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Potentially Peeing In The Pews

, , , , , | Right | April 6, 2022

Before moving out, I used to occasionally work as a volunteer in a historical church, and I’ve seen my share of visitors, usually foreigners, trying to come in with shorts, bare shoulders, or even swimsuits, and the need to direct them either to the “disposable veil” bin or the outside of the church, something the signs outside explicitly tell you. However, there are also other unspoken rules when it comes to churches…

I was sitting down at the pamphlet table, when I saw an older man enter with his dog, which looked like some sort of bulldog. I immediately got up.

Me: “Excuse me, sir, pets aren’t allowed in the church, there’s a dog parking outside where you can leave them.”

He looks at me as if I had told him his dog had to be butchered and served to the poor.

Man: “What? Why I can’t take my dog in the church? He’s a good boy, he won’t bark or make a mess inside.”

Me: “Sir, unless your dog is a service animal, he really cannot enter the church.”

Man: “Well, he isn’t a service animal, but I want to take him inside the church! It’s too hot out there; he’d get a heatstroke!”

Me: “Don’t worry, the dog parking is in the shade and has a bowl of water if he needs it.”

Man: “But what if somebody steals him? Besides, why do you care so much? Can’t you just let me take him in?”

Me: “Sir, I can’t make any exceptions.”

Man: “You’re a d*** and not Christian at all, you know that? For people claiming to be so tolerant, you sure like to boss people around.”

He then left in a huff. I know that “no pets allowed” isn’t commonly found on church doors, but shouldn’t the saying “being treated like a dog in a church” be a hint on how acceptable they are in a church?

It Means No Worries, For The Rest Of Your Reservation

, , , , , | Right | March 23, 2022

I work as a receptionist in a hotel in a small seaside town in Tuscany famous for its beaches and thermal baths. A customer books a reservation for all of August, the busiest tourist month of all the season. The hotel accepts small dogs or animals that can stay in a cage: for example, little birds.

Before the confirmation of the booking, we send an email asking if the customer has animals. They write back saying that they have a meerkat with them, but they assure us that it will stay in the cage when they are at the beach.

The manager decides to accept the reservation, even though it isn’t a typical animal, with the clause that the customer has to pay all the reservation period in advance. The idea is that the customer would never accept such a proposal, but the manager is wrong, and the customer pays everything immediately.

I send an email to the customer with the confirmation of the booking, as well as all the information and phone numbers if they want to reserve the deck chair and umbrella at one of the bathhouses near the hotel. I suggest they do so as soon as possible and, after that, I don’t think any more about the strange reservation.

August comes and the couple with the meerkat arrives with a small cage and the animal on a leash like a small dog. This conversation happens after the check-in.

Me: “Have you booked a bathhouse around here as suggested? I can give you the directions there if you need them.”

Customer’s Husband: “No, why?”

Me: “We are in full season; it is very difficult to find a place now.”

Customer: “We read the email, but we thought that you were too dramatic, so we didn’t do it.”

Me: *Still smiling* “Not a problem. There are some free beaches around here. They are a little crowded, but if you don’t mind, they are very nice. Remember only that your pet has to remain inside the cage, closed, when you are out so that it can’t escape from the room or dirty it.”

Customer: “Don’t worry; we will take the meerkat with us to the beach, and we are sure that we will find a place to stay in a bathhouse near the hotel.”

Me: “Are you sure? I don’t think that any bathhouse will accept the meerkat. It is not a dog, and as written in the mail that I sent you, only two bathhouses accept animals.”

Customer: *Starting to look at me as if I’m dumb* “Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing! They will not dare to reject us.”

The next afternoon, the customer’s husband arrives at the reception desk really upset.

Customer’s Husband: “This place is impossible! It’s supposed to be a very famous tourist town! They don’t want tourists! We hate it here and we want to leave tomorrow!”

Me: “I’m so sorry. How can help you to change your mind?”

Customer’s Husband: *Even more upset* “We walked all the morning to find a place in a bathhouse, but they were all full or they don’t accept pets! And wherever we went, all the other tourists wanted to take selfies or photos with our meerkat, and all the small kids wanted to pet it, calling it Timon!”

Me: *Trying to remain serious* “I’m so sorry, but I think that seeing a meerkat is something that doesn’t happen every day, and as I told you yesterday and I wrote in the email that I sent you at the moment of the reservation, we are in full season—”

Customer’s Husband: “I don’t care! My wife thinks that everyone is so rude in this place!”

