Enough Issues To Fill A Cavern

, , , , | Right | June 1, 2020

I work as a tour guide for a cavern. This particular day, I am helping the cashier as well as being the base operator for the radios. It’s spring break; naturally, the park is full of people. We’re a day park only and close at six; our last tour goes down at four. Tours are usually an hour and a half long.

I’m ringing up a customer when I hear a frantic radio call from a guide. It’s partially garbled so I have to ask her to repeat a few times. A guest has left her tour and run for the gates. This is a no-no; guests can’t be alone and are only able to leave groups when escorted out. It’s a safety reason and usually, everyone understands.

It’s important to note that once you leave the cave, there is no going back down to rejoin a tour. After you pass a certain point in the cave, there are also no refunds issued.

Twenty minutes later, a woman approaches the register with a child in her arms.

Guest: “Hi, so, we were on [Guide #1]’s tour and my son had to go to the bathroom, but we’re ready to go back down now. We were at [Room far past the refund stop].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unfortunately, once you leave the cave, you won’t be able to rejoin the tour you left; they are pretty far into the tour now.”

She stares at me like I’m stupid.

Guest: “But he had to go to the bathroom. Would you rather him go on himself? He’s five!”

I point to the rules on the TV behind me.

Me: “I do understand, ma’am; however, the rules here state that once you pass [refund stop], there is nothing we can do.”

My manager, having overheard, comes over.

Manager: “What’s wrong?”

I explain the situation and she’s shaking her head before I finish.

Manager: “Yes, ma’am, I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do at this point. I do apologise, but your tour is almost over as it is, so we won’t be able to send you back down.”

Guest: *Scoffs* “Well, put me on another tour, then! I paid a lot of money and you’re telling me that, because he had to go to the bathroom, he has to suffer! No one mentioned that we couldn’t come back up!”

My manager is shaking her head again.

Manager: “Yes, ma’am, we actually tell everyone at the time they buy their tickets, so my cashier here would have told you. And we make two announcements before the tour starts. There are also signs everywhere. The last tour of the day went down ten minutes ago and there will be no more.”

The woman turns on her heels without another word and storms out the back doors. My manager and I shrug our shoulders at each other and continue on, thinking it’s over.

Almost thirty minutes later, when the woman’s tour comes up, her husband — who had stayed behind on the tour — comes marching to the counter directly to me. He shoves his finger in my face.

Guest’s Husband: “I need to make a complaint!”

He goes off on a rant about how horrible we have been to his wife and that their five year old is so heartbroken. We have ruined their whole day and they want to speak to a manager now.

Me: “Well, sir, your wife spoke to a manager earlier, who told her she couldn’t rejoin the tour.”

Just at that moment, the big boss, even higher up than my manager, appeared next to me and told me to just issue a refund. I resist the urge to bang my head into the desk repeatedly as my manager showed back up. I told her what the big boss said, and she pursed her lips and issued the refund without a smile or any hint of kindness.

She handed him the money and he walked off. She looked like she was about to explode with anger because the big boss didn’t even know the whole story and he just wanted to please the guest.

Later, we found out what had really happened in the cave. Apparently, the woman abandoned her tour and walked herself halfway out of the cave before she came in contact with another tour. The other tour guide wouldn’t let her continue by herself and she ran for the exit, pushing another guest out of her way in the process.

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