Smaller Cabin Fever

, , , | Right | April 15, 2019

(I work the closing shift as a receptionist at a five-star campsite in Sweden. Most people who rent cabins book their stay weeks in advance as they are very popular. One evening I answer a call from a man speaking English with a heavy accent.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name]. You’ve reached [Campsite]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I need a room for tonight. One bed.”

Me: “You’re lucky! We have two cabins left that can be rented tonight: one with four beds and running water, and one smaller with two beds and no running water. You will have full access to our nearby service facilities where there are restrooms and showers no matter the choice.”

Caller: “I need a toilet in the cabin.”

Me: “Certainly! The larger cabin is [price] per night—“

Caller: “What? That’s not good enough. How much is the smaller cabin?”

Me: “That would be [about half the previous price].”

Caller: “Can’t you give me the bigger cabin for the price of the smaller one?”

Me: “Um, unfortunately, I cannot do that. You would still have restrooms nearby the smaller cabin if you don’t wish to pay for the larger one. I can assure you the service facilities are well maintained.”

(The caller grumbles something angrily in a language I don’t understand.)

Caller: “I’ll call you back.”

Me: “Of course! Keep in mind we can’t check you in after 10:00 pm when we close the reception.”

(He hangs up. An hour later, around 9:00 pm, a biker rides up and parks his motorcycle right outside the reception — not in the assigned parking space — and comes in. It has just started to rain.)

Man: “I called earlier. I need a cabin.”

Me: “Welcome. It was me you spoke to. Both cabins are still available for one night.”

Man: “I want the one with water, but the price is too high.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot lower the price. The cabin is in top shape, newly renovated. With the cheaper cabin, you’ll still have access to toilets and showers less than a fifty-meter walk away.”

Man: “I don’t want to walk in the rain! You won’t rent out that cabin tonight, anyway, unless I take it. I should be able to choose the price myself. Any money I don’t give you is money you lose! I want to speak to your manager. He will teach you how to make business.”

Me: “I could give you her number, but she doesn’t work right now and won’t answer until tomorrow. Until then, I have to follow our rules.”

Man: “Come on! This is stupid! I won’t pay that much! You’ll just lose business!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but I’m not authorised to change our pricing for anyone.”

(The biker stomps out of the building swearing and gesturing obscenely. He takes off and I assume he’ll try to find a cheaper campsite. There is one about half an hour away, but I know already that all their cabins are fully booked. At 9:50 pm, the biker returns, fully drenched. It’s still raining.)

Man: “Look at me; I’m all wet! I want a shower in the cabin.”

Me: “That still is [price]. For [cheaper price] you’ll still have access to showers. They’re really close to the cabin; I can show you on our map here.”

Man: “Forget it. You know nothing about business. I’ll take the cheaper one.”

Me: “Sure! I just need your name, address, and a valid ID.”

(He is very reluctant to show me his ID, and even more so his address.)

Man: “What do you need my address for?”

Me: “We keep a register of all our guests to make booking faster should they come back. An address is part of the obligatory information needed to make a booking.”

Man: “Well, I’m not coming back here.”

Me: “I still need your address to complete your booking, sir.”

(Finally, he gave me an address. I got him his key and explained the map and some rudimentary rules. To save trouble for my colleagues in the morning, I didn’t even mention our option of paying at checkout and got him to pay upfront. The next day, I heard that my colleagues had to kick him out as he wouldn’t honor the checkout deadline. Apparently, he liked that smaller cabin after all.)

Camped Out To Catch Them Out

, , , , , | Right | March 16, 2019

I am in fifth grade. My mom runs a summer equestrian camp for kids. It is very popular and fills up very quickly every year, so she operates on a first-come-first-serve basis where any applications received before April 1st will not be looked at until that date.

This particular summer, one woman is extremely persistent in making sure her two kids get into the camp, submitting their applications several weeks before April 1st and contacting my mom every few days to see if she has looked at them yet, which, of course, she hasn’t. The woman’s persistence gets rather annoying, but nonetheless, both of her kids get into one of the camp’s sessions.

