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Tour Cried

| Bucharest, Romania | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Non-Dialogue, Tourists/Travel

In order to visit the Presidential Palace (former Royal Palace), you need to make a reservation at least two days earlier. My mother and I arrive on time and wait for the tour to start when an American family of three women and four children, all related, arrive. The first sign that this is going to be fun is that, despite the receptionist telling them about the rule, they make a scene about having traveled from far, wanting to visit, etc. The tour guide decides to bend the rules for the kids and agrees to take them on. Meanwhile, the children practically pick the Reception Hall apart. Since the museum is inside a functioning Government building, you are not permitted to leave the tour without announcing to the guide and waiting for an escort.

Kid #1, around 14 years old, the first chance she gets, takes her shoes off, lies down on the floor, and reads her book. Throughout the whole tour, not once did she look at the building or listen to the guide. But, hey. At least she was quiet, I guess. Still, would she have been allowed to do the same in the White House?

Kids #2 and #3, aged between eight and ten, make a point of touching every single item labeled with a “do not touch” sign.

And my personal favourite, Kid #4. The sweet little darling is about three, obviously way too young for a 100 minute-long tour. She is running around like crazy, getting behind the cordons, climbing up on the delicate historical furniture, while not a single adult from her family, including her own mother, pays ANY attention to her. After the tour guide pleads with the accompanying adults for the hundredth time, the little hellspawn’s mother drops this pearl, saying that Kid #4 doesn’t listen to her and that the kid will just scream if she tells the kid anything, so YOU do something about the kid. She then questioned why should she leave the tour when she paid for it?!

The poor guide, and every other visitor in our group — also paying customers — had to put up with an increasingly hysterical toddler and her entire entitled entourage for the rest of the visit, except the Royal Church. By that time, our guide had finally had enough and forbade them from entering. We asked her if we’d be allowed to buy her a drink on us after all the ordeal.

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You Will Be Ejected From The Building

| Wales, UK | Family & Kids, Tourists/Travel

(I work in an aviation museum, and like to have a little banter with visitors as they buy tickets.)

Me: “Thank you. Please mind your heads on low wingtips; there’s a few sharp edges here and there. Some of the aircraft, you can sit in the cockpits, but please keep your eye on the youngsters and don’t let them press the ejection seat button.”

Parent: “Ha ha, the insurance goes through the roof.”

Me: “No, sir, the kid goes through the roof.”

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I-Maximum Idiocy

| GA, USA | Movies & TV, Popular

(I have worked for years at a gift shop in a natural history museum which has an IMAX giant screen theater. As such, we always carry as many of the titles we screen on DVD as possible. This was a common occurrence:)

Customer: “Hey, yeah, I was looking for [IMAX film] on DVD.”

Me: “Absolutely. Right over here.”

Customer: “So… is… is this as big as the IMAX screen in there?”

Me: “Haha… only if your television is five stories high!”

Customer: *blank stare*

Me: “You know, if your television is as big as the theater?”

Customer: *blank stare*

Me: “No… No, it’s not.”

(I still cannot figure out how they thought a DVD would warp space and physics and expand their 27 inch Zenith into a five story IMAX screen. Sadly, this conversation happened WAY more than once, so I just quit making the joke. I know it wasn’t THAT funny… but, geez.)

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Only Drinking In Knowledge

| Wales, UK | Bizarre, Food & Drink

(It’s about 11 am and a very hot day. There are only a couple of customers having cold drinks in our cafe opposite my desk. A customer comes in and spends 10 minutes under the cold air fan above the door before making his way to my reception desk.)

Me: “Good morning.”

Customer: “One beer, please.”

Me: “Oh, sorry, we don’t serve alcohol, but the cafe has cold drinks.”

(He looks blankly at me, then at the cafe on the other side of the room.)

Customer: “I’ll just have whatever you got on tap, love.”

Me: “This is the reception desk for the building. We don’t serve alcohol. But there is a pub just three doors down.”

Customer: “Oh… what is this place, then? You’ve got people eating.”

Me: “We are a museum.”

Customer: “Really… Well, you should sell beer.”

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Screened For Bad Language

| Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Language & Words, Popular, Technology

(I’m the bad guy here. This happens in a science museum in Edinburgh that’s quite interactive and popular for young children, which I visit with my fiancée. We approach a large screen with an animated palaeontologist character standing idly. I look up and see a small sensor above the screen, and a marked floor area, and realise it’s an interactive display. It’s the middle of the week and we are the only ones in the exhibit.)

Display: “Hi there, are you having fun today?”

Me: “F*** off, witch.”

(I turn to walk on.)

Display: “Well, that was unexpected.”

(We stop and look back.)

Me: “What?”

Display: “I’ve never had anyone swear at me before!”

(Actually panicking now.)

Me: “Wait, you’re REAL?”

Display: “Yep, and quite surprised!”

(Turned out there was a staff member assigned to the screen and the sensor was a camera. She was quite forgiving and informative, but it was quite funny watching as people behind us ignored the screen and she started throwing sarcastic comments out to try and get their attention!)

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