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  • Tour Guides Are Ready To Answer All Questions And ‘The Question’

    | Derbyshire, England, UK | Family & Kids, Geeks Rule, History, Top

    (I work in a museum located in an Elizabethan manor house, which naturally shows a few signs of wear and tear. Today, I’m in a room with a large crack across the wall. I’m also a huge fan of the television show ‘Doctor Who.’ I carry a toy sonic screwdriver in my bag and have the phone number that is suppose to be the Doctor’s keyed into my phone. A young boy and his parents come into my room and spot the crack.)

    Boy: “Look, Mummy, a crack! It’s The Silence!”

    (The Silence are a race of monsters that created cracks in time and cause you to forget them as soon as you stop looking at them. His parents look pained, so I step in.)

    Me: “Don’t worry kid; this museum is a monster-free zone.”

    Boy: “How do you know? You might have just forgotten them.”

    Me: “Nah, The Doctor came and checked the crack for us; he said it’s fine.”

    Boy: “Really? You’re not just making that up?”

    Me: “Of course not! I’ll prove it.”

    (I pull the sonic screwdriver out of my handbag, and the boy’s eyes go wide.)

    Me: “See? The Doctor gave me this just in case one turns up, but I’ve never had to use it yet.”

    Boy: “Wow!”

    Me: “And if I really get into trouble…”

    (I pull out my phone, bring up my contact list and show him the number listed as ‘The Doctor.’)

    Me: “…he told me just to give him a call and he’d come right over.”

    Boy: “AWESOME!”

    (The boy is delighted for the rest of the visit, and his parents thank me profusely. Apparently he’d been skittish of cracks since the episode went out, and I’d been the first person to reassure him completely. Later, my boss came round with a thank you card they’d got me, addressed to ‘the Doctor’s companion.’ It made my day!)

    It’s Going To Be A Hooray Kind Of Day

    | Columbus, OH, USA | Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I volunteer regularly at a big science museum in Columbus, which has everything divided up into different ‘worlds.’ The world I work in is set up as ruins on a mysterious island, where you have to go around solving puzzles in order to ‘wake up’ statues and eventually enter the main tower. It’s a slow morning and the only guests are a mother and her kids, one about six months and the other about three.)

    Mother: “What do you see when you wake up, [son]?”

    Son: “Umm…”

    Mother: “If you stand there and look straight up, what do you see?”

    Son: *looks around, then down at his shoes* “Umm…”

    Me: *cheerfully* “Up at the sky!”

    (I raise my hands up and wave them around a little, trying to encourage him to look up. Eventually he does and his face lights up.)

    Son: “A snake!”

    Mother: “Hooray!”

    Me: “Hooray!”

    Son: “Hooray for me!”

    (They proceed around the rest of the area with the mother gently directing her toddler through each puzzle. I’m meant to stay in my assigned area, but every once in a while I hear a little voice pipe up with ‘hooray for me!’)

    They Don’t Know Jack

    | London, England UK | Extra Stupid, History, Movies & TV

    (While working at an artefact exhibit for the RMS Titanic, I am standing by a list of all passengers and crew on board. The list is broken down by class and survived or lost. )

    Customer: “This list is wrong. I can’t seem to find Rose’s or Jack’s name.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Rose DeWitt-Bukater, and Jack Dawson. I looked everywhere in the list, and they’re not there.”

    Me: “No, they wouldn’t be.”

    Customer: “Well that’s stupid. Rose should be in the first class list, and Jack should be in the third class. This is wrong.”

    Me: “Because they’re not real.”

    Customer: “No, I’m pretty sure they were.”

    Me: “And I’m definitely sure they were not.”

    Customer: “Well in the movie—”

    Me: “In the MOVIE, Rose gives them a fake name and tells them she’s in third class. She would be listed as Rose Dawson if she existed. And Jack won his ticket in the first ten minutes of the movie, so his name would have not been on a record anywhere, which the movie pointed out in the first five minutes. And it’s a movie.”

    Customer: “Next you’re going to tell me the Heart Of The Ocean is fake too!”

    Me: “Yes, I am.”

    Customer: “Then what did I spend £20 on? What a waste of money!”

    E Pluribus Dumbum, Part 2

    | Berkshire, England, UK | Extra Stupid, History

    (Our museum has a big display of Roman materials. I’m sitting in the second room: a room full of mosaics. Next door is the first room: a room full of Roman tools. We have an example of almost every Roman tool I’ve ever seen. A lady and her daughter walk out of the first room, into the second.)

    Daughter: “How did they make all of these things, mummy?”

    Lady: “All of them BY HAND! The Romans had NO tools!”

    E Pluribus Dumbum

    Bigots Don’t Get A Discount

    | Germany | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at the ticket office of a museum. Tickets are €4 for children, and €6 for adults. We also have a family ticket for €17. A mother with two children comes in.)

    Customer: “I’d like a family ticket for me and my kids.”

    Me: “Ma’am, it’d actually be cheaper to buy three separate tickets.”

    Customer: “Are you trying to tell me we’re not a family just because I’m a single mum? I can’t believe you’re discriminating against single parents!”

    Me: “I’d never. In fact, I was raised by a single mother myself.”

    Customer: “What if a gay couple came in with two children? Would you give them a family ticket?”

    Me: “Yes, I would, because it’s a better deal for them.”

    Customer: “So, those fancy rainbow families get a discount, but a hard-working single mum of two who can hardly make ends meet doesn’t?”

    (Before I can respond, the customer grabs her children and storms off.)

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