Fast-forward to the first day of camp: neither of the kids shows up. After the day ends, my mom contacts their mother to see what happened and make sure everything is okay. The woman apologizes and says that both of the kids were not feeling well that day, but will definitely be in tomorrow. The next day goes by — still neither one comes in. This time, the woman contacts my mom, apologizes again, and says that she forgot both of them had doctors’ appointments that day — that were apparently the length of an entire day of camp — but they will definitely be in the next day.

That night at dinner, my mom is telling us about all this and happens to mention the name of one of the kids. I recognize his name, as I went to school with him… and I realize that I’ve seen him the past two days at a different summer camp I am currently attending. My mom asks me if I’ve also seen his sister there, and I believe I have.

Long story short: rather than fessing up to double-booking her kids in two different camps, the woman tried to repeatedly lie to my mom about why they weren’t showing up to hers. The next day, when my dad picked me up, he made sure to wave and smile at the woman. She froze in her tracks, recognizing him as my mom’s husband, and meekly waved back.

Singalongs Make Everything Better

, , , , , , | Hopeless | March 1, 2019

During one of my summer breaks while attending college, I take a job as a summer camp counselor. Part of our weekly program involves performing a short play near the end of the week, and I volunteer to be one of the main characters. All goes well until I catch a bad cold. All the coughing I end up doing hurts my throat and makes my voice sound gravelly. I thankfully am not assigned a group of kids that week, but I don’t have anyone to replace me in the play. I rest my voice up as best I can, and even find a funny in-character reason to explain the way I sound. It works, right up until I have to sing a small solo. When I try to sing, absolutely no sound comes out of my mouth. I start to panic a bit, but the other counselors are quick to pick up on what is happening.

Every counselor in the audience knows this song, because of how much they’ve seen the play. So, when my voice fails me, the song only gets a couple bars in before the counselors all start singing my part for me! They don’t hesitate to cover the other bits of singing my character does, either. I swear it’s something straight out of a feel-good high school movie! Ten years later, and thinking about it still makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Keeping Pulling At That Thread

, , , , | Friendly | February 2, 2019

(When I am young, I go to a summer camp every year that is mainly staffed by people from overseas, primarily England. Being a bunch of middle-schoolers that rarely meet anyone from another state, never mind another country, we don’t quite get that it is rude to insist on hearing someone speak with an accent, but the counselors are mostly patient with us. Sometimes though, our ignorance gets a little too much for some…)

Us: “What’s your name?”

Counselor: “Pull.”

Us: “Huh?”

Counselor: “Pull?”

Us: “What?”

Counselor: *slightly pleadingly* “Pull?”

Us: “What kind of name is that?!”

Counselor: *with a resigned sigh and an exaggerated American accent* “PAAWWL!”

Us: “Oh! Paul!”

(Sorry, man! I promise I’ve learned to better understand accents in the twenty-plus years since!)

The Need For Dash-Cams And Knowledge Of The Law

, , , | Legal | December 27, 2018

(We are camped at a state park. We have been out for the day, including a party at the home of some friends. I had a couple drinks much earlier in the evening, and by the time this happens, I am stone-cold sober. I’m a former EMT. I never drive with the slightest amount of alcohol in my system! As we enter the campground and approach the registration booth, I see another vehicle approaching on another road. I stop immediately, as does the driver of the other car. We both sit there for a couple minutes, and I proceed to the booth. The other car comes up behind me; it is a park cop, and he puts on his emergency lights. He and his partner approach my car, one on each side. This is the weekend after Labor Day, the beginning of the slow season in this park.)

Cop: “You almost ran into the side of me.”

(That’s not true in the slightest; we’d never been closer together than ten inches or so.)

Me: “I’m sorry, officer.”

Cop: “You had a stop bar there.”

Me: “A what?”

Cop: *points to the white line painted on the road* “That’s the same as a stop sign.”

Me: “I didn’t know that. I’m very sorry, officer.”

(I am pretty sure that the white line isn’t the same thing as a stop sign, but I’m not stupid. I don’t want any trouble from this guy.)

Cop: “Well, be careful.” *leaves*

(I have since checked with a couple cops I know. That white line isn’t the equivalent of a stop sign. The cops I spoke with agreed with me, that the park cops were bored and were hoping to get a DUI arrest so they’d have something to do. While I was pretty peeved at his lying to me and his inappropriate actions, I did what I needed to do to avoid any trouble.)

Page 1/2712345...Last