Me: “I’m really sorry. The only thing that I can suggest for you is that your pet remains in your room inside the cage while you enjoy the sea. I can try to find a place at the bathhouse in front of us with a special discount for the inconvenience.”

Customer’s Husband: *Even more upset* “My wife would never put her beloved pet in a cage; how dare you even suggest it?! I will talk to your manager, and we want to leave tomorrow with a full refund!”

He went away, muttering about the rudeness of everyone. I called the manager and told him all about the conversation, and he assured me not to worry and that he had the situation under control.

The next day, I asked the manager about it.

The couple decided to leave, even though the manager refused to give them a refund because they had been well advised by email about the need to reserve a bathhouse before their arrival, and it is not the fault of the hotel if people wanted to take photos of their pet.

While they were discussing that, the customers left the door of their room open and the meerkat was (obviously) not in the cage. The pet went missing and the wife started to scream and cry trying to find the animal. All of the hotel’s staff started to look for the meerkat everywhere, even outside the hotel. My manager instead decided to enter the room, and there the poor meerkat was – terrified by all that noise – simply hiding under the bed.

When the wife saw the manager with her missing pet, she started to hug him and thanked him, calling him her savior and superhero.

After they left, my manager’s new rule became: “No meerkats allowed!” but all the staff started to call him the savior of meerkats!

Their Holiday Planning Is Totally Fried

, , , | Right | March 16, 2022

I work as a hotel receptionist. I usually have fairly polite and peaceful guests. During my afternoon shift, I have just replaced my colleague and I have barely settled down on my chair when a man with his son in tow barrels toward me.

Guest: *In English and sounding a bit agitated* “Excuse me, Mrs. [My Name], do you happen to know where the nearest KFC is?”

Me: *Tilting my head* “KFC? Terribly sorry, sir, but there aren’t any here. You—”

Guest: “Look, I know what you’re going to say, but I really need to know.”

Me: “As I was saying, there are no KFCs in this area, or… anywhere in Tuscany, really.”

Guest: *Getting flustered* “Please, my daughter is autistic. I already promised her I was going to get her KFC for lunch if she behaved. There’s gotta be one around here.”

Me: “Sir, I am not trying to be a snob or push you to a restaurant or anything. There really aren’t any locations here.”

Guest: “Okay, fine. Give me a map and I will figure something out.”

I shrugged and picked up a city map from behind my desk and gave it to him. He scooted off with his daughter excitedly following.

Later that evening, the man came back to my desk and apologized to me for his behaviour, saying that he got lucky that a rotisserie chicken cutlet was good enough for his daughter, but I’m honestly more confused by his lack of forethought about it.

Did Disney Invent Jiminy Cricket, Too?!

, , , , | Right | March 9, 2022

I live in Florence, Italy, and a tourist came up to me once to ask:

Tourist: “Why is every shop selling Pinocchio gadgets?”

That day she learned that Disney didn’t invent this character and that it was formerly a book. She was happy to learn and went along with her day, but to me and my colleagues, it sounded like a really dumb question.

That story always makes me giggle, but I wonder if this woman was really oblivious or the news I gave her was obvious just in Italy.

Good Thing They Didn’t Panic

, , , , , | Working | February 16, 2022

This story was related to us by our safety officer. Years ago, he was working in a large refinery and they had a safety drill every last day of the month. Everyone knew when the drill was due; coworkers kept reminding each other, “Have your badge/dosimeter/mask with you.” At the sound of the sirens, all quickly donned their gas masks and reached the gathering points in an orderly fashion. The safety service reported a 100% preparedness level.

It was too good to be true.

Together with a few practical-minded colleagues, the safety officer lobbied for having a more realistic test, so one day, the sirens sounded unexpectedly.

It was mayhem all around, but one event took the cake. Two workers were doing a job on an elevated platform and had forgotten their gas masks at ground level. One of the two, in the safety officer’s own words, “crapped himself and made his peace.” The other, less fatalistically, jumped from the platform in an attempt to reach the gas mask and broke both legs.

The refinery management, upon receiving the preparedness level numbers, took action. Their first decision, effective immediately, was to return to preplanned end-of-the-month drills with no exception.