For years I have been asking Mr. Deep if he and I can start a business together. It's not that I have some great business idea that I think would make us millions but rather because I like spending time with Mr. Deep (most of the time) and I think our approach to accomplishing goals would lead to success. Mr. Deep and I also have complementing talents. Mr.Deep for example, could handle all of the accounting and finances for our business and I could not. For some reason Mr. Deep does not seem that excited about starting a business with me. I think it's because he has a fear of losing money. It's also possible, although unlikely, that he doesn't think working with me would be all that much fun.
Strangely enough over the past few months Mr. Deep and I have found ourselves running a business of sorts. Although our business is not making a profit and our services are only available on a limited basis to family and friends who come to South Africa, working with Mr. Deep in this pseudo-business endeavor has proven my theory that we'd make excellent business partners.
Like many important inventions of the modern age, the cotton gin, the printing press and the flat iron, our business concept, Time Pressure Tours, or TPT for short, was born out of necessity. The necessity of trying to plan meaningful, fun and exciting visits for people coming to South Africa for very short periods of time.
Americans are very busy people. Unlike Europeans who may take a holiday for the entire month of August or Canadians who take a whole year off for maternity leave, Americans like to work as much possible and they wear their busy-ness and workaholic tendencies as badges of honor. Ask an American what is new or how things are going and he will surely tell you just how busy he is. As an American, I shared these traits when I had a job. I found nothing more satisfying than working all day on Sunday only to be able to hit send on fifty emails first thing Monday morning thus hammering my colleagues with information, outlook meeting appointments and requests for analysis. I didn't even have to tell anyone that I worked all day on Sunday, but believe me, they knew. It's not only work that keeps American adults busy, it's their kids who seem to participate in an unfathomable number of sports games all of which the parents apparently need to view in person and in entirety.
Mr. Deep and I are thrilled that over the past year we've had numerous American friends and family members take time out of their very busy schedules to come to South Africa and see us. These visits are often very short, as short as one week, although our American guests will calculate the visit as longer because they like to count time spent on the plane as part of the vacation.
At TPT we meet the needs of our busy and over scheduled customers by planning travel agendas that are relentless. TPT allows visitors one half day to recover from flying half way around the world but beginning the morning of the first full day visitors must fasten their seat belts for they are in for a whirlwind tour of South Africa that leaves no time for tardiness, dilly dallying, questioning of or revision to the agenda. Guests "enjoying" the TPT experience fall into bed late at night thoroughly exhausted from such adventures as visiting Cape Town, tastings at wine farms, viewing wild animals, and going to school in Diepsloot. TPT travelers learn about Nelson Mandela's struggle to gain freedom for the South African people AND the intricate details of the mating habits of hippos, they feast on braais chock full of meat (at TPT we always make time for meals), meet people who were born and raised on this continent and take in gorgeous skies and awe-inspiring scenery all in a short window that might leave many begging for a break.
Agendas are communicated to guests prior to arrival in an email detailing the activities planned for each day. Often, our guests are so busy, that they fail to read this email in advance of the trip and so upon arrival are surprised at the sheer volume of of planned activities. Under the guidance of TPT leadership (Mr. Deep and me) guests quickly learn that their agenda has been carefully orchestrated with no room for error. If guests want to stray from the plan or are taking too much time enjoying a particular activity, TPT management will firmly rectify the situation. This was best evidenced when we took Mr. Deep's family to Boulders Beach. Everyone was enjoying the waterfront and watching the penguins when Mr. Deep suddenly announced that in order to stay on schedule we had to leave immediately. He then began walking back to the van and everyone had to follow. Similarly, if the weather is conducive, we have been known to take guests directly from the airport in Cape Town to Table Mountain to ensure an opportunity to enjoy the view before the clouds inevitably roll in.
Mr. Deep and I are efficient, decisive and we like to have fun. These traits combined with the limited time our American friends have to spend in South Africa formed the foundation for TPT which is proudly communicated in our succinct yet memorable slogan which we state repeatedly to ensure compliance with company policy "Move Your Ass!"
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- American Expat
- Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.