My Fat Tire Tours Story
05 May 2020
My Fat Tire Tours Story
Hello everyone! My name is Jordan and I am the US Customer Support Manager for Fat Tire Tours! I wanted to share my story on how my worst travel fear coming true led me to working with this amazing company!
After months of planning, I was finally on my way to Paris to spend 10 days in Europe for the first time on my own as an adult! I spent my first few days in Paris exploring the different neighborhoods, eating delicious food, drinking delicious wine (a little too much) and simply taking in the beauty that is Paris. My friend and I were headed to dinner on our 3rd night in Paris when disaster started to strike. My friend’s credit card was eaten by an ATM and there was no way to get it back or to get a new one. It was obviously scary for that to happen and definitely not ideal, but at the time I wasn’t too worried, I had some cash and my credit card to get us through until we figured everything out. I used my remaining cash for our dinner, which was delicious, and all was well! We had our Versailles Bike Tour scheduled for the next day so I decided to stop at the ATM on the way back to the hotel so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting cash in the morning; that is when things started to take a turn for the worse. My credit card wasn’t working, I couldn’t get any cash. I thought it might be the ATM, so we tried another; same thing. I wasn’t in full panic mode yet, maybe I could still use the card to make purchases directly. We headed back to the hotel and went to bed early so we would be fresh for our tour the next day.
The next morning comes and I attempt to buy coffee and my card gets rejected again. They were not an international company so I had to wait until later in the afternoon, when it is the morning in the US, to call them and figure out what is going on. I cross my fingers as I text my mom, praying that she is still awake and can send me some emergency money. I wait in anticipation as the text sends and I watch for the three dots to appear showing that she is writing back. SHE IS AWAKE! She texts me back and agrees to send me some money. A sigh of relief, a weight is lifted off my shoulders and the excitement for the day ahead in Versailles starts to take over the panic and anxiety I was feeling. A few minutes go by and I receive another text from her; her bank is doing site maintenance so she is unable to send me money…. I will have no way to access money during my day in Versailles.
When we got to the market in Versailles, we attempted one last time to use my credit card or find a place that accepted mobile pay with no luck. It was a discouraging start to the day but I decided I wasn’t going to let it get me down; I was going to enjoy the beautiful day in Versailles I had booked with Fat Tire Tours because I was lucky enough to simply be there!
I couldn’t have dreamed of a more beautiful day to bike through the grounds of Versailles, warm but with a nice breeze so it wasn’t too hot. As soon as we entered the grounds, all of the stress about money washed away and I felt so lucky to be there. We biked through tree lined paths, explored Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon and Hamlet. It was like something out of a dream.
After exploring the grounds it was time for our picnic lunch at the end of the Grand Canal. It was hard not to be upset as we watched everyone unpack all of their goodies they had purchased at the market earlier in the day but I focused on my beautiful surroundings and soaked in the sunlight as everyone ate. About 20 minutes into our picnic, it was hard to not notice that we weren’t eating when everyone else was. A couple in our group asked why we weren’t eating and we explained our unfortunate money situation and the entire group practically threw food at us! They gave us more food than we would have even thought to buy at the market. It was a truly lovely moment to see people be so kind and generous and truly made the day memorable.
I was so amazed by the experience I was having with this great company and was interested in how I could be a part of it. I spoke with our guide as we biked back to the bike shop and asked how he came to work for Fat Tire Tours and if he knew how I could get involved. He told me that the corporate office was in Austin, my home town, and that I should reach out and see how I could get involved. I did just that when we got back to our hotel in Paris that night and the rest is history. I started as a customer service representative a few months later and just celebrated two years with the company in February!
While the tour and day would have been amazing if everything had gone according to plan and we didn’t run into money issues, I‘m not sure I would have had the same interest in the company and be where I am today if that day had gone differently than it did.
We as a company are experiencing that same truly unexpected hardship right now with the Covid-19 pandemic and though it has been tough, it has been amazing to hear from our customers as they share their Fat Tire stories and express their love and understanding for our company. I am sure something great will come from this difficult time just as it did on my tour of Versailles.