Category: Tourists/Travel

Refunder Blunder, Part 21

| Wales, UK | Crazy Requests, Money, Popular, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I am approached by an initially-pleasant elderly couple.)

Me: “Prynhawn da, good afternoon; may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, we were wondering if you know anything about yesterday’s car crash?”

Me: “The one at [Tiny Village] about six pm? Yes, it affected my route home – I took a quick diversion through a mountain pass that runs parallel to the main road.”

Customer: “What happened, then?”

Me: “Well, I’m not privy to all the details but from what I hear, nobody died.”

Customer: “Well, that’s good. The poor dears.”

Customer’s Husband: “The poor dears. Anyway, since you said nobody died, we’d like to know how we may apply for compensation?”

Me: “Sir, if you were involved in the accident or a witness you need to contact the police straight away! You could have vital information. Your insurance company might want to know too.”

Customer: “Oh, no, dear, no! Nothing like that.”

Customer’s Husband: “The road had been closed for over an hour when we got there and we didn’t see a thing.”

Me: “Then how could you possibly need compensating? I’m really sorry, but I don’t understand.”

Customer: “Well, the policeman at the road block gave us directions.”

Me: “O… kay?”

Customer’s Husband: “He offered us two routes back to [Town I am working in].”

Customer: “One sounds like that single track road you said you used.”

Customer’s Husband: “And the other was sticking to the main roads and driving back around the mountain range the other way.”

Customer: “We didn’t want to go into the mountains, you see. Imagine if we met another car!”

Customer’s Husband: “So we went the long way. And now we’d like to claim our money back for the extra fuel.”

(I am dumbstruck and stand there with my mouth open for a good few seconds whilst I think of something useful to tell them.)

Me: “Well, sir and ma’am, I’m not aware of any council-run schemes to compensate people for inconveniences or extra costs incurred for those not involved in a roadside emergency. I can give you the number for the department in the council that deals with roadways, but if anything like this IS available, my guess is that it would take the form of an insurance payout from the companies the vehicles actually involved were insured with. I have no idea if you can even get that information, but I can give you contact details for the nearest police station, who should be able to tell you.”

Customer’s Husband: “That sounds complicated.”

Customer: “We were hoping you might have a refund button on your till for it and could just give us cash today.”

Customer’s Husband: “We don’t mind if you have to refund it on our card, though.”

Me: “Sir, you’ve come to a tourist information kiosk. The ONLY functions on my till are for the sale and returns of maps and souvenirs. On the off-chance that there IS a law somewhere that says you may claim compensation for the type of issue you had yesterday, it would be dealt with centrally anyway and you’d get a cheque in the post. As I’ve said, it is NOT something we can deal with here. You would need to contact the police, a solicitor, or perhaps our roadways department.”

Customer: “Okay, well, that’s not really what we wanted to hear, but thank you, dear.”

(I needed to go and make a very strong cup of tea after they left!)

Related:
Refunder Blunder, Part 20
Refunder Blunder, Part 19
Refunder Blunder, Part 18

Don’t Mess With The Moose

| MN, USA | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals, Tourists/Travel

(I work for a state park, and we get asked a lot of the same questions every day. Sometimes we hear them enough and we simply respond by making some BS answer and continue leading the customer the wrong way, just so they will stop complaining.)

Customer: “This is my first time ever visiting here and I was wondering, when do the deer turn into moose?”

Me: *having heard this at least five times* “Usually around the end of October through the middle of November.”

Customer: “Could you be more specific on the date?”

Me: “My apologies, but it varies from year to year. Some years are better than others and they turn much quicker, though I have a feeling this is one of those years.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you for the useful information!”

(The man walked away thinking deer turn into moose. My coworkers asked how long I had been thinking of that answer. I made it up as we were talking, hoping he would catch my sarcasm…)

Doesn’t Understand The ‘Grand’ Part Of The Canyon

| Grand Canyon, AZ, USA | Geography, Tourists/Travel

(I’m working the afternoon shift at a gift shop register at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.)

