Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Phone etiquette for a booking (funny stories about unique NZ punters)

When in NZ, I like to travel around-the country is absolutely gorgeous. I usually combine business with pleasure:do some sightseeing,visit my friends and work at the same time.
NZ only has three major cities:Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch (which is laying in ruins after several major earthquakes at the moment). The rest is comprised of various regions (like Hawkes Bay,Taranaki,Marlborough,Central Otago,etc). Each of those regions has one decent sized town which is considered the "hub" or a "capital", if you will, of that particular region. Those towns,although pretty small, have some nice restaurants and, once in a while, you can come across an unexpected shop that just might surprise you :).
NZ is very unique when it comes to advertising Working Girl's services. Prostitution was de-criminalised here over 6 years ago, so it's perfectly OK to ply out trade and advertise.
However, it's the only country (in civilised world, I mean) that I know of that relies so heavily on newspaper advertising for the services of prostitutes in this day and age of advanced technology.
Yes, there are websites (one of the biggest and most popular ones being NZGirls which is connected to Adult Forum-the biggest online forum for adult entertainment industry in NZ), but on any given day, your average punter in here picks up local daily paper and looks through adult entertainment section to satisfy his needs.
This creates another phenomenon: girls are asked to describe themselves over the phone and often times that is the only thing punter has as far as "visuals". You can only imagine how that leads to disappointment sometimes.
Kiwis are very laid back (so much so that if they get any more laid back, they'll be horizontal..LOL..). This "laid back" attitude definitely spills into the way they talk when making phone inquiries.
For instance, in US, people are very businesslike in their approach to everything. When they call to make a booking or inquire, it's a very fast-paced conversation with specific,RELEVANT questions and requests.
Here, in NZ, it's a different story...
Let me offer an example of an average phone inquiry. Before I do that, I'd like to point out that I structure my ads to give as much information as possible. For instance: "Euro.Amazing body.DD.Tall,slender.3 days only.Discreet CBD hotel  000-XXX-000 <my phone number>". So before you ever picked up the phone, you already know that I am white Caucasian (that's Euro-European) with ample bust,only in town for 3 days (which also means I'm "new",as I probably never been here before or haven't been in a long time),really good body,slim and tall.
Ring,ring,ring <my phone rings>
I answer sweetly "Hello"
Punter "Hi...Are you there? I'm calling about your ad in today's paper"
Me <pause>-I'm waiting for him to proceed with the inquiry as I can't guess what he wants to know-I can't read minds
Punter <after a pause> "Yeah,can you give me more info"
Me (still not sure what exactly he wants to know, but just go with the prices for starters,as that's the only thing NOT covered in my ad). "It's <amount> for an hour and <amount> for half an hour
Punter "Ay,ye....." <pause>   "Can I have a brief description?"
Me (thinking:the description is in the ad,if you want to know something specific,ask,but OK) <proceed to repeat the description in the ad, adding country of origin>
Punter "Ay,ye...How old are you?"
Me "Do you have access to Internet? I can direct you to the site where you can see my photos" (because age is a very relative thing and is a matter of perception. for instance, i've never had any kids, never done drugs or smoked, never tanned excessively (that ages you a lot). I have no tattooes or piercings and am very slender and take good care of my body with the help of various beauty treatments. So I look much better than some of much younger girls I know who had 3 kids by the age 24,smoke like chimneys, use drugs,etc)
Punter (in 90% of the cases) "No, I am just calling from my phone" (Dah, I know THAT,that wasn't my question,though-you could have Internet access on your phone for all I know)
Me <give him my age>
Punter "So are you Asian or?.." Now, this is the thing that drives me crazy in this Hemisphere: they ask  questions ending on "..or.." and nothing else. It is incomplete sentence! I was taught at the Uni that I should NEVER do that,as it is a poor grammar. "..or.." WHAT?, for crying out loud.. Besides, after hearing my strong, obviously Slavic accent and reading the ad that says "Euro" how does one even come up with "Asian"?! I don't get it.
Me "No, I am white European"
Punter "So you're gonna be here for a while,are you?" (variation:"Are you here for the World Cup?"-and that matters HOW?)
Me "No. Just like the ad says-3 days only. I don't live here" (thinking: the ad costs money,why would I waste it printing something that's not the case??
Punter "Oh..So where are you based?" (again, how does that matter? Note how much time (and phone minutes) is wasted so far)
Me "I live in Wellington"
Punter "Ay, ye.. So when are you available?"
Me "I work by appointment only. I take bookings"
Punter "Ay,ye..So when are you available?"
Me "What time are you looking for?" (this is important,as if the caller only could do morning or lunchtime meeting, there is no reason for me to fire off all available times. Plus, if the punter tells me his desired time, it's much easier and less time consuming: for instance "I would like half an hour booking at 10 am".
 I understand that guys work and have families/obligations. I DO respect and appreciate their time. They usually can only do it at certain times. Well, tell me what they are and we can sort this out so much quicker!
Punter <sometimes makes a booking and sometimes tells me that he needs "to check his diary" and call me back.
There are variations to this conversation, when punters answer "3 days only ad" and ask me whether I'm "working today". Well, whaddaya think? I am here for 3 days, I paid for the ad (and they don't exactly come cheap), I got a hotel room.. Yes, of course I am working!
Or someone rings and asks for the price straight away, then proceeds with all the other questions (see above), only to tell me at the end that it's too much money. But that was the FIRST question you asked, I want to scream,why didn't you hang up then and there?
Sometimes guys ask if it's a "full service I offer or..." (again with that blasted "or" and incomplete sentence).
I am a prostitute, I advertise as such in appropriate section of the newspaper (for instance,Dom Post in Wellington has a separate section for "sensual massage"-meaning massage with "happy ending" vs. full sex service), OF COURSE, it is a full service.
Another huge pet peeve of mine is the concept of "booking" and "appointment" in nz. This particular concept seems foreign to most Kiwis (probably that laid back attitude to blame). In US I had a day-planner and my clients usually booked days and definitely hours in advance. This way I could schedule my own errands in between and allow plenty of time for me to get ready and look my best for the client.
Here people ring and ask if I am "free now". When I tell them they need to make a booking, they say "OK,let's make a booking. Can I come over in 10 min?". I really just want to scream. I do.
 "Now" and "10 min from now" is NOT a booking-it's a booty call. I don't ask for appointments because I want to sound important-it's better for everyone that way and much more organised and enjoyable.
I live only 2 min down the street from my employer in Wellington, so sometimes I'm willing to accommodate a 'booty call" when someone turns up at her doorstep un-announced and she has no girls in the house. However, punter will need to deal with the fact that I, most likely, will not have any make-up on and will be wearing PJs.
 I am not kidding:happened a couple of times, when a client had a case of a "morning wood", rang Lilly, got no answer (as she doesn't start answering the phones until 10am) and came over anyway!

