The main job of a holiday rep is working in a hotel. You are there to sell excursions, deal with complaints, answer questions and basically be the face of customer service. In a nutshell, repping will fall into two categories: dual and solo. Solo is by far the most common with one rep covering a couple or more hotels and working alone. Dual repping is reserved for the bigger and/or more problematic hotels, one’s that require a visit every day of the week and more help. The number of reps depends on the size of the hotel and the managers decision. Solo and dual repping are two very, very different experiences as I found out in my first season.
Before getting the job, my only experience with a rep was on a holiday to Salou. We went early September so although not peak time, it was still high season and rather busy. The hotel we stayed in was a pretty decent size and the rep was flying solo. During my training course, dual repping was not mentioned. It was assumed you would be going it alone. I therefore had absolute no idea that more than one rep would be working together… that is, until I got placed in a team of four for my first season.
How did I feel about this? I don’t know really, I wasn’t expecting it as I didn’t even know this was a possibility. I guess I was excited. Any anxiety I had about working alone in a job I had no clue about all of a sudden vanished with a team of three experienced reps.
Over the summer season in Mallorca, I experienced a variation in the dual repping team. Starting with four until one quit mid-August, working with three until one was moved across the island in September leaving it just the two of us. Four was great because there was always someone to bounce off. If you weren’t getting on with someone one day, there was always someone else. Two was good as well but we were really great friends. Three was the worst. Two of us were really close which occasionally felt like an awkward third-wheel situation and if I’m honest, unintentionally sometimes two against one.
I absolutely loved dual repping. I feel like it was perfect for me in my first season as I had people there to help and guide me. I learnt a lot from them, a lot which I may not have learnt had I been on my own. We also did not have either a manager or head rep for a great deal of the season and were running the show on our own so it was great that we had our own little support system. It was less lonely than being solo as although it still got boring sometimes, there was usually someone on shift with you to talk to, laugh with or rant at.
Of course, it wasn’t all sunshines and rainbows. Sometimes we adored each other, other days we wanted to throttle each other. Spending so much time with colleagues and having differences in opinion, occasionally got a bit annoying. It was a difficult situation for us too as one member of the team, we just did not get one with. We acted professionally and tried to ignore the issues but it was always one step forward, two steps back which created an uncomfortable environment and a great deal of frustration. It was also difficult when someone wasn’t pulling their weight and making a team effort. However, the hotel we worked in was incredibly problematic and we had a great deal of complaints to deal with. Sometimes frustrated customers would get incredibly angry and sometimes verbally aggressive. When this happened and things got a bit tense, we always had each others back. Even despite our differences with one member of the team, we always supported each other in front of customers and helped if needed. Although dual repping wasn’t always smooth sailing, I learnt a great deal from my time of dual repping and am incredibly grateful that my first season was as part of a team.
We stayed as a team of two until our hotel closed and we both moved to Tenerife to replace people. This is when the story changes, I was suddenly a solo rep. Having been in the job for six months, I knew the ropes, I had nothing to worry about. Changing from dual repping to solo repping doesn’t sound like that big of a deal… but it was actually quite a change. For one thing, I had more than one hotel and therefore had to absorb more information as I suddenly had four hotels to be an expert in rather than one. Welcome meetings were no longer a team effort. Lunch was a solo mission. It was a great deal more lonely as there was no one to talk to and I spent the time when I wasn’t busy with customers buried in a book to keep me occupied. I missed the company and would have given anything to be back in a team.
If you have only worked solo, you don’t know the difference. A lot of people who have experienced both sides, prefer solo repping as you are in control. There is no one to agree or disagree with, no one you have to get along with, you are running the show. For me however, I loved dual repping. I love the company and support. Although I still love the job solo, I much prefer it as a rep team. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that I dual rep this season but whatever I get, I’m in a job I adore and I’ll be happy.
Have you repped before? Did you prefer dual or solo?
*All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.