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  • July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

    Enough To Bring A Teal To Your Eyes

    | WI, USA | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Top

    (I volunteer for our local museum during a popular traveling Sherlock Holmes exhibit. When it is slow, I will walk along with visitors and chat. I am walking with a young mom and her four-year-old daughter. They love the exhibit, and go to the gift shop. I am on a break and stop by the gift shop to say hi to the woman working the register.)

    Little Girl: “Hey! You are the lady that helped us!”

    Me: “Yes, I am. Did you find anything?”

    (She shows me a handful of marbles, one in every color we offered.)

    Little Girl: “What is your favorite color?”

    Me: “I really like the teal ones.”

    (She scampers away, and I don’t think much of it as I have these conversations with kids a lot. I am talking with the mom when her daughter comes back.)

    Little Girl: “Here! This is for you!”

    (She hands me a teal marble.)

    Me: “it’s beautiful, thank you!”

    Little Girl: “It’s a friendship marble. Now we’ll always be friends!”

    Mom: “[Little Girl] and I are on our own. Her dad left us when she was born and I’ve been trying to make sure she has great values.”

    Me: “You’ve done an amazing job! She is a real gem; I loved talking with you today!”

    (I slip the cashier money to pay for the girl’s marbles, and when she is told her marbles are free, she tears up.)

    Little Girl: “Mom and I don’t have a lot of money; we saved just to come here!”

    Me: “Well, in that case…”

    (I refunded their admission and paid for it myself. I made sure they got two free passes for the museum for their next visit, and they came and saw me for the next exhibit. The little girl was just as pleasant as she was the first time. And the teal marble? She had it in her pocket, and since I carry mine in my purse, I had mine that day as well.)

    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!”

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