Select Page

recording studioSo, fast forward a couple of years and you will now find me married to a local musician, no longer working late nights at the Broken Spoke Saloon, just several days a week at a local restaurant called Safari’s as a hostess, waitress and bartender.

I was still singing whenever I could get the chance including “subbing” for other singers at local clubs. Subbing is where you step in for hired singers who can’t make it to the gig for one reason or another. It could be one night or several, depending on the need. You know the songs, the routine, etc, so you slide in to cover. It is great experience and enabled me to extend my musical network. I was also doing demos, which is when a singer is hired to record a songwriters tune so they can then “shop” it around town in hopes that an established artist will hear it and decide to record it for their own album.

Time passed and still no significant musical achievements were on the horizon. So I took a friend up on an offer to be paid to learn the travel industry, which included being placed in a paid position right after training. In October 1995, I began training at Cendant Travel Services Inc. in Nashville, which was an international travel company owned by business tycoon Steve Forbes. It was a lot of work and for 6 weeks, I had to memorize every airport code in the US, learn various ways to book flights and how to manage the ever enjoyable schedule changes that travelers face constantly. I remember placing my headset on for the very first time and with a click of the button connecting with my very first client. He was a business traveler wanting to book a simple flight from Chicago to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, he was unaware that he was speaking to a newbie who was slightly apprehensive about the process. An hour later, his flight was booked amidst his occasional huffs, groans and exasperated, “How much longer?” I eventually became quicker and earned a few awards for how many bookings I could do in a day.

After a few months of bookings, I noticed they were paying overtime to anyone who would come in on weekends to verify traveler’s credit cards. I jumped on that band wagon for experience and the extra cash. I later transferred to the quality control department within the same company. I enjoyed browsing through travelers records informing clients of changes in their flight schedules or reminding folks they had a flight on hold so a purchase would have to be made in order to keep their quoted rate. There were hundreds of records to go through each day so this proved to be yet another great learning experience with not only the travel industry, but with people in general. I learned quickly how to diffuse the angry customer as well as sell the indecisive customer a particular flight.

Then, in February 1996, I found out that a baby was on the way…

To Be Continued…