The Education That Time Forgot, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | August 24, 2020

I work at a state park where we have some rather large grindstones/kettlestones set up around our visitor center. I get this question almost every day from seventy-year-old elderly folks, to forty-year-old parents, to five-year-old children, even though we have giant posters explaining that they are very round rocks that helped carve out our potholes/kettleholes years ago.

Customer: “Is that a dinosaur egg?”

Me: “What? Uh… no. No, it’s not.”

The Education That Time Forgot

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Burning Non-Existent Bridges

, , , , , | Right | August 1, 2020

Customer: “Hi, can you tell me how to get to the bridge to Vancouver?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there is no bridge to Vancouver.”

Customer: “Well, that’s impossible; I came over on a bridge!”

Me: “The only way to get on the island is to travel by ferry or plane. I promise there is no bridge to Vancouver.”

Customer: “This is terrible service!”

She hasn’t purchased anything.

Customer: “I can’t believe someone that lives here doesn’t know where the bridge is!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t know about a bridge to Vancouver.”

The customer storms out. A few minutes later, the guy working in the store next door comes in on his break and starts telling me about this unbelievable idiot he just had. I interrupt, asking if it was the bridge lady. Sure was!

Customer: “How do I get to the bridge to Vancouver?”

Coworker: “There is no bridge to Vancouver, ma’am.”

Customer: “YES. THERE. IS! I swear I came over on a bridge! How does no one know about it? It was called the Johnson bridge?”

Coworker: “OH! Do you mean the Johnson Street bridge? That’s close to here, but it doesn’t go to Vancouver, just to a suburb of Victoria.”

Customer: “YES! That’s the bridge to Vancouver! The Johnson Street Bridge! How do I get there?”

Coworker: *Gives up* “Turn left at the next lights and stay left; you can’t miss it.”

The customer leaves.

Coworker: “Have a great time in Esquimalt!”

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Dropping A Conversational Bomb

, , , , , , | Right | July 6, 2020

This story happens in the early 2000s. I am backpacking through Germany, and I have a few days in Berlin before I move on. I decide to take a bus tour of the city, having never been there before.

On the bus tour, the tour guide is a man who appears to be in his twenties or early thirties. Most of the bus is filled with a group of elderly British men and women. The bus pulls away from the curb, the tour guide introduces himself, and then he asks if anyone has been to Berlin before. 

All of the British men raise their hands.

Guide: “Wow, this is more than usual. When were you all here?”

The British men mumble among themselves for a few seconds.

British Man #1: “Well, if it’s all right with you… we would rather not go into detail.”

Guide: “Oh, come on. Please, share your experiences.”

British Man #2: “If you insist. We were all in the Royal Air Force Bomber Command during the Second World War. We flew bombing raids over Berlin, and other cities, of course.”

British Man #3: “We’ve all seen documentaries about old soldiers who travel to their battlefields one last time, so… here we are.”

The tour guide is at first caught off guard by this response, but he recovers brilliantly.

Guide: “Then I believe we have you, gentlemen, to thank for Berlin being such a unique mix of the ancient and the modern! I do hope you enjoy seeing the city from the ground this time!”

Best bus tour ever. Every time the tour guide pointed out a historic building or landmark, the British gentlemen would share stories about the times they used those buildings as guides and targets for their bombing runs. The tour guide genuinely enjoyed having someone who could share so much insight into what was already a key piece of his lectures, and hearing so many different perspectives and stories made the tour well worth it for the rest of us, as well. I’m pretty sure the tour guide earned at least ten times his normal tips for that tour.

This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

Read the next July 2020 Roundup story!

Read the July 2020 Roundup!

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The Terrible Twos Are Nothing Compared To The Hateful Eights

, , , | Right | June 28, 2020

I am working at the ticket kiosk for a historic fort. A man walks up to me with two young children and purchases tickets. As he’s doing so, both of us notice that his daughter is pouting.

Guest: “Now, what are you pouting about? We got to go on a cool boat ride, we went to a nice restaurant, and now we’re going to a military fort!”

