Turning Being Bored Of Art Into An Art Form

, , , , | Right | April 14, 2021

I work at a multiple-story art museum as a gallery attendant. We do not allow food or drink on the upper floors, just in the lobby. It’s Saturday, the museum’s busiest day of the week, and there’s a baseball game happening down the road later in the day, meaning the museum is extra busy.

I am alone on this particular floor, walking back and forth between the two rooms, which are separated by a small hallway with an elevator. I spy a family: Mom, Dad, and two boys aged maybe thirteen and eight, with a red wagon, right in front of the elevator. The older boy takes a water bottle from the wagon, cracks it open, and takes a sip right in front of me.

I make eye contact with the dad and approach.

Me: “Excuse me. I’m sorry, but if he wants to take a drink right here, that’s fine, but we don’t allow food or drink up here on the floor, so it’ll have to stay put away near the artwork.”

Yes, this is totally against the rules. I should have asked them to take it back down to the lobby for storage, but I decide to try to be nice today.

Dad: “Oh, right, sure.” 

They put the bottle away. Dad maneuvers the wagon and the younger boy to the corner near the elevator. The mom and the older boy go off to explore the floor.

All is well and fine for the next few minutes. What appears to be Grandma and another teenage boy go over to the elevator, where Dad and the younger boy are still in the corner. I overhear Grandma ask what they’re doing.

Dad: *Loud enough that I can hear* “We’re leaving because that b**** told [Older Boy] he couldn’t drink water.”

I keep walking, though I definitely blush in anger. Grandma leaves and reappears shortly with Mom and the older boy, while Dad is still going off with “that b****” comments, obviously loud enough for me to hear as I walk back and forth.

When the family is reunited, Dad is still going off about me. I’m still walking back and forth, just about ready to intervene, when Grandma starts.

Grandma: “Well, [Older Boy] should’ve known better! You’re the ones who snuck it up here! It’s no surprise ‘that b****’ said something if he drank it in front of her!”

The elevator thankfully opened and the family departed. I talked to a coworker later; the family never went to the floor below or any other floor. Dad made the whole family leave because they decided to break the rules and got caught for it.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed, Tribe Again, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | March 27, 2021

I work in a museum that focuses on the Cherokee nation. Most of the employees, including me, are Cherokee. Phenotypically, I look white, especially compared to a lot of my other coworkers. 

A guest comes in and starts talking to one of my coworkers. He follows her to the counter, turns to me, and sneers.

Guest: “Let me guess, white girl. You’re here because your great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess, right?” 

I look him dead in the eyes.

Me: “Actually, I’m here because I was born on the boundary and was raised here by my grandmother and father; both are enrolled members of the Cherokee nation. How else can I help you today?” 

He turned and left without buying the genealogy materials my coworker had tried to talk him into buying.

Related:
If At First You Don’t Succeed, Tribe Again

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When It Comes To Parenting, She’s Not Crushing It

, , , | Right | March 25, 2021

I work in a museum that offers several virtual reality experiences. One is sort of halfway to a rollercoaster: it is a moving and tilting platform with four seats on it. Basically, it is heavy machinery with some VR headsets attached. The ride is surrounded by a barrier to prevent people being in danger, and there are two gates — one on either side — to let people in and out.

I am letting one family off on the far side, when two kids — around ten years old — open the gate on the other side and run in. This is a HUGE safety issue, even with the ride not currently in motion.

Me: “You two need to get back in line right now! It is not safe for you to be in here. Go back behind the gate and I will come get you when it is your turn.”

Mother: “Don’t you dare talk to my children like that!”

Me: “Ma’am, I cannot have them in here until I let them in. It is a safety issue.”

Mother: “I am a surgeon and I understand safety! They are just children and you cannot speak to them like that!”

Me: “I apologize, ma’am, but I am the one in charge of this ride right now and I cannot have them in here for their own safety.”

Mother: “Get me your manager right now! I will not have you speaking to my children that way!”

I am still working on wiping off the headsets from the last riders, so I’m not near my walkie.

Me: “Okay, just give me one second to call—”

Mother: “No!”

She then stalks off to yell at our cashier, who is not a manager. She demands someone else run the ride because she doesn’t want me doing it, but we have no one else so she comes back.

Me: “Okay, would you like to ride now or wait for a manager?”

Mother: “I guess I’ll just ride, then!”

She proceeds to get on the ride, and when I bring a basket for her loose items, she goes off again, saying she isn’t going to give me her stuff.

Me: “Ma’am, I cannot have you holding loose items on the ride. It is a safety issue. They need to be in the basket.”

She finally gives me her stuff and I then give the safety spiel as she glares me down. Her kids, meanwhile, have been listening to me just fine. They’ve gone back behind the gate as asked, and they wait for me, listen to the spiel, and put on their headsets correctly. Finally, the ride is over and the lady completely ignores me, putting her headset back incorrectly, and I let them off.

She huffs and puffs at my manager before leaving. I go to sit the next set of riders and the next mom in line offers this gem.

Mom #2: “If she’s a surgeon, I hope I never end up in her operating room.”

Sorry for trying to keep your kids from potentially getting crushed, lady. I’m sure you’d react swimmingly to someone running into your operating room without following proper procedure.

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Who Mourns For Adonis?

, , , , , , | Right | March 23, 2021

I am conducting an English-speaking tour of the museum for some American tourists. We are in the Greek history section where we have several very famous and beautiful statues from the period.

Me: “This is the statue of Adonis, the ancient Greek god of beauty and desire.”

I am interrupted by one of the tourists, a middle-aged woman.

Tourist: “Nu-uh! That’s a man!”

Me: “Yes, Adonis was a male god.”

Tourist: “Ain’t no man gonna be a god of beauty. That’s the… uh… the Venus!”

Me: “Venus was the Roman goddess of beauty and love, and her Greek counterpart would have been Aphrodite.”

Tourist: “No! No man is going to be beautiful! That’s just wrong!”

Me: “I… uh… Well, I am sorry, ma’am, but that’s what the ancient Greeks believed.”

Tourist: “I bet he was one of those men who dressed up as women! That’s wrong!”

I let her rant for a while as she was not being too loud and I could continue the tour, only for my heart to sink as we progressed along the tour and got to another famous statue: Hermaphroditus, the god of hermaphrodites and effeminates.


This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of March 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of March 2021 roundup!

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Not Very Smart-ifact

, , , | Right | March 18, 2021

I work in a museum. A giant museum. A giant museum that is in the middle of a park with no other significant buildings anywhere near it. It has enormous banners declaring the name of the museum and every attraction we have. From the lobby, you can see into the rest of the museum and the signs directing guests to the different exhibits. Yet this happens ALL OF THE TIME!

Guest: “So, where is the museum?”

Me: *Pauses* “You’re in it.”

The guest just looks around, confused.

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