Behaving Like They Were Raised In A Zoo

, , , | Related | August 10, 2017

(I recently started a job working the gift shop at one of the top-ranked zoos in the nation. As such, we get a lot of out-of-state visitors in every day. Today one such visitor approaches my counter with her son, who is roughly eight or nine years old, and a stuffed animal she wants to purchase. Since annual members of the zoo receive a 10% discount on all their merchandise purchases, I begin the transaction as I always do.)

Me: “Hi, are you a [City] Zoo member?”

Kid: *in a snotty, better-than-you tone* “We don’t even LIVE here. We’re from New Hampshire.”

(Before I can respond, his mother takes the stuffed animal off the counter and turns to her son.)

Mother: “Do you think he knows that just by looking at you? He doesn’t know what state you’re from; he’s just doing his job. Apologize to him right now or I’m not buying you this.”

(The kid sheepishly looked down to the ground and mumbled an apology, to which I simply smile and said “That’s all right.” I finished the transaction without a hitch, but that one example of parenting gone right made my day. Lady, if you’re reading this, I just want you to know that if it were within my power to do so, I would have given you the 10% discount for that!)

The Common McCarthy Lynx

, , , | Related | July 1, 2017

(I work in the deer pen at a local zoo. In my area we have an enclosure for a Eurasian lynx. The lynx is found throughout Europe and into Russia.)

Guest #1: “Hey, Dad, look at this animal! It’s a lynx!”

Guest #2: “Oh, that’s nice son. Let’s look at the sign.”

(The guest spends a few moments reading until he stumbles upon something he doesn’t like and quickly turns and grabs his son’s hand briskly walking away.)

Guest #2: “We don’t like that one, son. It’s a communist.”

Squirrelling Around The Goth In The Room

, , , , , , | Hopeless | June 8, 2017

(I’m visiting my favorite zoo and walking around the nature pond when I see a scary-looking, gothy couple — leather jackets, crazy, bright blue hair, piercings and safety pins everywhere, the works. I’m a little nervous… until I see the guy pull a bag out of his pocket, bend down, and start feeding the squirrels! This is clearly pretty routine, as at least three squirrels come up, and are eating right out of his hand, while the girl takes notes. Seeing how curious I am, they invite me to try, too, and I soon have squirrels very delicately taking sunflower seeds and acorns out of my palm.)

Girl: “I’m a Biology major, and I’m doing a survey of these guys as part of my thesis. [Boyfriend] is kind enough to help me out, and the squirrels around here are so tame, it makes it easy to take measurements.”

Me: “That’s pretty awesome. I will admit I was a little nervous at first when you walked up.”

Girl: “It’s the hair, isn’t it?” *I nod, and she laughs* “I’m starting an internship in six months that I’ll have to look normal for, so I’m getting all the crazy fashion choices out of the way now.”

Guy: “I work from home. I always look this way!”

Girl: “Yeah, I know, don’t rub it in. I’ll have to re-dye my hair and lose the piercings soon enough!”

(They were an absolutely sweet couple, and told me more about urban squirrel populations than I ever knew existed. Guess you can’t tell by looking!)

The Butterfly Defect

| UK | Right | February 15, 2017

(I’m answering the phone at a small zoo; mostly, this is people asking for directions or prices, but we get the odd… interesting call.)

Caller: “Hello, there’s a large moth in my garage. Could someone come and get it, please?”

Me: “A moth? We do have a butterfly hall. Do you mean you’re local and you think it’s one of ours that’s escaped?”

Caller: “I don’t know! I live in [Town 20 miles away], and there’s just this big, brightly coloured moth in my garage, and now I can’t go in there! I hate moths!”

Me: “Well, I’m afraid we’re not actually an animal rescue, and that really is a bit of a trip. It’s definitely not one of our butterflies that far away.”

Caller: “Can’t you help anyway? I’m freaking out here!”

Me: “Umm, it’s possible if it’s a big, bright species that it may be rare, and one of our staff may be willing to go and catch it for you after work, as he’s a keen photographer with an interest in moths. If you want, I’ll ask him. What colour is it?”

(The line goes silent for a moment.)

Caller: “Beige?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we really can’t help. Maybe you can ask a neighbour to let it out?”

Will Have To Gingerly Decline

, | UK | Right | December 29, 2016

(My friend and I have a Christmas tradition of a zoo day together. We always have a coffee half way round as it’s the best in the area. For Christmas, the cafe has limited edition flavours including chocolate orange and gingerbread. We get to the till and this happens.)

Friend: “Ooh, the gingerbread latté is back!”

Cashier: “Sorry, we only have amaretto, hazelnut, or mint available at the moment.”

Me: “Oh, okay, no problem. I’ll have an orange hot chocolate—”

Friend: “—and a gingerbread latté.”

Cashier: *raises hands laughing*

Me: “Oh, god… I’m one of those people today!”

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