Very Ver-Silly

, , , | Friendly | June 3, 2017

(Some friends and I are heading to Versailles.)

Friend #1: “How do you pronounce it? Is it Versail?”

Friend #2: “No I’m sure it’s Ver-sail–lees.”

Me: “No, actually, I think it’s Ver-say.”

Friend #1: “No, that can’t be right. Where did you learn that?”

Me: “I don’t know exactly. I’ve always pronounced it that way but I’ve just watched a couple of shows about France and that’s how they pronounced it.”

Friend #1: “Whatever.”

(Later on someone else asked us where we were going.)

Friend #2: “VERS- SAL-LEES.”

(I just gave up. I still have no idea why I felt so annoyed about the wrong pronunciation. It could be because my family name originated in France but now has an English pronunciation.)

And I’ll Get To Scotland Before You

, , , , , | Right | June 1, 2017

(I work at an office that offers tours of Scotland and the highlands, although sometimes we can take on private groups. I’m on a late shift by myself and the phone rings.)

Me: “Hello, [Tour Company].”

American-Sounding Girl: “Hi, I wondered if I could get a quote on a private tour?”

Me: “Okay, how many are we talking?”

American-Sounding Girl: “190.”

Me: *thinking “wow!”* “Okay, and were you looking for one of our set itineraries or a custom itinerary?”

American-Sounding Girl: “Well, shall I just tell you the situation and we can take it from there?”

Me: “Sounds good.”

American-Sounding Girl: “Okay, so we’re all college students and we’re looking to organise a large trip to the Superbowl—”

Me: “I’ll just stop you right there. Where are you calling from?”

American-Sounding Girl: “Nova Scotia.”

Me: “Okay, I think you may have the wrong number. This is [Tour Company] in Scotland.”

American-Sounding Girl: “…”

Me: “…so you are just over 2,000 miles closer to the Superbowl than we are…”

American-Sounding Girl: “…”

Me: “…so, you know… it’s only fair to advise you that this would impractically expensive for you.”

(There was a long pause then she burst out laughing, followed by me. We had a good laugh!)

Slightly Bending (Over) The Truth

| Leiden, The Netherlands | Right | February 13, 2017

(I work at a visitor center, where I arrange the group activities. In the beginning of September, a customer booked a canal cruise in an open boat with her group of 30 participants. Almost two months later, I receive this e-mail from her:)

Customer: “I would like to give some feedback on our activity in September. During our canal cruise, the skipper of our boat was very clumsy because he collided several times against the wall.”

(I directly contacted thecruise company; the manager and I know each other very well. I send him the customer’s complaint by mail and I get an answer almost immediately:)

Manager: “Haha, yes, I remember this cruise and customer! Oh, my god, that this customer is blaming our skipper! During the cruise, the boat will pass a lot of bridges, so before passing one bridge, the whole group had to bend over because of the low bridge. One customer exaggerated while bending over and hit the throttle! You can guess what happened then…”

And This Person Works In A Museum?

| Leiden, The Netherlands | Working | October 15, 2016

(I’m working for a tourist information where I am head of the group activities. One day, a customer from Belgium who comes back every year with her school asks me for a tour in one of our museums. They are only here for one day and will visit two museums and have a guided walk for the students. The museum of their choice is closed that particular day so I decided to e-mail another one.  In the mail I write about the school-classes from Belgium who are in town for one day and requests a guided tour for approximately 90 students. The answer I get back:)

Reply: “Thank you for your request. Wow, 90 students is a lot… All of our guides are university students and I’m not sure if I can have enough guides for that amount. It is better if we split the group and have them visit us in three groups spread over three days. Can you ask if the group can stay three days instead of one?”

Me: *head on desk*

Tour Cried

, , , | Bucharest, Romania | Right | September 23, 2016

In order to visit the Presidential Palace (former Royal Palace), you need to make a reservation at least two days earlier. My mother and I arrive on time and wait for the tour to start when an American family of three women and four children, all related, arrive. The first sign that this is going to be fun is that, despite the receptionist telling them about the rule, they make a scene about having traveled from far, wanting to visit, etc. The tour guide decides to bend the rules for the kids and agrees to take them on. Meanwhile, the children practically pick the Reception Hall apart. Since the museum is inside a functioning Government building, you are not permitted to leave the tour without announcing to the guide and waiting for an escort.

Kid #1, around 14 years old, the first chance she gets, takes her shoes off, lies down on the floor, and reads her book. Throughout the whole tour, not once did she look at the building or listen to the guide. But, hey. At least she was quiet, I guess. Still, would she have been allowed to do the same in the White House?

Kids #2 and #3, aged between eight and ten, make a point of touching every single item labeled with a “do not touch” sign.

And my personal favourite, Kid #4. The sweet little darling is about three, obviously way too young for a 100 minute-long tour. She is running around like crazy, getting behind the cordons, climbing up on the delicate historical furniture, while not a single adult from her family, including her own mother, pays ANY attention to her. After the tour guide pleads with the accompanying adults for the hundredth time, the little hellspawn’s mother drops this pearl, saying that Kid #4 doesn’t listen to her and that the kid will just scream if she tells the kid anything, so YOU do something about the kid. She then questioned why should she leave the tour when she paid for it?!

The poor guide, and every other visitor in our group — also paying customers — had to put up with an increasingly hysterical toddler and her entire entitled entourage for the rest of the visit, except the Royal Church. By that time, our guide had finally had enough and forbade them from entering. We asked her if we’d be allowed to buy her a drink on us after all the ordeal.

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