The Tourism Business Is A Battlefield

, , , | Right | October 14, 2020

I work weekends in a heritage centre in a small town. From Monday to Friday, we open from 9:30 to 5:00, but on weekends, we open at 12:00. There is a man waiting in the car park when my coworker and I arrive at about 11:50. Shortly after, a woman and a teenage girl arrive and sit down outside. By this stage, we have been open for five minutes and none of them have come in. The woman then opens the door and asks if we are open, I tell her that we are and the three of them come in.

Me: “Good morning, how are you?”

Man: “Is the director or manager here?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. Is there something I can help with?”

Man: “I’m absolutely furious!”

Me: “I’m sorry, why?”

Man: “We got here at 10:30 expecting the place to be open and then I found you don’t open until 12:00 on Saturday!”

Me: “Well, yes. Our opening hours on weekends are 12:00 to 5:00. It’s posted on our website and our flyers. Did you see it advertised somewhere that we open earlier?”

Man: “No, I just saw somewhere that you open at 9:30 so I presumed it was the same every day. We’ve come a long way and spent a lot of money; this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us! We had so many plans for today and now, because of this, our day is ruined! We want to go to [Nearby Battlefield] and we have to walk there because we haven’t hired a car!”

He then went on to say that attractions in his country had different opening hours, and how would I feel if I spent money going to an attraction only to find it closed?

Meanwhile, his wife and daughter were standing awkwardly to one side. Despite claiming to be in a huge hurry, he then spent about ten minutes looking at the books we had for sale. His wife, who seemed to be a bit out of it on some sort of medication, then went on to explain that the political situation in their home country was very tense at the moment and people were being killed.

When they left, the husband completely ignored me; he actually had his head turned the other way. I don’t know why they waited in the car park for an hour and a half until we opened; they could have gone to the battlefield and been back soon after we opened!

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