Customer: “So, we’ve got dinner reservations for Phantom Ranch and rooms at El Tovar. What’s the best route to get there?”

Me: “…”

(For those not familiar with the area, El Tovar is on the South Rim, a five-hour drive from the North Rim, and Phantom Ranch is at the bottom of the canyon. The only route that reaches both of them is a two-day hike across the canyon.)

A Ringside Seat For The Battle Of The Seat

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I am on the train traveling from California to Colorado. A few minutes after I get on, the conductor announces that the train will be completely filled due to the holidays. Slips of paper are hung over the seats to indicate they are occupied, so travelers can go to the dining car or observation car and not have their seat taken. A few stops after I get on, when the train is not completely full yet, an older woman boards. A conductor helps her with her luggage. She immediately hones in on the only empty window seat left, which is directly across the aisle from me.)

Conductor: “Ma’am, you cannot sit there. That seat is already occupied.”

Lady: “I don’t see anyone sitting here.

Conductor: “They aren’t here now, but that paper shows the seat is reserved. And their stuff is on the seat.” *a plastic bag is hanging from the armrest near the window*

Lady: “Well, since they aren’t here, I’m going to sit here.”

Conductor: “Ma’am, you can’t do that. Someone already claimed that seat. You have to sit somewhere else.”

Lady: “I don’t want to sit somewhere else.”

Conductor: “But you can’t sit there.”

Lady: “But I picked this seat.”

Conductor: “Someone else already picked that seat. You need to pick another one.”

Lady: “I’m sitting here. I’ll just move whenever they get back.”

Conductor: “Fine.”

(About a half hour later, the man returns to his seat and finds it occupied.)

Man: “Ma’am, you’re in my seat.”

Lady: “This is my seat.”

Man: “No, it’s not. Those are my things. This is my seat. You need to move.”

Lady: “You weren’t here, so I sat here. You can sit somewhere else.”

Man: “No. This is my seat. You need to move.”

Lady: “I don’t want to move.”

Man: “That’s too bad. You’re in my seat.”

(By this point, I am struggling to contain laughter, incredulous at the woman’s behavior. I didn’t speak up at first because the man was clearly not cowed by the crazy lady’s behavior, but I finally decide he needs some help.)

Me: “Ma’am, the conductor told you that was someone’s seat. You told him that you would move when the person returned.”

(The crazy lady gives me an evil glare and humphs.)

Lady: “Well, FINE, then.”

(She makes a big show of struggling to stand up, when she had been clearly mobile before. The train is nearly full at this point, and there is not an empty seat in sight.)

Man: “Ma’am, the seat next to mine is empty if you want to sit there.”

Lady: “FINE.” *she continues to grumble under her breath*

(Several hours later, the man got up again and left for a while. When I glanced over again, the crazy lady was back in his seat, clearly looking smug. I went to sleep before he returned and his stop was at 5 am, before I woke up, so I didn’t get to see if there was another confrontation, but for the rest of the trip the crazy lady finally officially had her window seat.)

Dumb By Any Metric, Part 3

| VIC, Canada | Extra Stupid, Popular, Tourists/Travel

(I conduct tours for cruise ship passengers who’ve come ashore. Most of them are Americans, so as part of my tour, I give them a short lesson in the metric system.)

Me: “So, in Canada, we operate under the metric system. Our speed limits are measured in kilometres per hour, not miles per hour. For example, 80 kilometres per hour is around 50 miles per hour. Our temperature is measured in Celsius, not Fahrenheit. When we say it’s 20 degrees Celsius, that’s about the same as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If we say it’s zero degrees Celsius, that’s 32 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Tourist: “What’s the population here?”

Me: “Our population is around 350,000 people.”

Tourist: “How many is that in REAL numbers?”

Related:
Dumb By Any Metric, Part 2
Dumb By Any Metric

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