I’m currently on a trip that I didn’t plan well for. (But I’m having a fantastic time figuring it out as I go).
I decided I wanted to grab lunch in one of the Sky Tower restaurants in Auckland, NZ. The only problem is–their reservations are sold out.
So I delegated this Babs Callahan.
Who is Babs Callahan?
Babs Callahan is the name of my virtual assistant at Fancy Hands.
I’ve written about how I’m a huge fan of the FancyHands personal assistant service–especially for travel related items.
This service allows you to delegate tasks out to a team who works on your behalf. You have a file, so they have context for your tasks–and best of all, you get to name your assistant.
Maybe it’s my love for noir movies, or perhaps the three glasses of wine I had first, but I decided to name my assistant Babs Callahan.
Usually, tasks get done within the hour, though some will take longer. Each thing you ask them to do costs one task. So if they reach out to make reservations and have to follow-up after leaving a voicemail, that is still contained within that one task.
In this case of these reservations and other ones, I asked Babs to call up the restaurant periodically to see if there are any cancellations.
This saves my personal time in calling all the time, plus is (hopefully) frequent enough to hit the restaurant when an opening does occur.
In this case, I got a message from FancyHands at 9am, letting me know I had a noon reservation. Score!
Other things FancyHands has done
I’ve been able to get a lot of things done with FancyHands.
Babs cancelled my gym membership for me when I was moving.
The most creative and impressive feat was when Babs got over a dozen red balloons delivered to my hotel in Las Vegas within an hour.
What to know about FancyHands
The important thing to know about using FancyHands correctly is that you need to give context. Babs isn’t going to know everything I know about travel. (Well, usually. Once I got someone who is a travel agent and was able to help me pull off some awesome things).
I give Babs a story about what I want to do, why I want to do it, and why I’m asking her to go about it in this way.
For example, I’ll say:
“As an Diamond elite with Hyatt, I get some suite upgrades a year. With these upgrades, I can change some of my reservations in regular rooms to be in a suite for free. This depends on availability. Last time I called, they did not have any available. Could you inquire whether any upgrade space has opened up? Make sure they know you are talking about a free diamond suite upgrade. I am not interested in using my points to upgrade (which is another option).”
I don’t rewrite all my context each time — I have set stuff I copy and paste from my old tasks. But I learned, for example, in the case of Hyatt, if Babs doesn’t know that a Diamond Suite upgrade is different from a points-based one, she won’t know when the agent makes a mistake. Now, whenever I have her call on my behalf, she has the context.
I also explain what time zone I’m in and what the current date is where I am. I’ve had someone misunderstand business hours at abroad locations before because they assumed the business was EST as well (since my file says I operate in EST).
I’ve found the service consistently useful for when I’m on the go. If you find yourself short on time pretty often, I recommend checking it out.
I’ve been a subscriber to FancyHands for a few years at this point.
Disclaimer: If you use my Fancy Hands link to sign up, I will get affiliate credit towards my subscription. But I have not received anything for free from them, pay for my subscription, and they did not ask me nor do they know I am writing this review.