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  • Category: Geography

    You may call them “lost”, but we prefer the name “geographically disadvantaged.”

    No Vocation For Location, Part 6

    | Israel | Extra Stupid, Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am a South African, working at a hotel restaurant in Israel. The establishment has both servers and guests from all over the world. Generally people are interested in finding out where people are from and why they’re here. One day I am clearing a table for an American couple.)

    Me: “Shalom! I hope you enjoyed your meal. May I take your plates?”

    Husband: “Yes, please. It was great.”

    Wife: “Hey, you sound weird. Where are you from?”

    Me: “I’m from South Africa.”

    Wife: “Really?! South Africa… where is that?”

    Me: “Err…”

    Husband: *embarrassed* “Honey, it’s in Africa. If you look at a map, it’s right down at the bottom.”

    Wife: “Oh…” *blank look* “Oh! Kangaroos, right?”

    Husband: “Err…” *looks at me apologetically*

    Me: *just smiles* “I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay!”

    Related:
    No Vocation For Location, Part 5
    No Vocation For Location, Part 4

    A Welsh of Knowledge, Part 2

    | Wales, UK | Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    Tourist: “Oh, nice! This is a bona fide English castle!”

    Me: “Actually, sir, it’s not. Wales is not part of England.”

    Tourist: “What? Oh, come on! You both drive on the wrong side of the road; it’s the same! Your capital is London.”

    Me: “Er, no, sir. It’s Cardiff.”

    Tourist: “Well, but Wales is just a state of England, like Philadelphia in the States.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but England doesn’t have states; it has counties, and Wales is not one of them. We have our own counties. Moreover sir, Philadelphia is a city, not a state.”

    Tourist: “Don’t embarrass yourself, kid. You don’t even know about England even though you’re English, so please don’t bring up America; leave it to us.”

    Me: “No, sir, I’m not English. I’m Welsh; not quite the same. And Philadelphia is still not a state anyway.”

    Tourist: “I’m American! I know what I’m talking about!”

    (One of the tourists friends comes over.)

    Tourist’s Friend: “I’m sorry for his behavior; you must think all ‘Yanks’ are ignorant.”

    Me: “No, not at all. Most ‘Yanks’ that come here are actually very polite and knowledgeable, and they really like Wales.”

    Tourist: “You mean England!”

    A Welsh Of Knowledge

    Must Have Coasted Through Her Geography Lessons

    | MA, USA | Food & Drink, Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (It’s important to note this takes place in Massachusetts, on the east coast of the USA.)

    Tourist: “I’d like to get [coffee], and my daughter will have [more complicated coffee].”

    Me: “Okay, that’ll be [amount].”

    Tourist: “Oh, I left my money in my car. I’ll be back.”

    (She leaves, and I am forced to move on to the next customer. Her daughter waits patiently for a good 15-20 minutes. Then her mother returns. She rudely interrupts another customer.)

    Tourist: “Um, excuse me, WHY haven’t you made our drinks yet?!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, there was a line—”

    Tourist: “I was here first! Now make our drinks, and I have to use your bathroom.”

    Me: “I’m sorry; we don’t have a bathroom for customers.”

    Tourist: “WHEN YOU PAY FOR STUFF IN RESTAURANTS IN NEW JERSEY, WHERE I’M FROM, YOU CAN USE THE F***ING BATHROOM! GOD! This is why I NEVER come to the east coast!”

    (The tourist and her daughter depart, much to the dumbfounded disbelief of the customers remaining. I exchange glances with a customer.)

    Me: “…doesn’t she know New Jersey is on the east coast?”

    Some Stupidity Needs To Be Caught On Montevideo

    | Orlando, FL, USA | Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (At the theme park I work at, our name tags have our hometown on them. Despite the fact that I have lived in Orlando since I was an infant, my name tag says I am from Uruguay, since that is where I was born.)

    Guest: “It’s so terrible they make you work here.”

    Me: “I actually quite enjoy my job. I like seeing people enjoy their vacations.”

    Guest: “Yeah, but what about your vacation?”

    Me: “My vacation?”

    Guest: “They shouldn’t ruin your vacation by making you work.”

    Me: “No, I think you misunderstand. I work here. I live in the area, and I go to school down the road. The park isn’t my vacation; it’s my job, and I enjoy it.”

    Guest: “Oh, honey., do they tell you to lie? You’re from Uruguay; it would be stupid to commute all this way for a job.”

    Predicting A Storm Of Protest

    | Boulder, CO, USA | Geography, Math & Science, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at an answering service that handles after-hours calls for various businesses. One of the accounts was a nice restaurant in the mountains of Colorado. A man calls one April to make a reservation.)

    Caller: “I was hoping for a table on May 16th?”

    Me: “It looks like there are various times open, so I can certainly set that up for you.”

    Caller: “Okay, great. I’m going to be vacationing up there with my wife.”

    Me: “Well, that sounds lovely!”

    (We set up his dinner reservation.)

    Caller: “So, can you give me any advice about what I should pack for a long weekend there? What is the weather like?”

    Me: “Well sir, Colorado weather is very unpredictable, particularly in the spring. I would advise bringing clothing options for all seasons and dressing in layers.”

    Caller: “I just want to know if I should pack warm clothes or short sleeves!”

    Me: “Yes, sir, I understand that. However, springtime in Colorado has weather ranging from snowstorms to hot and sunny.”

    Caller: “Oh, what nonsense. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    Me: “Sir, I have lived in this state all my life. A common saying here is that if you don’t like the weather you should wait five minutes, and that holds true all year. Spring and autumn are the most unpredictable and varied when it comes to temperature, so—”

    Caller: “What was the temperature today?”

    Me: “Today? Well, this morning it was thirty degrees with heavy frost on the ground, and by noon it was about seventy-five with clear skies and sunshine—”

    Caller: “Are you trying to be difficult? There’s no reason to be a smart-a**, you know.”

    Me: “No, sir, not at all. I’m very genuinely trying to help you. Even for people who are used to it, weather changes here can be quite—”

    Caller: “You’re no help at all! I’ll just bring a few pairs of shorts and t-shirts.”

    Me: “Sir, please don’t do that. You will need warmer clothes in the mountains!”

    Caller: “So, now I should bring my winter clothes? Why didn’t you just say so?!”

    Me: “Well, you should, but bring some cooler clothes as well because—”

    Caller: “No! It has to be one or the other! I don’t want to bring more than I need!”

    Me: “You will definitely NEED options for highly variable temperatures. I’m very sorry, but—”

    Caller: “You’re useless! It’s just four days. It can’t be that complicated!”

    Me: “Look, four days ago it was shorts and tank top weather. Two days ago it snowed for a day and a night. I personally keep a heavy coat and a pair of sandals in my car because there are days when I need them both. Believe me, I wish it were all nice and predictable, but it really IS that complicated. I’m not making this up for fun.”

    Caller: “Oh, I’ve never heard such nonsense. Springtime is bound to be nice, so I’ll pack for that. Thanks for nothing!”

    Me: “Sir, I really advise—”

    Caller: “And cancel the dinner reservation!” *click*

    (May 16th turns out to be a properly variable week, with wind, rain, sun, and overnight snow.)

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