Today I gained my first aid certification
I made a mistake and let my first aid certification expire. How stupid was that but its not law to have one for the tours I do. But certain consultants request it so the last 2 days have been taken up re-doing something I should never have let expire. If I renewed before the 27 months is up each time then it’s a very simple CPU test. I guess I learnt my lesson and wont let it expire again.
Sometimes though in saying that a refresher never hurts. You always hope you never need use but the last 2 days did bring things back I had forgotten and you never know, it could be the difference between saving a life and not. I just sincerely hope I never need put it to the test.
I do make a habit of always carrying a very good first aid kit. I am surprised on occasions where I have driven for others there is a kit, but not complete or up to date. If I remove items and I know more are needed I diary it and make sure the kit is ready for every tour.
Now I need do some tests for an overseas consultant who likes to know every tour guide that works for them knows their background and their standards. This I am not excited about and have told the agent in New Zealand that it was not part of the contract. A lot of it is pedantic and I believe should be covered by the local agent prior me meeting the incoming party.
I will do the test in fact 25% already completed with a 100% pass rate. But now is our busy time for our own tours. I have our own drivers to arrange and I am full on preparing tour routes and pricing for travel consultants we met on our recent China trip. To me they are priority over spending a day studying someone else’s company and their guidelines for their guides. The particular company prides themselves on only hiring the best which I guess is the reason my services were sought or why did they contract me.
I enjoy in driving the odd tour for others. It allows me to see how others do it. The accommodation and routes they do. And with all that knowledge it allows me to make sure our own tours are as good if not better than others. I never take on tours competing for the markets we specialise in as I have my own ethics. If I do tours for others I give them my best and hope what I did for them will grow their own business. I have drivers on call that can do our own tours if I am not involved and because our tours are often from the Asia market, employing drivers with the language required avoids me finding an interpreter to help me.
On conclusion of our own tours we always try to get feedback from those that toured with ‘Peter and Xiaoli Tours’ to ensure they had a great tours and for us to check our drivers are up to scratch. We set our standards high and find that most that work for us live up to what we expect. We never want them to be puppets obeying orders, we expect them to add their own personalities. But do maintain our high standards.
I have a hatred on tour when I see other tour operators herd their people like sheep, or that is what I call it. Each individual on tour has their own unique personality and because we only do tours 5 days plus I expect our drivers after day one is up to be starting to get to learn the traits of all sitting behind them and not just those that end to be the most prominent in coming forward.
For me I use my camera a lot on tour. Through the lens I pick up a lot about the group with me as each day I try capture each doing as they do on a tour. My objective is to give each a USB stick capturing their tour with me. Reality is you give each couple but I capture them on my tour plus they key sights. It gives them a story of their tour as I saw them enjoy the tour. Through my lens I can tell a story of each person with me and the way they themselves enjoyed that tour. And we all see things different. The way I look at scenery and the things I see in that scenery are different to what you would see. Being a tour guide has taught me that.
So today another certificate to put on my wall. It should have been there but I let it slip. Wont do that again. The law does not dictate we should have but my own standards do, and I let it slip. But even the tutor agreed, mentally it was still al there, just somewhat rusty. But interestingly the medical ways or beliefs on how to treat different medical events do change so a refresher has done no harm.
So next time you tour with us I am up to scratch with first aid but I really hope I don’t need to prove it to you through a medical emergency for both of us.