Caught Red-Cupped

| Portland, OR, USA | Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(I’m a food cart cashier on my last day of work, and have just returned from my lunch break with my helper. Our zoo had stopped all sales of a popular souvenir cup several days earlier, but returning visitors can bring the cups back with them to take advantage of our $1.00 refill deal for all souvenir cups, continued or discontinued. Almost ten minutes after returning, a group of five people cuts in front, and one of them angrily points at me.)

Customer: “We bought seven different drinks, and four of them were in the [Popular Souvenir Cup], twenty minutes ago! We left them at our table for just a minute, and they all got stolen! We want new cups for everything, for free! Or give us our money back!”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but I can’t refund you on those cups.”

Customer: “This is bull-s***! Why can’t you do your job and give us our money’s worth?!”

Me: “Well, considering we haven’t sold these cups in days, I doubt you bought them from here in the last twenty minutes.”

Customer: “Oh, uh, I just forgot; we bought them over at the food cart near the—”

Me: “No location in the zoo is selling these cups anymore. We discontinued them last week while we wait for the new souvenir cup design to be shipped in.”

(The customer and their whole gaggle of a family then try to stutter out new drink orders, but my helper sharply tells them they’ve cut in the line and that they’ll need to wait, and they leave looking incredibly embarrassed. Apparently, according to the workers who covered for me and my helper, they’d been waiting for us to come back from lunch break, and had been watching other people carry cups around. Before they were out of earshot, I called out to them.)

Me: “Next time you want to scam someone, at least be smart about it!”

Bird Brained, Part 11

| USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

(I have just bought four cups of nectar to feed the rainbow lorikeets at the zoo. After finding a somewhat calm place to stand, I make no indication I notice the birds and am soon covered in them. The birds are only going towards the adults and older (quieter) kids. The younger kids start coming over to me trying to get birds to jump onto them and drink out of their cups.)

Kid: “You’ve got so many birds! I want one!”

Me: “Here, just stand next to me and don’t move. They’ll come right over!”

(He stands next to me but squeals every time a bird comes near him and scares it away. Then his mom comes over.)

Mom: “Oh, wow! You have so many birds with you! Can you pass one to my son?”

Me: “I’ll try, but the birds don’t like noise. If he can stand still and quiet they’ll land on him.”

(I try to pass a bird to the kids hand but it jumps back to mine.)

Mom: “Stop hogging all the birds! This is really unfair to the kids!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’ve just been standing here. The birds are coming to me.”

Mom: “So you should be passing them to the kids, then! This is a zoo! This is a place for CHILDREN, not immature adults!”

Me: “You’re being very rude. I’ve already tried passing the birds off but it’s not my fault if they don’t want to sit with them. The zoo is a place for anyone to enjoy, not just kids.”

(She doesn’t respond but starts trying to grab birds off of me or shoo them away. One of them starts squawking and bites her.)

Mom: “Ugh! This zoo is atrocious! How dare they have such untrained, disgusting animals allowed to hurt people!”

(She stormed off to complain to a zookeeper.)

Bird Brained, Part 10
Bird Brained, Part 9
Bird Brained, Part 8

Acting Not So Pretty In Pink

| CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

(I work at the zoo in the gift shop, where we sell all sorts of zoo- and animal-themed things. On this particular day, a customer and his young son are inside looking at the merchandise. I overhear the dad tell his son he can pick anything he wants and shortly after the son walks over to his father and asks.)

Son: *as he hold up a stuffed animal* “Dad can I have this one?”

(The dad looks annoyed and scolds his son:)

Dad: “No, you can’t! It’s pink! Pink is for girls!”

(The son begins to cry so the dad sighs and turns to me holding a stuffed animal and says:)

Dad: “Hey, you. I want this bird in a boy color like blue.”

Me: “Sir, that toy only comes in pink. It doesn’t come in blue.”

Dad: “Well, why the h*** not!?”

Me: “”Sir, that’s a flamingo.”

Making False Bald Statements

| KS, USA | Pets & Animals, School

(I am currently working in the birds of prey section when a group of students and a few chaperones walk in.)

Chaperone #1: *points at golden eagle* “Look kids! It’s the state bird of America.”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s actually a golden eagle. The bald eagle is the national bird.”

Chaperone #1: “I went to school for four years. I think I know what the state bird of America is!”

Me: “I’m not questioning your intelligence, ma’am, but America does not have a ‘state bird.’ It’s national symbol is, in fact, the bald eagle. If you look at the sign in front of the exhibit you will see that this is a golden eagle.”

Chaperone #1: “That’s a f****** bald eagle! I’m a history teacher! I know my s***!”

Chaperone #2: “Michelle, you are not a teacher! You are merely a chaperone. If you continue to act like this you will never be a chaperone again.”

Chaperone #1: *dumbfounded*

Student: “You tell her, Mrs. [Chaperone #2]!”

Some People Should Be Barred(code)

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | Extra Stupid, Tourists/Travel

(I am sitting in one of the entry booths. A guest comes up to my booth to check in.)

Me: “Hello! Welcome to the zoo.”

Guest: “Hi! Um… I don’t know which piece of paper I’m supposed to give you.”

Me: “I need the one with the barcode on the front so I can scan it for you.”

Guest: “Oh! Okay. Um…which one is that?”

Me: *points to ticket* “It’s that one right there, on the top.”

Guest: “Oh! Right! Um…which one?”

Me: “The one you’re holding, ma’am.”

Guest: “Of course! Uh, what’s a barcode?”

Me: “Don’t worry about it.” *takes entire stack of paper*

(This happens every day, multiple times a day.)

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