Even The Dolphins Would Get It Quicker

, , , | Right | April 8, 2020

(I work as a ticket-taker at my city’s zoo. Tickets to the dolphin show are free as long as you purchase general admission tickets or have a season pass. We just give out physical tickets to control how many people attend each show. A man and his two children approach my booth, and the man is clearly aggravated.)

Guest: “We lost track of time and missed the dolphin show. I need a refund.”

Me: “I’m sorry you missed the show, but the tickets were actually free, so I can’t give you a refund. There’s another show in half an hour if you’d like three tickets for that, instead.”

Guest: “Wow, are you f****** kidding me? I just said I need a refund, and now you’re trying to get more money out of me? Lady, I don’t want more tickets. I want my money back!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but as I said, the tickets to the dolphin show are included in your admission fee. I can’t give you a refund for that.”

Guest: “Well, then just give me a refund for that!”

Me: “For what?”

Guest: “For my f****** general admission!”

Me: “Sir, I really can’t do that, either. “

Guest: “This place is a rip-off!”

(He stormed off with his kids, both of them crying that they weren’t ready to leave and that they wanted to see the dolphin show.)

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They Score Zero Out Of Tenrec

, , , , , , | Right | March 18, 2020

(I am working at a zoo and am holding a tenrec — a small mammal that looks like a hedgehog with spines on its back — for guests to touch and ask questions about. A mother and her son walk up.)

Mother: *jokingly* “It’s half porcupine and half rat!”

Son: “Is it half porcupine?”

Me: “No, it’s all tenrec.”

Son: “Well, what’s a tenrec?”

Me: “This is. It’s related to hedgehogs, and this one lives in Madagascar.”

Son: “Is it half rat?”

Me: “No, it’s just a tenrec, not related to a porcupine or a rat.”

Son: “Well, what’s a tenrec?”

Me: *looks at his mother desperately*

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That’ll Do Snake… That’ll Do

, , , , , , | Right | February 21, 2020

(I am part of the education staff at a zoo, and when our story takes place, I am handling a friendly, relaxed little milk snake so that visitors can pet her. It’s been a pretty slow day, and the area I’m stationed in is mostly empty. Suddenly, this tiny old woman rounds the corner, dressed in a colorful suit and jaunty hat. She’s using a walker and has to be somewhere in her 80s. When she sees me, more specifically when she sees the milk snake wrapped around my arm, she hesitates.)

Me: “Would you like to pet her? She’s a milk snake so she’s non-venomous, and she’s very gentle.” 

Old Woman: “Will she hurt me?”

Me: “Well, she’s been handled and pet dozens of times and she’s never hurt anyone.”

Old Woman: “Okay… I’ll try it.”

(She proceeds to march up to me and listens very carefully as I explain the proper way to pet the snake. Then, ever so cautiously, she reaches out and gives the milk snake a pet. Her eyes light up. She tries again, more confidently this time. Then, she looks me straight in the eye.)

Old Woman: “I am eighty-three years old and this is the first time I’ve touched a snake.”

(She proceeded to do a victory fist-pump and went on her way. It’s always stuck with me because, in less than two minutes, her entire worldview on snakes seemed to shift. Job well done, little milk snake, job well done.)


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She’s Getting A Dolphin And That’s Fin-al!

, , , , , | Right | February 17, 2020

(I’m a face painter at a famous zoo in California. All of our face paints on our menus have text explaining what they are, i.e., a kid wearing a lion face paint will have text on the bottom saying “lion.” A family comes up to me first thing in the morning and looks at our face paint menus. The little girl chooses a dolphin and the aunt walks over to the register to pay for it.)

Aunt: “Which one did she pick?”

Mom: “The dolphin.”

(The aunt tries to find the picture of the dolphin on my display boards which is not pictured. She points to the elephant.)

Aunt: “This dolphin?”

(I show her the picture on the menu; she ignores me and then points to the shark.)

Aunt: “Oh! This is the dolphin, but does it have to have a horn? Can you paint a flower, instead?”

(I look at what she’s pointing at and see she’s talking about the dorsal fin — the top fin on the shark.)

Me: “Ma’am, that’s a shark. And that’s not a horn, it’s a dorsal fin.”

(I point out the dolphin.)

Me: “This is the dolphin.”

Aunt: “That one has a horn, too! Can you paint a flower, instead?”

Mom: “She knows what she’s doing. Just pay her so we can get started.”

(I ring her up and then go to the kid. While I’m painting, I hear the aunt and mom talking.)

Aunt: “I thought she wasn’t going to paint the horn.”

Mom: “It’s a dorsal fin.”

Aunt: “What’s a dorsal fin?”

Mom: “I don’t know; we haven’t learned about it on Octonauts yet.”

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Blind As The Bats They Came Here To See

, , , | Right | February 14, 2020

(I volunteer at a wildlife charity that mainly runs on our entry cost and visitor donations. It’s a relatively slow Sunday and I’m making my way past the aviaries near the entrance when I see a family that just came in. We notice each other and I think nothing of it; I’m about to get on with my duties when one of them approaches me.)

Visitor: “Excuse me, mate. Where do we pay?”

Me: *looking back toward the entry gate they must have come through not two minutes ago* “Just at the window there.”

(They apologised and went back to pay, looking rather embarrassed about it. I went to go serve them, silently wondering how they had managed to miss the multiple notes we have at the entrance reminding people to pay before entering, including one on the price list, attached to the gate they went through in the first place!)

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