Category: Tourists/Travel

The Ticket To Kicking Her Out

| NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Time, Tourists/Travel

(I’m standing in line at the 9/11 memorial in New York, waiting to go in for the 2 pm viewing. As you can imagine, it’s very crowded. Each ticket is booked for a specific time to prevent overcrowding and to keep numbers at safe levels. It’s currently 1:30 pm; I’ve gotten in line early as I expected there would be a lot of people – which there is. There is an employee standing near the entrance to the lines directing people where they should stand. All of a sudden a woman pushes in front of me…)

Woman: *shouting* “I HAVE A 1 pm TICKET! YOU HAVE TO LET ME IN NOW!”

Employee: “I apologize, but you will need to go to the back of the line. You will still be able to get in with that ticket but I cannot allow you to push in front of the other patrons.”

Woman: “No. I should be let in first. I bought an earlier ticket then they did.”

Employee: *sigh* “Can I have a look at your ticket, please?”

Woman: *triumphantly thrusting a piece of paper in his face* “Here!”

Employee: *looking at piece of paper a little bigger than a credit card with ‘reference’ and numbers scrawled after it* “Ma’am, this isn’t a ticket… I can’t let you into the museum with this. You will need to go to the ticket window so they can print it for you, the line is just over there to your left.”

Woman: *now irate* “WHAT? You expect me to stand in a line? Look up my reference number and let me in NOW!”

Employee: “I have no facilities to do that with. The only people that can help you with that are in the ticket office. You need to—”

Woman: *now screaming* “NO! I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO STAND IN LINES! THAT’S WHY I BOOKED AN EARLY TICKET AND CAME LATE! I’M SMARTER THAN THEM!” *gesturing to other people in line*

(A HUGE security guard appears, and speaks to the employee:)

Security Guard: “Is there anything wrong here? I can escort her off the premises if you need.”

Woman: *sizing up security guard* “Oh… the ticket line is over here, you say?”

This Will Not Be A Walk In The Park

| The Netherlands | Bizarre, Tourists/Travel

(I’m working as a photographer at a sea-life park, whose big blue dome, where the main dolphin show is held, is its landmark. A lady comes up to me.)

Lady: “Excuse me, but can you tell me how to get in the park?”

Me: *confused* “You’re already in the park.”

Lady: “No, I mean IN the park. Like, inside.”

Me: “Didn’t you just walk through the front gates and paid there? From there on, you’re in the park, on park grounds.”

Lady: “No, in THERE!” *points towards the show dome*

Me: *getting a clue* “Oh, you mean how to get to our show dome? Well, you can’t miss it. The entrance is on this side of the dome. If you just follow the path here, it will lead you straight to it.”

Lady: “Yes, that’s what I meant! How can you think I mean something else? I want to get IN the park!”

Me: “Ma’am, you’re already IN the park. This park contains a lot more than only the main dolphin show.”

Lady: “Wait, there’s more?”

(I still wonder why she thought that high entrance price was only for one show!)

Rising Land, Falling Intelligence

| New River Gorge, WV, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Tourists/Travel

(While rafting on the New River in West Virginia, which is located in a gorge.)

Customer: “How do they get the trees in the back taller than the ones in the front? Those must be some really tall trees I guess.”

Me: “…”

The Jewel Fool

| USA | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I’m in the TSA pre-check line, since I have *paid* for clearance for such. Recently, the policy has been that flyers over 65 get automatic pre-check, for the most part. In front of me in the security screening line is an older woman, who I assume got the “elderly flyer” clearance.)

TSA Agent: “Ma’am, you need to remove your jewelry to go through the metal detector. You can probably go through with a single necklace or ring, but not with the numerous pieces you’re wearing. If you have something really valuable, we can hold it within your sight while you walk through.”

Elderly Flyer: “I’m not letting any of my very valuable jewelry out of my sight… It’ll be fine; just let me through.”

TSA Agent: “We can’t really stop you from trying… Please walk through the metal detector.”

(Of course the metal detector goes nuts with her piles of jewelry, but despite TSA’s requests to take the jewelry off or step aside, she continues ranting and raving and blocking the metal detector so that no one else can proceed. Eventually, they get her off to the side, and let people behind her go through the metal detector. I don’t remove my wedding set since I know that it doesn’t contain enough metal to set off the detectors, but that is literally the only metal on my person.)

Elderly Flyer: “NOW HOLD ON A MINUTE! She just walked through the metal detector wearing a hunk of a rock, and you didn’t hold her up for one second. Why am I being persecuted?”

TSA Agent: “Ma’am, she was wearing just one ring, and a typical wedding ring won’t set off the detectors. You are wearing several necklaces, bracelets, and rings. You don’t have to take it all off, but more than one necklace, bracelet, or ring will probably set off the detectors, and then we have to re-screen you. Again, if any one of your pieces of jewelry are very valuable, we can hold it while you walk through the metal detector, and it will never be out of your sight.”

Elderly Flyer: “I just don’t understand why I’m being subject to such intense screening. I’m an innocent old lady!”

Me: *finally snapping* “Look, lady, you were put in this line just because you are old. If you were even a few years younger, you’d be standing in a long line downstairs and have to take not only your jewelry, but also shoes and coat off, plus remove the iPad I saw you using a few minutes ago from your bag, and I’m going to bet you have liquids in your bag you didn’t have to remove, either. I paid $100 and went through a background check and in-person interview to use this line… You got here for free because you are old. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. If they asked me to take my wedding set off because it set the metal detector off, I would do it, even though it’s worth at least 10 times what all your costume jewelry is. Take your jewelry off, put it through the x-ray machine, and GET OVER IT.”

(She stood there mouth agape that someone would tell her what’s what. The TSA agent at the end of the line, where I was retrieving my carry on, gave me a discreet high-five.)

Exchanging Un-Pleasantries

| Auckland, New Zealand | Extra Stupid, Money, Tourists/Travel

Me: “Hi there, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yes, hello love. I need US Dollars, please… I’m going on a family holiday to Italy then France.”

Me: “Ma’am, US Dollars cannot be used in those countries. Italy and France use the Euro.”

Customer: “NO, NO, NO! They use US Dollars; most countries use the US Dollar. It’s the most powerful money in the universe.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you, US Dollars are not used in those countries. You’ll end up exchanging it for Euros when you get there.”


Me: “Ma’am, I work in a foreign currency exchange.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Would you like the Euros, ma’am?”

Customer: “No, you smart little cow, give me US Dollars or I will complain to your manager!”

Me: “All right then, ma’am.”

(I give the customer US Dollars for use in Europe.)

Customer: “Now, that wasn’t hard to do was it?”

Me: “No, ma’am, thank you for your business.”

(She returned three hours later with her son (who seemed extremely annoyed with his mother) and exchanged the US Dollars back to the local currency then into Euros.)

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