Aping Mankind

| Bristol, England, UK | Related | August 19, 2013

(The local zoo is rebuilding their gorilla house.)

Dad: “40mm bulletproof glass? Why do the gorillas even need guns?”

Me: “For guerrilla warfare.”

Shortest Job Ever

| Canada | Working | March 24, 2013

(I work in an elephant barn which requires lots of heavy lifting. We are warned of this during the interviewing process before we’re hired. Note: my coworker is only about five feet tall, as am I. This conversation occurs while we’re moving hay from the barn to an enclosure.)

Coworker: “These hay bales are too heavy. They shouldn’t be making short people like us lift these; it’s impossible!”

Me: “Well, it wouldn’t be fair if we got out of hard work because we’re short. Besides, I don’t really have trouble with these bales. Try lifting it with both arms and resting it against your hip as you walk; it’s a lot easier.”

Coworker: “No, it’s too hard cause we’re short.”

Me: “Well, I’m as short as you and I can manage. Like I said, if you stop trying to carry it away from your body and rest it against you, it’s a lot easier.”

Coworker: “No, it’s cause we’re short. This is too hard for us. Plus, we have to stretch to reach the backs of the elephants all the time. They should give us step stools.”

Me: “We were warned about this stuff. And they can’t supply us with step stool everywhere.”

Coworker: “We could carry them around with us on our backs!”

Me: “I’d rather stretch a bit than do that.”

Coworker: “Well, we’re so short. We shouldn’t have to do all this stuff. We’re just so short!”

(Needless to say, she didn’t last a week.)

Dying For Some Pie

| PA, USA | Right | March 8, 2013

(It’s the annual Halloween event. I am dressed as Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd, but since the younger kids I watch haven’t seen the movie, I try to explain my costume in a way they can understand.)

Little Boy: “Why do you have a fake knife? What are you?”

Me: “I’m dressed as a lady who makes people into pies.”

Little Boy: “That’s awesome! I wanna make people into pies! Can you make me into a pie? I wanna eat myself!”

Me: *laughing* “Go down the slide first, then we’ll talk.”

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Acting Like A Total Wallaby

| Belgium | Right | February 19, 2013

(My husband and I are visiting an amazing zoo in Belgium that was built on the site of an old estate. In addition to being beautiful, the zoo is relatively open and interactive: you can get up close and personal with many of the animals where safety allows. My husband and I, from the States, are marvelling at the small ditches or rows of bushes where fences and walls would normally be.)

Me: “This is incredible! They don’t have anything like this back home!”

My Husband: “Yeah, but you know why, right? Some idiot would see one of the exhibits and immediately think, ‘Dude, I can totally jump that ditch and play with the animals’. Maybe they just have more sense than that here.”

(Later, I am asking an employee about feeding times and mention what my husband had said.)

Employee: “Oh, no. We have people like that here, too. Mostly children, but they don’t do much harm. The worst is when it’s an adult. We had a fellow who got drunk and jumped into the kangaroo exhibit and began harassing the animals.”

Me: “Jeez, what happened?”

Employee: “Well, our dominant male took offense to him bothering his consort, so he pinned him down and kicked him.”

Me: “Holy cow! What did you do?”

Employee: “We let him.”

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Stale Popcorn, Fresh Mind

| Panama City Beach, FL, USA | Right | December 27, 2012

(I’m working at my zoo’s snack shack. I have to clean the popcorn machine a bit before closing, or else I won’t be done by quitting time. This is approved by my supervisor.)

Woman: “Miss, I need some—oh, did you not make popcorn today?”

Me: “Well, I cleaned out the machine, but it’s bagged so they can use it for the animals tomorrow.”

Woman: “Can I still buy it?” *glances at her two very young children* “I’d have come earlier but they weren’t hungry yet. However, they are dead-set on popcorn.”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s probably cold. Really cold.”

Woman: “I don’t care dear. How much? How’s five dollars?”

Me: “I really think there’s only two dollars with in the bag.”

Woman: “You get five for being so sweet!”

(I ring it up as two anyway, and let her put the change in the donation jar since we don’t take tips. The kids happily take the cold popcorn and start chowing down.)

Woman: “You’re a lifesaver, sweetie! And such good service!”

(When I take the ‘take-up’ to the gift shop, I see the woman with her kids, still eating the popcorn.)

Manager: “Good job. She’s really happy. Bought a mess of merchandise to thank us for hiring ‘such a nice girl!'”

(Both the kids hugged me on my way back out, too!)


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