Make Treatment Of Women Great Again

, , , , | Romantic | April 27, 2018

(I am on a tour of castles in the UK. One of the other passengers is a high-maintenance type who never stops complaining. Her husband seems like a nice enough guy, though on the quiet side. We are touring a 14th-century keep, and the guide is explaining some of the rather nasty stuff displayed on the wall, including an instrument of public punishment and humiliation for nagging wives. It’s an iron muzzle that straps around the victim’s face and through the mouth, pressing down on the tongue and preventing speech.)

Guide: “And this device is called a Scold’s Bridle.”

(He places it across his face to demonstrate.)

Husband: “Do they sell those in the gift shop?”

Flash With Anger

, , , , , , | Right | April 24, 2018

(I work for a company which captures people’s photos before they go on the attraction. We are entirely separate from the location in which we rent from. Often, we are dealing with thousands of people on a constant basis. They are placed into a waiting room and we’re tasked with capturing their picture in front of the green screen. Technically, nobody has to actually take the photo, but we try, anyway, because it’s drilled into our heads to capture as many as possible. However, it is entirely up the family, people, or group to actually have their photo done if they wish to. I am not one of those who takes the photos, I’m merely a salesperson who is tasked with showing the photos after the ride and selling it if the individuals want their picture. I am often busy showing numerous people their photos and taking the payments. A lady comes up to our sales desk.)

Customer: “Excuse me. I’d just like to know, what kind of flash do you use for your photos?”

(I don’t know much about the equipment in which we use, as I am just a sale’s supervisor. Further, I’m contractually obligated not to disclose the company’s equipment or procedures.)

Me: *busy, and rather distracted* “It’s just a flash, like every other flash used to take a picture.”

Customer: “But it was so bright and so sudden! Is it necessary?”

Me: “Of course! The picture would come out pitch black without it! I’ve seen it happen when our flash stopped working.”

(By this point, the lady releases how distracted I am, and proceeds to another one of our sales staff.)

Customer: “What kind of flash do you use here?”

Coworker: “I don’t know, I’m sorry.”

Customer: “It’s just that… I’m pregnant! That flash was so strong and so blinding! And I’m pregnant!”

(She’s holding her belly, and we assume she must be in her early term as she’s rather skinny.)

Coworker: “Miss, I can assure you that the flash is perfectly safe. It is not an xray; it’s simply a flash. Many new parents actually have their newborns take photos with flash. The light may not be the greatest things for their eyes, but your baby would not have been exposed to it.”

(The lady leaves us. We’re a bit surprised by her questioning and find it somewhat silly. However, I mention to my coworkers that it’s possible the lady has miscarried, or REALLY wants the baby and is genuinely scared that anything could mess things up. But this isn’t the end of things with this woman. After she deals with us, she goes upstairs to where we do stunt shot pictures. She waits in a long line-up to speak with the coworker there, who actually happens to be the manager.)

Customer: “Excuse me. I had a photo taken downstairs. I’m pregnant and that flash was really rough.”

Manager: “Oh, I’m very sorry about that. But the flash will not hurt your baby.”

Customer: *getting upset* “How do you know?”

Manager: “Miss, if you head outside, you’re exposing yourself to radiation from the sun. The flash has none. It is just light produced by electricity. Just like the lights from above us. I promise you, the baby is safe.”

Customer: “Well… you know, you should really tell everyone that the photo is not for security purposes! We thought it was! We wouldn’t have done it!”

Manager: “Miss, we have no time to explain to customers that it is not for security purposes. If you ask the staff taking your photo, they will tell you that it is just a souvenir shot. We are not allowed to mislead.”


Manager: “I am very sorry that you feel that way. Again, nobody ever told you that it would be for security purposes; we go through thousands of guests and have to keep the line moving. And I promise you, the baby is unharmed.”

Customer: “THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! I would like to speak with the manager!”

Manager: “I am the manager. I do not know what you would like me to do for you.”

Customer: “Is there a phone number? Is there no one who can be reached so that we change the rules?”

Manager: “There is nothing to be done, as no harm as been done. Miss, with all due respect, I have to get back to my work. I can do nothing more for you but reassure you.”

(The lady stood there huffing angrily, while unfortunately the manager had no choice but to continue working and ignoring her. She eventually left, and there was no follow-up. But the entire situation was a new one for us, especially with how difficult it was for us to explain that the flash could not harm a baby or cause a miscarriage.)

Revolving Blame

, , , , , | Related | April 9, 2018

(It’s the early 2000s and I am in my early teens. My dad takes my two younger brothers and me on a vacation to Mammoth Cave. We go through a large section of the cave as the guide explains and shows us the formations and other cool things. We get to the last section of the tour, and the guide says that once we are done exploring we can go up the stairs and exit through a revolving doors and wait in the bus for the rest of the group. After a few more minutes we decide we have seen enough and start for the exit. We are the first people to leave the group, and once we get to the top of the stairs, we see the revolving door, as expected. My dad sees a button beside the door.)

Dad: “Oh, this must be for the revolving door.”

(He presses the button, and the door does not move.)

Dad: “Huh.”

(He pushes the button again. As he presses it the second time, I notice a light flicker on just above the door.)

Me: “Oh, it looks like it turns the light above the door off and on.”

