They Know Much Ado About Nothing

, | Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, UK | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

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

Customer: “Excuse me, did Shakespeare write The Wind in the Willows?”

Me: “…No, they didn’t have motor cars in the 17th century, I’m afraid. They weren’t invented until the last 1800s.”

Customer: *considers it for a second* “Hmm… Yeah, I’m not sure about that. Can you look it up for me?”

Me: *Googles it*The Wind in the Willows was written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, it’s not too far in the future from Shakespeare’s stuff, is it?”

Me: “Madam, Shakespeare died in 1616.”

The Next Tour Will Start In Approximately One Generation

| MI, USA | Tourists/Travel

Tourist: “Hi. You guys still give guided tours every half hour, right?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. We don’t have guided tours.”

Tourist: “What? You used to!”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, but we don’t.”

Tourist: “You used to have guided tours every half hour! You had then the last time I was here!”

Me: “I’ve been here six years, and we’ve never done that. How long ago were you here?”

Tourist: “Well, I guess it was… 22 years ago.”

Call The Missing Parent’s Hotline

| Montreal, QC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Money

(I am the manager of the admission desk at a museum. While I am serving a client, a woman and her two kids (around 10 and 12 years old) enter the museum and try pass by the admission desk. I politely tell her to wait just one moment while I’m taking care of the client in front of me. I then ask her if I could help her.)

Woman: “Yes, I’m here for the free activity for my kids.”

(Our museum holds a workshop for kids each Sunday where they can do arts and crafts, themed with our current exhibitions.)

Me: “Of course, the workshop is one floor below. Kids 12 years old and under are always free and right now, we offer a 25% discount on the regular entrance fee. So, for one adult, it will come to [price].”

Woman: “I thought it was free!”

Me: “It is free for kids 12 and under. But as I said, we offer a 25% discount on the regular adult rate. Also, each kid visiting our museum will receive a free bag with other games they can do in our regular exhibitions.”

Woman: “No, no, no. I went on [Website that isn’t ours] and they say the workshop is free for families.”

Me: “I am so sorry, madam, but, unfortunately, while it is actually free for the kids, adults have to pay.”

Woman: “Well, then, I’ll leave my kids to you and be back in half an hour.”

Me: “Madam, I am really sorry but a responsible adult must stay with the kids at all time. By law, they cannot stay alone in our facility.”

Woman: “Why not? Just take care of them. Make them do the workshop. What’s so difficult about it?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we do not have the accreditations to do so. The volunteer in charge of the activity is not trained to take care of your kids… just to explain the activity and how it works. We need you to stay with your kids.”

Woman: “But the website says that it is free!”

Me: “I’m sorry but that website was wrong. It is, indeed, free for kids but not for adults.”

Woman: “It is false advertising!”

Me: “Actually, if you check our official website, it clearly state that parents need to pay. We do not have control on what other website posts. I will gladly take the website name again so I can make sure that the information they have is the right one.”

Woman: “That website says it is free, so you have to let me come for free!”

Me: “We cannot be held responsible for what other websites put online. Again, if you check our website—”

Woman: “Well, I don’t care. Why are you not taking my kids, then? We came here because [Other Website] said it was free! I’m from [Town about 20 minutes from here] and we took public transit, which cost money. I don’t have money for this.”

Me: “I understand your frustration, madam. I really do. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do except make sure that [Other Website] stops posting false information about our workshop.”

Woman: “Just take the kids, then. They can do the workshop. They’ll behave.”

Me: “Again, madam, that is impossible. The staff is neither qualified or trained to do it.”

Woman: “Why not?”

Me: “Just for the purpose of this, if your kids have allergies—”

Woman: “My kids don’t have any allergies!”

Me: “That is not the point. If something, ANYHTHING, happens to your kids, we don’t have the staff or the infrastructures to help them. That is why, when you want to register you kids for school, day camp, summer camp, you have all of those contracts to sign.”

Woman: “This is insane. You are not giving me a good customer service. I leave my kids alone all the time. Even at the grocery store! I leave them while I do other errands. There is nothing wrong with that! I want to speak with the manager.”

Me: “Actually, I am the one in charge of the admission.”

Woman: “Well, there must be someone more important in charge.”

Me: “There is, but the offices are closed during weekends. Do you want me to provide you with the phone numbers and names of the people in charge so you can contact someone?”

(I gave her all the names and phone numbers needed and she left saying that she was going to report me for not letting her kids stay unsupervised! You know what the worst part was? This was not the first time! We had to call the police because a couple left their kids at the museum while they went to a restaurant! They were absent for more than an hour. Thank god the police officer was on our side! We also had a woman who left her infant child alone so she could go shopping. In both these cases, none of the parents claimed to know what was wrong…)