Daughter: “I hate military forts!”

Me: “Aww. But there’s a lot of neat stuff there for kids!”

Daughter: *Glares up at me* “NO, THERE ISN’T!”

I am taken aback, but I laugh anyway.

Me: “Well, I work there! I would think I would know! There’s a whole building for kids to play in and—”

Daughter: “NO, THERE ISN’T!”

Man: “Come on; let’s go up to the fort.”

As they leave my range of vision, I can still hear the daughter screaming as she walks away.

Daughter: “I hate military forts! I hate this place! I hate this vacation! I HATE EVERYTHING!”

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Enough Issues To Fill A Cavern

, , , , | Right | June 1, 2020

I work as a tour guide for a cavern. This particular day, I am helping the cashier as well as being the base operator for the radios. It’s spring break; naturally, the park is full of people. We’re a day park only and close at six; our last tour goes down at four. Tours are usually an hour and a half long.

I’m ringing up a customer when I hear a frantic radio call from a guide. It’s partially garbled so I have to ask her to repeat a few times. A guest has left her tour and run for the gates. This is a no-no; guests can’t be alone and are only able to leave groups when escorted out. It’s a safety reason and usually, everyone understands.

It’s important to note that once you leave the cave, there is no going back down to rejoin a tour. After you pass a certain point in the cave, there are also no refunds issued.

Twenty minutes later, a woman approaches the register with a child in her arms.

Guest: “Hi, so, we were on [Guide #1]’s tour and my son had to go to the bathroom, but we’re ready to go back down now. We were at [Room far past the refund stop].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unfortunately, once you leave the cave, you won’t be able to rejoin the tour you left; they are pretty far into the tour now.”

She stares at me like I’m stupid.

Guest: “But he had to go to the bathroom. Would you rather him go on himself? He’s five!”

I point to the rules on the TV behind me.

Me: “I do understand, ma’am; however, the rules here state that once you pass [refund stop], there is nothing we can do.”

My manager, having overheard, comes over.

Manager: “What’s wrong?”

I explain the situation and she’s shaking her head before I finish.

Manager: “Yes, ma’am, I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do at this point. I do apologise, but your tour is almost over as it is, so we won’t be able to send you back down.”

Guest: *Scoffs* “Well, put me on another tour, then! I paid a lot of money and you’re telling me that, because he had to go to the bathroom, he has to suffer! No one mentioned that we couldn’t come back up!”

My manager is shaking her head again.

Manager: “Yes, ma’am, we actually tell everyone at the time they buy their tickets, so my cashier here would have told you. And we make two announcements before the tour starts. There are also signs everywhere. The last tour of the day went down ten minutes ago and there will be no more.”

The woman turns on her heels without another word and storms out the back doors. My manager and I shrug our shoulders at each other and continue on, thinking it’s over.

Almost thirty minutes later, when the woman’s tour comes up, her husband — who had stayed behind on the tour — comes marching to the counter directly to me. He shoves his finger in my face.

Guest’s Husband: “I need to make a complaint!”

He goes off on a rant about how horrible we have been to his wife and that their five year old is so heartbroken. We have ruined their whole day and they want to speak to a manager now.

Me: “Well, sir, your wife spoke to a manager earlier, who told her she couldn’t rejoin the tour.”

Just at that moment, the big boss, even higher up than my manager, appeared next to me and told me to just issue a refund. I resist the urge to bang my head into the desk repeatedly as my manager showed back up. I told her what the big boss said, and she pursed her lips and issued the refund without a smile or any hint of kindness.

She handed him the money and he walked off. She looked like she was about to explode with anger because the big boss didn’t even know the whole story and he just wanted to please the guest.

Later, we found out what had really happened in the cave. Apparently, the woman abandoned her tour and walked herself halfway out of the cave before she came in contact with another tour. The other tour guide wouldn’t let her continue by herself and she ran for the exit, pushing another guest out of her way in the process.

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