What really annoys me is punters trying to bargain down the price. I price myself VERY realistically for what I look like and what I have to offer. I don't understand why people want to embarrass themselves by asking.
Just this morning (I am in Taranaki ATM) the guy called and asked ALL the questions (see sample conversation above) and then said "How about $80". I started laughing-I honestly couldn't help myself. He said "You laughing" accusingly and he sounded hurt almost.. Well, don't ask stupid questions and you won't get stupid answers-that's one wisdom my Dad taught me from a very young age.
Something specific to Taranaki happened this trip (it's never happened anywhere else before) when some guy text me and asked me if I want to have coffee. This is my "work" phone, so I wasn't sure if he got the wrong number,maybe, but,no.. He saw my ad in the paper and thought it would be OK to text me and ask me for a coffee/drink. He never even booked me before! WTF?!

Sometimes punters call and make "fake" bookings(they book and never turn up and don't answer their phone)-again, very NZ thing. I can't imagine why would one want to do it and how is it fun for them? It is very frustrating,as for me it means loss of money and time, as I can't book someone else on such short notice and don't have enough time to go do something else,as I usually have another booking coming shortly (I try to schedule several bookings in a row with a nice long break in-between the "rows").

I love NZ-it's a beautiful country which is very unique. Generally,people are awesome:kind, easy going and relaxed. But sometimes doing business is challenging,that's for sure :/

1 comment:

  1. Boy howdy, ain't that the truth!