November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Category: Tourists/Travel

The Jewel Fool

| USA | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I’m in the TSA pre-check line, since I have *paid* for clearance for such. Recently, the policy has been that flyers over 65 get automatic pre-check, for the most part. In front of me in the security screening line is an older woman, who I assume got the “elderly flyer” clearance.)

TSA Agent: “Ma’am, you need to remove your jewelry to go through the metal detector. You can probably go through with a single necklace or ring, but not with the numerous pieces you’re wearing. If you have something really valuable, we can hold it within your sight while you walk through.”

Elderly Flyer: “I’m not letting any of my very valuable jewelry out of my sight… It’ll be fine; just let me through.”

TSA Agent: “We can’t really stop you from trying… Please walk through the metal detector.”

(Of course the metal detector goes nuts with her piles of jewelry, but despite TSA’s requests to take the jewelry off or step aside, she continues ranting and raving and blocking the metal detector so that no one else can proceed. Eventually, they get her off to the side, and let people behind her go through the metal detector. I don’t remove my wedding set since I know that it doesn’t contain enough metal to set off the detectors, but that is literally the only metal on my person.)

Elderly Flyer: “NOW HOLD ON A MINUTE! She just walked through the metal detector wearing a hunk of a rock, and you didn’t hold her up for one second. Why am I being persecuted?”

TSA Agent: “Ma’am, she was wearing just one ring, and a typical wedding ring won’t set off the detectors. You are wearing several necklaces, bracelets, and rings. You don’t have to take it all off, but more than one necklace, bracelet, or ring will probably set off the detectors, and then we have to re-screen you. Again, if any one of your pieces of jewelry are very valuable, we can hold it while you walk through the metal detector, and it will never be out of your sight.”

Elderly Flyer: “I just don’t understand why I’m being subject to such intense screening. I’m an innocent old lady!”

Me: *finally snapping* “Look, lady, you were put in this line just because you are old. If you were even a few years younger, you’d be standing in a long line downstairs and have to take not only your jewelry, but also shoes and coat off, plus remove the iPad I saw you using a few minutes ago from your bag, and I’m going to bet you have liquids in your bag you didn’t have to remove, either. I paid $100 and went through a background check and in-person interview to use this line… You got here for free because you are old. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. If they asked me to take my wedding set off because it set the metal detector off, I would do it, even though it’s worth at least 10 times what all your costume jewelry is. Take your jewelry off, put it through the x-ray machine, and GET OVER IT.”

(She stood there mouth agape that someone would tell her what’s what. The TSA agent at the end of the line, where I was retrieving my carry on, gave me a discreet high-five.)

Exchanging Un-Pleasantries

| Auckland, New Zealand | Extra Stupid, Money, Tourists/Travel

Me: “Hi there, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yes, hello love. I need US Dollars, please… I’m going on a family holiday to Italy then France.”

Me: “Ma’am, US Dollars cannot be used in those countries. Italy and France use the Euro.”

Customer: “NO, NO, NO! They use US Dollars; most countries use the US Dollar. It’s the most powerful money in the universe.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you, US Dollars are not used in those countries. You’ll end up exchanging it for Euros when you get there.”


Me: “Ma’am, I work in a foreign currency exchange.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Would you like the Euros, ma’am?”

Customer: “No, you smart little cow, give me US Dollars or I will complain to your manager!”

Me: “All right then, ma’am.”

(I give the customer US Dollars for use in Europe.)

Customer: “Now, that wasn’t hard to do was it?”

Me: “No, ma’am, thank you for your business.”

(She returned three hours later with her son (who seemed extremely annoyed with his mother) and exchanged the US Dollars back to the local currency then into Euros.)

Wild And Unruly

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals, Tourists/Travel

(I work at a company that owns a whale watching business. Whale watching season is generally between May and November every year, when the whales pass the Sydney coastline going up to Queensland to give birth and then when they go back down to Antarctica. Sometimes (very rarely) one or two whales decide to make a pit-stop in Sydney Harbour before continuing on their way.)

Me: *phone rings* “Good afternoon, [Company].”

Customer: “What time do the whales come into the Harbour?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “What time do the whales come into the Harbour?”

Me: “I do apologise but I can’t tell you what time the whales will be in the Harbour. However, if you would like to join one of our whale watching cruises—”

Customer: “What do you mean you can’t tell me what time they’ll be in the Harbour? There was one in there yesterday!”

Me: “Yes, I know. It was very exciting. However, that whale has moved on now and I can’t guarantee when the next one will come into the Harbour.”

Customer: “Aren’t you a whale watching company?”

Me: “Yes, we operate three kinds of tours—”

Customer: “So why can’t you tell me what time the whales will be in the f***ing Harbour?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but whales are wild animals and we can’t control—”

Customer: “What do you mean they’re ‘wild animals’?!”

Me: “…They live in the wild. They are wild animals. We are an Eco-tour that watches whales in their natural habitat… in the wild…”

Customer: “This is bull-s***. I knew we should have gone to Sea World!” *click*

You Can Snake Around But The Answer Will Be The Same

| VA, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals, Tourists/Travel

(I am a ranger at a state park, leading a group of tourists on a short hike and telling them about the park, then an activity that involves digging through swamp muck to find critters that live in the swamps. I have a ball running and participating in this program and find that most people from 3-70 have as well, though it is geared mostly towards younger kids. Among others, I have with me a family of French speaking guests: a mother, a 7- or 8-year-old boy, and two teenagers.)

Boy: *in broken English* “You will show me snake?”

Me: “If we see a snake I will point it out! I can definitely tell you what type it is and all about it! Keep on the lookout.”

Boy: “No, you show me snake.”

Me: “I… can’t just make one appear. But we do have a good number of snakes in our park! Hopefully we will see one today.”

Boy: *points* “Snake. You tell snake?”

Me: “Oh, did you find one already? Awesome! Show me where? I can tell you all about it!”

Mother: *expectantly* “No, he wants you to find him a snake out here, right now. We want to see a snake, now.”

Me: “I… can not just make one appear, I am sorry. They are wild animals that live in this park and come and go as they please.”

Mother: *scoffs, then talks to her family in French, who also all scoff* “This is not a good program for teenagers!”

Me: “Okay? It is geared towards younger kids mostly, though all ages find it enjoyable, I have found. I had an elderly couple having a ball with me yesterday! You might have more fun if you participate in searching?”

(They continued to talk to each other angrily in French and shoot dirty looks my way as I continued on with the rest of my program for the others. Next time I turned to them, they were gone. 10 minutes later we spotted not one, but three snakes!)

There Should Be A Sign

, | Watson Lake, YK, Canada | Extra Stupid, Tourists/Travel

(I work at a little retail store beside our town’s main tourist attraction, the Signpost Forest, which has over 75,000 signs to date, right beside the Alaska Highway. A customer walks into the shop.)

Customer: “Where do I go to see the Signpost Forest?”

Me: “See right behind the shop, the hundreds of posts with the countless signs all over them?”

Customer: “Yah?”

Me: “See how they look like a forest?”

Customer: “Yah?”

Me: “That’s it.”

Customer: “…Are you sure?”

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