Giving You A Cold Reception

| OH, USA | Crazy Requests, Tourists/Travel

(I’m working in a 19th century mansion that has been turned into a museum. It’s late autumn and the house already gets very cold inside. I’m ringing up a couple for a tour.)

Customer: “Aren’t they ever opening this house for Christmas again?”

Me: “Well, it’s very difficult to hea—”

Customer: “Yes, they said something about it being hard to heat. I wouldn’t think you’d need much heat just for a tour!”

Me: “Oh, you might feel differently in December. But I also think the guides might revolt over being kept in a 50-degree house all day.”

Customer: “You’re all just lazy!” *walks away*

Totally Lost Their Marbles

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, History

Museum Patron: “Yeah, hi, we’ve looked at everything here. Where is the ‘real” art?”

Me: “Uhm, did you look in all these rooms downstairs and upstairs?”

Museum Patron: “Yeah, we saw all that but it’s just a bunch of marble statues. Where is the REAL art?”

Me: “Ma’am, this IS real art.”

Aren’t Enough Hours In The Day To Deal With You

| CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

(I work in the retail store of a contemporary art museum. The museum and the store have slightly differing hours on Thursdays, meaning the store is open two hours before the rest of the museum. For fire safety reasons, the entry to the museum remains open, with a sign in place informing guests of the hours.)

Me: “Good morning. Welcome to [Museum Store].”

Customer: “Thank you. You all were closed yesterday.”

(The galleries are closed on Wed. The store, however, was open.)

Me: “Yeah, the galleries are closed on Wednesdays. And they don’t open today until 1 pm.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(I watch the customer feign interest in the shelves while trying to stealthily make their way towards the main lobby.)

Me: “Excuse me. The galleries aren’t open until one. I need you to remain in the store.”

Customer: “You should have a sign.”

Me: “We do.” *point to the sign*

Customer: “Why aren’t you open?”

Me: “The museum stays open late on Thursdays, so it opens later in the day.”

Customer: “That’s not what it says on your website.”

Me: “Actually it does.” *I swivel my monitor around and show her the museum homepage with the hours on the front* “There are hours for the galleries and the store. See? Store open: 11am-8pm. Museum Open: 1pm-8pm.”

Customer: “Well, you shouldn’t have different hours on different days. I really wanted to see [current exhibition].”

Me: “Well, we open at one, and I can give you a voucher for half price admission.”

Customer: “I can’t! I have a plane to catch; I have to go to the airport in an hour. We tried to come yesterday but you were closed!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that.”

Customer: “Is there someone from the museum I can talk to?”

(She clearly means, ‘someone I can complain to to get special treatment.’)

Me: “Since we don’t open until one, the staff doesn’t arrive until around 12:30. I can also give you the phone and e-mail address if that’s not convenient.”

Customer: “Oh, I was just wondering. I’m a friend of [Staff Member].”

Me: “Well you can certainly call them and see if they can arrange a tour for you today before we open.”

Customer: “Do you have her number?”

Me: “I can give you her extension here at the museum.”

Customer:” No, her mobile. You said she’s not here yet.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t have access to personnel contact info.”

Customer: “Well, you’re not very helpful!”

(The customer left. A few minutes later I heard a banging. I looked into the lobby and saw her yanking hard on the front doors, as if the reason they weren’t opening was because she was not pulling hard enough. She looked at the hours on the door, she looked at her watch, and finally figured it out. I never saw her again)

The True Appliance Of Science

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | Awesome Customers, Math & Science, Top

(I volunteer at a children’s museum in their dinosaur area, where I work in the lab. We work behind a glass window that we keep open so the kids can ask us questions about the bones we are cleaning.)

Every Kid: *completely ignoring me* “Wow! A real dinosaur bone!”

One Awesome Kid: *staring directly at me* “Wow! A real scientist!”

Knocking The Wind Out Of Your Sails

| Boston, MA, USA | Bizarre, History

(I work in a museum that focuses on the history of a particular ship. One day, a visitor approaches me and asks me this question:)

Visitor: “Excuse me, I have a question.”

Me: “Sure!”

Visitor: “When was the last time [Ship] had all of her sails out?”

Me: “The last time she sailed under her own power was in August 2012 on the 200th anniversary of her victory with—”

Visitor: “Yeah, but were ALL of her sails out?”

Me: “Well, no, only a few of the main ones necessary for—”

Visitor: “But I want to know when she had ALL her sails out like in this painting.” *gestures to nautical painting*

Me: “Ah! I see. Actually, artists painted ships with full sails to heighten the drama of the painting. There would be very few occasions when a ship would literally have all of her sails out at once because different sails are used in different situations and angles of wind and—”

Visitor: “Yeah, but WHEN was the LAST TIME she had ALL of her sails out?”

Me: *pause* “I guess I don’t know exactly.”

Visitor: *to his family* “Oh, she doesn’t know.”

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