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Jurassic Park Doesn’t Live Up To Expectation

| China | History, Pets & Animals

(I work in a museum of paleontology at an information desk. The word in Chinese for paleontology literally means “ancient animals study,” so there should be no mistaking what it is. I am chatting with my coworker when a visitor starts looking around, very confused.)

Coworker: “Can I help you?”

Visitor: “Yeah, where are the living animals?”

Coworker: “Excuse me?”

Visitor: “Where are the living animals? These are all dead.”

Coworker: “Uh… at the zoo?”

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John Carpenter’s: Hamlet

, | Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, UK | Books & Reading, Funny Names

(I work in the gift shop at one of Shakespeare’s houses, and we get a lot of silly questions.)

Customer: “Does The Merchant of Venice have another name?”

Me: “It was occasionally called The Jew of Venice a long time ago but nobody calls it that now for obvious reasons.”

Customer: “Well, in the museum there was a list of all the plays and I couldn’t find it on there. Does it have another name? Like a subtitle?”

Me: “Um… no, I’m afraid not. It must have been on there somewhere.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, I thought it might have another name – you know, like how Hamlet gets called Hamlet, Prince of Darkness?”

Me: “You mean, Prince of Denmark?”

Customer: *blank look*

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Third Floor Time Lucky

| China | Language & Words

(I work at the information desk on the second floor of a museum of paleontology. It should be noted that while I am a foreigner, I speak decent Chinese and have been told that I speak very clearly.)

Visitor: “Hello! Is there anything on the third floor?”

Me: “The third floor is mammals.”

Visitor: “But is there anything on the third floor?”

Me: “Yes, it has mammals.”

Visitor: “But does the third floor have anything?”

Me: “Yes.”

Visitor: “Okay!” *walks upstairs*

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You’ve Been Benched

| MA, USA | History, Tourists/Travel

(I work at a historic site in Massachusetts, and we have strict no-touching rules. The customer had just purchased admission.)

Me: “All right, now, before you head in, just a reminder not to touch any of the furniture inside, as the pieces are several hundred years old.”

(The customer gives a noncommittal grunt before going into the site. Not five minutes later, I look inside and see him sitting on an 18th century bench, which I should add, has a rope across it to stop people from sitting on it.)

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but you can’t sit there.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “The furniture pieces here are historic, and we can’t have visitors sitting on them.”

Customer: “Well, if you don’t want people sitting on the furniture, you should inform them before they pay!”

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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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