About To Be Some Diorama-Drama

, , , , | Related | December 5, 2019

(I am working at the ticketing desk of a local museum where some of our major exhibits are diorama halls of taxidermied animals. A woman and her son who looks to be about three or four come up to my desk.)

Son: “We’re going to the museum!”

Mother: *angrily* “Yeah, we were going to go to the zoo, but somebody only wants to see dead animals!”

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Unfiltered Story #177142

, , , | Unfiltered | November 11, 2019

While working in a children’s museum I was put in charge of shows in our little planetarium. During the shows I would take patrons (mostly children) into the dome, show them constellations, and tell them stories. The show was quite popular and involved a lot of stories told in a humorous vein.

One day a woman, a well-known politician in Alaska (not Sarah Palin, however!), came in to the show. She was very nice before the show, but as I started telling the stories she would repeat everything I said on about a two-second delay in a loud voice, word for word. I could not say anything without her echoing me.

It totally threw me off stride and disrupted the show, but despite my obvious confusion and the annoyance of the other patrons, she continued to repeat everything for the rest of the show. Other patrons even asked her to stop, but to no avail.

Although I felt the show was ruined and a total waste, other patrons came up afterwards to compliment me on how well I handled the situation and that I never lost my cool. So I guess her disruptive behavior worked to my advantage.

It’s A Family Joke

, , , | Right | October 2, 2019

(We’re at a museum on a family vacation. We’re at the front desk paying to get in.)

My Mom: *studying the prices* “Four stuniors.”

(She has mashed up “two seniors” — my parents — and “two students” — my brother and me.)

Employee: “How about a family pass?”

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“Building” Great Impressions

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 25, 2019

Years ago, when I was working in a Victorian-era house that had been converted into a museum, I would frequently be the only staff member present. As it was in a fairly isolated location, there would be days I was the only person for miles.

On one such slow day at the beginning of the season, I was going through cleaning tasks when a whole group of stereotypical biker guys pulled in. Our grounds have a restroom and are open to the public, so they spent some time stretching their legs. I kept an eye on them, but since people often pulled in to explore the grounds without ever entering the house, I didn’t think too much about it.

Then, two of them came in, big, bearded guys in all their Harley Davidson leather. Being in the hospitality industry, I always kept a pleasant face on, but I’m a pretty small female and couldn’t help feeling a little nervous. Biker guys had never come inside before.

They asked some questions about the house, which I answered, and then I went ahead and told them about the tour options. The lead guy smiled and said, “Nah, we’re not into that. But we pull in here every year, so we wanted to give something toward your building fund. Do you have anything like that?”

I gave him a big smile back and said that as a matter of fact, we did take donations. They went outside and collected cash from the rest of their group: when I counted it up on my way to the donation box, it was over $40.

So many tourists would whine about having to pay to enter the museum at all, and yet here were these biker guys paying more than admission just because they liked to visit the grounds on their yearly trip. Biker guys are sweet teddy bears: confirmed!

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Doesn’t Understand Whose Lifetime It’s For

, , , , , | Right | September 20, 2019

(I work summers in a historical park — basically a huge outdoor museum. Decades ago, some of the original donors to the park were issued lifetime passes. I work in the ticket booth at the front of the park, and a woman and her kids arrive with one of these lifetime passes. Not only is she much too young to have been issued one of these passes, but the pass is in a man’s name.)

Customer: “This pass gives us free family admission, right?”

Me: “Is the pass holder with you today?”

Customer: “I’m the pass holder.”

Me: “Is this your name on the pass?”

Customer: “No, that’s my father’s name. But he left the pass to me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this pass is only valid if the pass holder is here with you.”

Customer: “He died last year.”

Me: “I’m so sorry.”

Customer: “But he left me this pass.”

Me: “I’m afraid they don’t really work that way. If your father has passed away, you won’t be able to use his pass.”

Customer: “But it’s a lifetime pass!”

Me: “Right…”

Customer: “It never expires!”

Me: “It never expired during your father’s lifetime. But since he’s passed away…”

Customer: “He left it to me! I can use it!”

Me: “No, I’m afraid these passes can’t be left to other family members.”

Customer: “But it’s a lifetime pass!

(I finally had to get my boss to explain that the Lifetime Pass was only valid during her father’s lifetime. The woman refused to pay admission. She left, still angry that we wouldn’t accept her dead father’s Lifetime Pass.)

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