Another cartoon from an interaction observed at the Charles I art exhibition - I keep suddenly remembering more gems!
1. Lengthy series of emails as we establish with someone planning a visit what we can and can't provide for them.
1.5. They engage emotional blackmail to try and get what they want.
2. We reach an understanding. In which we carefully aren't going outside of the bounds of what we offered to begin with.
3. They are happy, but tell us to contact someone else, now organising the visit.
3.5. We wonder why we have to contact them, not them us, but, OK.
4. We contact them, nervously including the line "Hopefully you are up to speed on the discussions with your colleague."
5. An entirety different person contacts us, to say they're running the visit.
6. They ask for THE EXACT SAME THINGS we refused to do for the first person.
I was going to send an email to a visitor query which was a flat out "We don't have an official position on this, but No".
Instead I have sent an email which is "Here are all the reasons why it could negatively impact on your visit, and on other visitors, the ball is however, in your court."
I'm not sure if that was actually the crueler email to send.
Because they now could do the thing they want to do, but will have to admit that they are knowingly potentially having a negative impact of the fun of others.
In other words "How much of a twunt do you want to be?"
This story sumbitted, and a bit hard to render as a cartoon due to conversational content. Thanks for sending it in Pete!
A phone call to the museum's polite reception desk, in December:
Customer: "Hi, we're planning our family holiday for July. Can you tell me what activities you'll have on what days? We want to book a week while the hotel is still cheap, and our son really enjoyed the event he came to in the summer."
Staff: "We have some things pencilled in for July, but they won't be announced until March, when we have all the details like performers and artists confirmed. We don't like to announce things until we know it's all booked in, or it can dissapoint people."
Customer: "If you can just tell me what's pencilled in, that'll be fine."
Staff: "I can, as long as you realise that these events may change. If you book your hotel now based on a certain date, an event probabaly will happen that day, but perhaps not the one I tell you now. Also, sometimes our smaller events sell out or book up within a day of being announced, so there's no guarantee of your son getting a ticket or place, unless you're fast!"
Customer: "So you can tell me a date, for an unknown event, for which my son may not get a ticket? What's the use of that?!"
Staff: "You are planning much further ahead than most of our visitors, so I can only be honest about the information I have available to me at the moment."
According to Pete "The customer we still unhappy, despite receptionist being willing to give details well in advance of public announcement, and [the customer] said that the more money they had to spend on booking a hotel later, the less they would spend at the musuem, and it would be her son and us that would suffer"
On the one hand, kudos to a customer planning ahead rather than the usual "What do you mean my child can't attend this sold out event tomorrow? I prromised them already!". On the other hand, one should probabaly not get angry with someone trying to help you, to the best of their ability, while ensuriung you are aware of potential issues with the information they are giving you.
I'm fairly sure that people who made metal holders to burn ritual incense had fire...
I know that the past is a foreign place and that not everyone has had the privilege of being educated in how things were. This lass though was a gift through the exhibition, as in seconds she could veer from intelligent and excited interest, to questing thought, to a question that left you doing a double take in case she was winding her mates up.
One of her mates pointed out that if Egyptians burnt things, they must have had fire, and conversation regarding "rubbing things together" followed.
Although at least when people ask this, however daft it may seem, it's better than people in the supermarket asking us where items are - because wearing black trousers and a coloured polo shirt MUST make us staff for the venue. No one would ever pop into a shop on their lunch break from work without first getting changed into distinctive civvies!
Past the barriers.
Past the signs.
Past the tools, hoover, wood and glass.
Through the dismantled door.
Past the barriers.
It was a valiant quest, yet ended in the bitter and perhaps gradually obvious disappointment of "No, we're not open right now. Can I get someone to safely escort you back to the cafe and shop?"
Just had to endure a journey of "How many ways can you tell a customer no, while still being polite?"
The gent let me go through "That information isn't available, but will be in a few months' time" and then joined me to traverse the lands of "because it's all subject to change" with a meander through "Even if you're happy to accept that the details may change, I don't have the details to give you".
We had a foray into " It's not that they're not to hand, I just don't have access to those details." prior to a ramble across "if we released unconfirmed details, it would cause visitor disappointment if details change" and he enjoyed the view at "You may be kind enough to appreciate the situation, but not all visitors are as understanding, forgiving or as smart as you! ha ha!"
He led us up towards "I can explain the process we use to help confirm details, but that won't get you any unconfirmed details or hints you can use to extrapolate from what has happened previously." Bit windy up there, but he wanted to take the detour.
Finally, we drew to a halt at "I can give you the email address for that department, and you can ask directly" with a cup of tea at "but you'll pretty much get the same reply..."
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
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