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    Category: Tourists/Travel

    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.)

    Needs A Bridge To Reality

    | Jamaica | Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    Customer: “Hi, I’d like to rent a car, but can I drive it to the United States?”

    Me: “Pardon? I don’t understand.”

    Customer: “Can I drive the car back to the United States?”

    Me: “How did you get to Jamaica?”

    Customer: “I flew here, why?”

    Me: “Didn’t you see the ocean underneath you from the airplane?”

    Customer: “No, I slept the whole way here. Wait. What ocean?”

    Suffering Some Confucian About Where He Is

    | Beijing, China | Extra Stupid, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (My coworker is a tour guide for American groups in Beijing.)

    Tourist: “Is there a Chinatown here?”

    Coworker: “…I’m sorry?”

    Tourist: “Well, most major cities have a Chinatown. I just wanted to see if I could visit the one in this city.”

    Coworker: “You do know what country you’re in right?”

    No Manners In Line Is Out Of Line, Part 2

    | ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am nine years old, and my family has moved to a new area that has a corner store two blocks from my new house. Our town is a bit of a tourist trap, and late one afternoon, I am waiting in line to pay for the items mum needs. A tourist, dressed in costly, dressy clothes rushes through the doors and shoves in front of me.)

    Me: “Hey! The line ends back there. It’s rude to cut in!”

    Tourist: “Shut up!”

    (The tourist then addresses the cashier, a lady who knows me well enough to know that for a kid as shy as I am, trying to stand up for myself is a big thing.)

    Tourist: “I need two packs of [cigarette brand], and directions to [ritziest local hotel].”

    (The cashier looks at the tourist, silently, saying nothing at all for a long pause.)

    Tourist: “Are you deaf or stupid? I want two packs of [cigarette brand] and directions to [hotel]!”

    Cashier: “I was just giving you the chance to prove you have any manners at all. Looks like you don’t. This girl was next, and you pushed in. That’s rude.”

    Tourist: “I don’t have time for—”

    Cashier: “—and I don’t have time to deal with self-obsessed jerks. Get out.”

    Tourist: “No, listen! I want two packs of—”

    Cashier: “You aren’t getting anything. You have 30 seconds to get out of here before I call the cops.”

    Tourist: “Are you serious? You can’t be f****** serious! I want two packs of—”

    Cashier: “Get out!”

    (The cashier reaches behind her, and grabs the phone from the counter. She starts dialing.)

    Tourist: “Oh f*** it! I don’t want to buy anything in this stupid hick town anyway.”

    (The tourist flounces towards the door. I speak loudly before she gets to the door.)

    Me: “Isn’t it funny how we hicks actually know what good manners are for?”

    (The woman turns red and storms out of the store.)

    Related:
    No Manners In Line Is Out Of Line

    A Directionless Conversation, Part 2

    | Canada | Extra Stupid, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (We are a tourist park, and have a café which is situated just outside so that people can use it without paying to go in. The café is right next door to the entrance; you have to walk past it to come in.)

    Customer: “Is there a café here?”

    Me: “Yes, there is. It’s just next door.”

    Customer: “Where?”

    Me: “Right next door.”

    Customer: *confused* “Next door?”

    Me: “Yes, it’s the building next to this one.”

    Customer: “So, we have to go out?”

    Me: “Yes. You go out of this building, and it’s in the only other one.”

    Customer: “So, it’s out of here and next door.?”

    Me: “Yes. Go out of here, and look right. You’ll see it.”

    (The customer walks out, looking confused.)

    Coworker: “What’s the betting she’ll get lost?”

    Related:
    A Directionless Conversation

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