Once upon a time, I used to work in the same office space with Michael B. I could have easily used Michael’s head for paper football practice, we were sitting so close. Now, he is situated in the reservations department, and I, sitting in the middle room in the office. He passes by the middle room and goes through the middle room, so I still see him, but there is surely not enough time to practice my paper football aiming skills. I now play the game with my two computer screens.
I had a chance to catch up with Michael and do a fireside computer-side chat, so he made his journey over to my desk and this is how it went:
K – What do you do?
M – I am in Operations. Right now I’m doing advertising for our City Guides.
K – Pray tell, good sir, what are City Guides?
M- City Guides go out with all of our e-tickets, so our customers have reference points in the city, like where to eat, cab companies, etc., so they’ll have an idea of what to expect when they get to their destination.
K – Cool. From what I understand, this is a brand new position for you. You came from the Ticketing Department.
M – Right. I was in ‘Special Products’.
K – Can you tell me how that came to be?
M – It was just kind of by accident. I was chatting to Ryan by Skype one day and told him I wanted to do something different. He asked me what I wanted to do and from there it’s history.
K – What is you favorite part of the job?
M – I just like being able to use what I know and apply that to an actual job. I have restaurant experience (been a manager for almost a decade), so I know how managers think and how they work. It’s nice to be able to talk them and get on their level. I’m using all my past job experiences right now.
K – You said you were born and raised in Atlanta. What are three things people should know about this lovely city of Atlanta?
M – Hmm. 1) Well we have a lot of things to offer as far as touristy stuff, we just don’t always know it. Be a tourist in your own town! We drive by so many things, but we never take the time and go see it. Just look around because there is always something to do.
2) Don’t go to downtown Atlanta after dark alone. Dead serious. I mean, have you seen the Walking Dead?
3) 285 does not end.
K – What is you favorite city and why?
M – I love Savannah, actually. I love Savannah A LOT. I love the history, the cobblestones in the street. I love the Pirate House and how old it is. Treasure Island was written there. So any town with a real rich history– that’s my favorite.
K – Where would you like to go next?
M – I’ve never been to the West. Ever. Never been passed Memphis. If I could get to the West Coast that would be fantastic…. Vegas! Vegas would be cool.
K – What do you like about traveling?
M – I like the newness of it. I love the new experiences, so the new sights, the new sounds, it’s my favorite thing about traveling.
K – If you could take the office to a field trip, where would we go?
M – Honestly, I would take everyone to Washington D.C or New York City. Definitely New York, simply because the vast amounts of things you can do there. It has EVERYTHING. …and hot dog vendors!
K – Do you have any interesting travel stories?
M – I used to travel a lot. I used to be a detective. Outside the big cities in the South, everything is just Podunk. It’s just really bizarre how they operate. I’ve been chased out of Alabama! I outran two Alabama state patrol officers once.
Well I was on my way home, I was tired, and I was stuck in traffic. I found a hole in the traffic, so I got to it and stepped on the gas. I blew by an Alabama patrolman and he came after me. I was just 5 miles away from the Georgia border, so I pushed the pedal a little further and raced him to the border and made it. So that’s my travel story! I was gettin’ home!
K – Tablet, smartphone, or old school book. Which would you use to kill time in a layover?
M – I’m very old school, so it would be books. I like paper, analog, CDs…still watch VHS. I don’t like this new stuff!
K – Do you do more traveling around America or do you travel overseas?
M – I’ve never been overseas, but I would like to see more of America first.
K – Last question: what’s one fear about traveling?
M – I’ve been robbed while I was traveling once and it sucked. It was a very bad experience. Losing my luggage, my credit cards, my ID are just some things I fear because it can really happen.
Now here is a special tidbit just for you! Michael’s fun Atlanta fact that he tossed into the interview: Atlanta was developed as a railroad hub. That’s why everything is in a circle… because trains and switch tracks and directions in circles.