Dad: “That’s strange.”

(We go out to the bus and my dad takes one of my brothers to the bathroom as we wait. While they are gone, other people start to trickle in. Each one loudly exclaims how crazy it was that the lights suddenly went out. My other brother and I freeze as we piece together what happened.)

Me: “We… might have been the ones that did that.”

(Once my dad and other brother got back, we filled them in on what we had done, as the bus was booming with chatter about the sudden blackout. We confessed to the tour guide — who was surprisingly calm — what we did. He then informed us that we had turned off one third of the lights to the entire cave system! Thank goodness we pushed it that second time!)

No One Insults Quite Like The French, Part 2

, , , , , | Friendly | March 17, 2018

(I am a Canadian on a tour of a plantation house in Louisiana. There is a man on the tour who keeps interrupting the guide with questions that are actually designed to show off his knowledge. The guide just gets a rousing story going and the man cuts him off, ruining the pace and throwing off the guide. Four rooms in, and this interrupter will not stop. Even his wife is uncomfortable with his actions.)

Guide: *low, under his breath, in French* “Oh, my God. Shut up.”

(I gasp, and he looks at me with an expression that says he’s even more shocked than I am.)

Guide: “Oh. Oh! You’re Canadian!’

(He knows this because he asked where everyone was from at the beginning of the tour.)

Me: *in French* “Don’t worry. It’s fine.”

(No one else knew what was going on for this tiny exchange, so we continued — the interrupter still showing off as best he could — but there was some French thrown in for me after some of the halting stories were done.)

No One Insults Quite Like The French

They’re All Behaving Crackers

, , , , | Hopeless | February 2, 2018

(My wife and I take a coach tour up to the vineyards in Sonoma. It’s a Tuesday, so the bus, which leaves at 7:30 am, is full of pensioners, and us. The tour guide is obviously surprised to see us, but all is well once we explain that we’re on “vacation” for our honeymoon. He seats us near the front of the bus so we get a good view. On the way to the vineyards, we stop for a rest and coffee break in a small town, where the tour guide informs us:)

Tour Guide: “This where you buy your crackers. Crackers are REALLY expensive at the vineyards. You need to buy crackers here. HERE.”

(We’ve never been asked to provide our own crackers at a wine tasting before, but all the other patrons seem keen, so we follow along, and buy a small packet of eight crackers. As we get back on the bus every one of the pensioners is struggling under the sheer weight of the number of crackers that they’ve bought. Most have more than ten large packs each. More than you could reasonably eat in a month. I’m starting to wonder if crackers are a form of currency in wine country, like cigarettes in prison. Half an hour later we arrive at the first vineyard. As the bus stops, the other passengers are already barging each other out of the way, trying to get off first. Even though we’re at the front, no one allows us to get off until everyone has gone past us. Of course, they’re all rushing for the bathroom. Not a problem. Some older people need to use the facilities more regularly than most. By the time we get into the visitor center, the queue has formed, and they’re all arguing with each other:)

Pensioner #1: “I had two coffees back in town. Let me go first.”

Pensioner #2: “I had bowel cancer. I need to be given priority!”

Pensioner #3: “I’ve GOT bowel cancer right now. I need priority!”

(We make a mental note to make sure we’re off the bus quickly at the next stop, which is a larger vineyard that also has a restaurant as part of the visitor centre. I get into the bathroom ahead of the pensioners; there is only one cubicle, and two urinals. A man and a young boy enter behind me, and go into the cubicle. As I’m washing my hands, the mob of pensioners descends. They begin banging on the door to the cubicle.)

Pensioner #1:  “Get out. I’m a senior citizen. I need this more than you!”

(Then, the in-fighting starts again.)

Pensioner #2: “Hey, I told ya, I’ve got cancer. I need to use the cubicle.”

Pensioner #3: “We’ve all got cancer, buddy. Get back in line.”

(The man in the cubicle shouts that he is in there with his son, and will be out in a minute.)

Pensioner #1: “Hurry up!”

Pensioner #2: “I’m next.”

Pensioner #3: “No way. You went ahead of me at the last winery.”

(There’s jostling. Then pushing. I manage to squeeze past them to exit. They continue pounding on the door to the cubicle, as if that will make the little boy speed up. I find the tour guide chatting to the manager of the restaurant, and explain what’s happening. They both roll their eyes.)

Manager: “It’s always the Tuesday tour, ain’t it?”

(He walks back and shouts at the top of his voice for the seniors to behave themselves. The poor little boy comes out but has clearly been crying. The manager takes them up to the bar, and beckons my wife and me over as well.)

Manager: “All you guys, anything you want, it’s on the house today.”

Me: “Oh, that’s not necessary—”

Manager: “No, I insist. You’re visitors to this fine state of ours, and I want to make sure you have the best time.”

(We ordered a sharing platter starter, for which he insisted on doubling all the portions, including the wines, then gifted us a bottle to take home with us. After lunch there was another winery to visit, but the seniors were much better behaved this time. We were back by six pm, and watched as they all left the bus with their unopened boxes of crackers. I don’t think anyone had more than about four, anyway. Even though that was eight years ago, I still buy a bottle of the wine from the vineyard that made us so welcome, every time I see it. They do a mean Lodi Zinfandel.)

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