sunday, 16 December 2007

Hitches & Troupes

Yesterday it was the phone and today it is the council U-drive. Oh, don’t those technical hitches send you into the arms of the internet (because there is very little else we are able to do).

I must apologise to our beloved visitor information centre customers. For some period yesterday they could not communicate with us by phone, today they can perfectly but we cannot do much about processing their enquiry without that blessed U-drive. I also had to swiftly remember how do fill in a manual National Express ticket earlier but there is now a very lucky young lady on her way back home. Alas, the servers our VisitBrighton website sits on are made of heavier stuff…and very grateful we are too!

But we are not fainthearted, us visitor information centre lot. I am keeping my troupes (that is myself and Richard today) and our beloved visitors informed and supplied regardless. Richard is reading through my manual National Express tickets instructions as I write this. Incidentally our beloved visitors can make their lives so much more hustle free by using some of our VisitBrighton online purchasing facilities:
Since I mention this twice already I shall start off with National Express closely followed by some train offers, car hire and even Eurostar and ferries. Then there is our One Stop Shop for books and maps of Brighton and not forgetting our exclusive Winter Breaks offers.

Of course I could never blame our beloved visitors if they cannot tear themselves away from our award winning and glamorously fitted visitor information centre, next door to the Royal Pavilion, for the personal touch. My troupes and I would be very delighted to welcome everybody by offering them a hustle free experience, whether you want a boutique hotel room for tonight, a Saver ticket to Seven Sisters, to catch a flight from Heathrow/Gatwick/Luton or a Eurostar from St Pancras, partake in a bit of the St Petersburg Ballet at the Dome, gain admission to the Royal Pavilion or Sea Life Centre or just to get informed on what there is to see and do in Brighton. Whilst leaving our glamorous premises you enter the equally classy Royal Pavilion Shop, which is currently stocked with the most gorgeous Christmas gift items.

Obviously the main reason anybody would enter our visitor information centre is to see us. I shall run through our lot for you so as to assist in the spotting process:
Richard is now eating his sandwich and apart from being very good a devouring my instructions is also a very organised adviser not just about Brighton (oh no) but about financial products as well. He travels in to us all the way from Burgess Hill and has been in this visitor information business for quite a while.
My fellow troupes master is Darren. He is shacked up in Hove (he won’t mind me saying this). You may have spotted him as one of the faces in the latest EnjoyEngland campaign or on his many trips abroad. He speaks perfect French, having lived in Paris and having left his heart and good sense there.
Our Karen is our Spanish lass, being born and dragged up in Madrid (we have forgiven her now). She has lovely red hair and the vocal volume to go with it – which comes in handy when she is on phone duties.
Laura now has two little kiddies in tow but in her misspent youth she did a spell in Avignon … and as a photographer’s assistant (but those were two separate spells). Originally from Devon, she keeps all our information sheets fit for our beloved visitors (not sure the two are related).
If you detect a beautiful Irish lilt you will be speaking to Mary. She tells me she is going to a Christmas ball and that she has been practicing ballroom dancing with her partner all year. This is probably why she has gone to see her mother in Dublin now.
Be careful with Pippa, she is a trained acupuncturist. Otherwise she is eminently sensible and helps me out whenever I have staffing crisis – ie every second day or so.
We also held on to Pat. She was one of our summer seasonal staff but I keep finding her the odd day here and there. She is calm personified and ever so into everything.
You may glimpse Katie but more likely you will speak to her, which is a shame as she is the youngest (and pettiest) of us lot. Being the youngest she also has the job of keeping our plasma screen updated (using power point, I think – that shows you how old I am).
My name is Luzia and I hail from the Swiss mountains (Appenzell Ausserrhoden to be precise) but you have to ask my troupes about more interesting gossip about me. I can often be found in the Hanover area of the city when I am not organising troupes.

Well, you will be pleased to know that we are now booking National Tickets electronically again.

Luzia xx

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