It was confirmed yesterday that in England, as of May 17th, indoor entertainment venues may reopen, in line with details such as the Rule of 6 or 2 households, social distancing etc, masks.
Your museum, venue or gallery may have had plans for weeks, already announced a date for reopening, perhaps even be taking bookings and selling tickets. Or you may have had to wait for the confirmation of changes before your management were willing to confirm and say anything. You might even be in a difficult place of being unable to reopen, or unwilling to just yet.
Either way, I bet that there's an uptick in your query emails, so to help as the same answers need to keep being provided in a chipper tone, how about a game of bingo?
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.
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