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Their Observation Skills Will Be Wasted Up That Tower

, , , | Right | July 14, 2021

I’m a volunteer at a public building in the centre of our city. Part of the building is a tower, which is one of the tallest structures around, and tourists can buy a ticket to climb up and see the view of the city from the top.

It’s opening time, so while a colleague unlocks the exit doors and mans the counter inside, I throw the entrance doors wide open and take out the two giant A-frame advertising boards which we place on the plaza outside the building. Each side of each board has the exact same thing: the words “Climb the tower!”, a picture of the view, and the ticket price. The bottom third of each is taken up by the giant text, “TOWER OPEN,” and an arrow pointing toward the entrance.

A family of tourists has watched me putting out the boards. They wander over, study one of the boards, and then look over at me, now standing by the open entrance ready to welcome visitors. They walk round to the other side of the board and read that, and then they move over to the second board and read that one, as well. Finally, they approach me.

Tourists: “Is the tower open?”

Me: “…”

This conversation occurs at least a dozen times a day. I don’t know what more we can do.

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Entitlement Requires A Booking

, , , | Right | June 25, 2021

I work at a tourist attraction that my parents own. It requires booking, and this lady comes up to my entrance booth with a group of around fifteen people. We are almost fully booked; we have seven spaces. I know the woman because she lives close to the tourist attraction and I sometimes see her around the place. 

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Tourist Attraction]! Can I see your booking confirmation email, please?”

Customer: “What booking?”

Me: “Did you book online before coming?”

Customer: “Book? Why would I ever need to book?”

Me: “Because of the health crisis, we need to operate on reduced capacity, so we’re using a booking system to ensure our numbers remain below our 30% capacity.”

Customer: “I run a business and we aren’t doing any of that. Can’t you just let me in?”

Me: “I’m afraid we can’t let anyone in without a booking, and particularly not such a large group.”

Customer: “Don’t you know who I am?”

Me: “I know who you are, [Customer].”

Customer: “Then you will know that I know [Owner] very well. Can’t you get [Owner]? He’ll let me in.”

Me: “He’s actually not here right now, but I can get the manager.”

The customer nods, so I call my manager over. 

Manager: “Oh, hi, [Customer]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “This lady here was just telling me that I couldn’t come in without a booking?”

Manager: “Yes, that’s completely right.”

Customer: “But you know me!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, but I can’t make an exception for you. We’re in the middle of a health crisis.”

Customer: “Don’t you have any spaces?”

Manager: “We have seven spaces.”

Customer: “Aha!” *Turns to me* “See? I told you she’d let us in!”

Me: “We have seven spaces, but there are clearly more than seven of you.”

Customer: “But we have seven adults, and the children don’t count, right?”

Manager: “The children still count as people.”

Customer: “Ugh. So if seven of us come in now, the rest of us can come in this afternoon on the same tickets.”

Manager: “No. You’d need to pay again, but we’re fully booked this afternoon.”

Customer: “I’m not coming in, then.”

Neither my manager nor I react to this.

Customer: “And I’m going to report you to [Owner].”

Manager: “Go ahead. I’m his wife.”

Me: “I’m his daughter.”

She grunted in frustration and stormed off. My mum and I just looked at each other and shrugged.

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The Complaints Blossom All Year Round

, , , , , , | Right | May 19, 2021

Tourist: “Where are the cherry blossom trees?”

Me: “They’re in the park near the tidal basin, but ma’am, it’s July. They don’t have any blossoms right now.”

Tourist: “So they’ll just look like normal trees?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Tourist: “Well, can’t you go put some back on for my photos?”

Me: “That would be impossible, ma’am. They only blossom in spring.”

Tourist: “That’s stupid! Who came up with that idea?”

Me: “That would be nature, ma’am.”

Tourist: “Terrible service! Where can I write to and complain?”

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Out Of Art, Air, Space, History, And Industry, Which Is The Main One?

, , , , | Right | April 30, 2021

There are several Smithsonian museums in the area.

Tourist: “Where’s the main Smithsonian gift shop?”

I explain that each museum has a gift shop that highlights the items in that building.

Tourist: “But where’s the main one?”

I give the same explanation but simpler.

Tourist: “But where’s the main one?”

Tourist’s Son: “Dad, aren’t you listening?”

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Do They Do That With ALL Traffic Signs?

, , , , | Right | April 30, 2021

Tourist: “When the sign says, ‘No Parking,’ do they mean it?”

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