A toddler who has grasped the idea that Christmas means ripping wrapping paper off of boxes, came into his own private heaven when faced with a Christmas tree piled high with gifts. The presents were all empty boxes wrapped for display, but when your priority is just ripping paper, that's no matter!
A submitted tale...
The first member of reception staff to arrive switches the phone settings from 'absent' to 'present', goes through the voice-mail, responds to anything urgent, and then checks emails.
My colleague came in, and found almost 20 missed calls from the previous evening, and around 10 from early that morning, but no messages left.
About 5 minutes before opening, the phone rang.
"Oh so you do have staff! I assumed that you were too busy drinking tea or playing croquet to bother even phoning me back! When do you actually open today?"
"Our hours are 12.00 to 4.30 on weekdays, I'm sorry if that wasn't clear in our voice-mail message when you called. Because you called after 4.30, and then before 12.00, there was no-one here to take your call, again I apologise if that wan't clear. And please be assured that I would have returned your call, but regrettably didn't have a number to return your call to."
"...well, Thank you!"
The gentleman had called almost 30 times, but hadn't listened to a word of our instantly played voice-mail message, preferring instead to immediately hang-up, get increasingly frustrated and continue wasting his own time.
The staff member was awarded that week's chocolate biscuit for handling an unpleasant visitor.
I am both impressed and vaguely concerned that this venue/team has a weekly award for having handled an unpleasant visitor. That either indicates a good sense of humour, or a worrying necessity for boosting morale in the face of unrelenting stupidity.
If you have a tale of museum, art gallery or heritage venue woe or comedy, do drop a line in, and it may even become a cartoon of it's own!
Thanks to the new follower who submitted this tale of someone playing fast and loose with interpreting the rules for visiting their property. The lady with the dog was quite cheerful, and unaware of the issues behind the rules. Her friend was the one to argue the case, threatening to "write to your head office and ask for my membership to be refunded" if the staff "persisted in being petty and demanding."
The issue was resolved when the lady with the dog suggested he may get restless anyway, so if they put him in the car they'd be able to enjoy the house without him wiggling around.
Phone calls I, and a public facing team member in a heritage venue, have both had this past four days:
"I can't find the option I want on the website drop down menu, so phoned to arrange it in person"
"The option isn't on the website because we don't offer it any longer."
"You don't offer it online?"
"At all, it's not an option we provide at all. You can - "
"Who do I need to talk to to get that option?"
"My son was playing on the balance beams yesterday and fell off them, so I wanted to raise it as a concern."
"I'm very sorry to hear that, was he hurt?"
"Not so much, but his trousers have been washed twice and are still stained, I think you need different wood chips or something dryer in that area."
"Can you tell me what the soup of the day is in the cafe?"
"Of course I can find that out for you if-"
"Why do you need to find it out? Why don't you know?"
"I'm not based in the kitchen, but can ask them."
"Well, I suppose that'll do."
"It says on your website that some of your collection is in storage, I explained to my wife that it means it isn't on show, and that we won't be able to get in there, but she insisted I call to make sure. We did a tour of the stores at a museum in Birmingham a few years ago, and now she pretty much forces me to check 'can we see in the stores' every time we visit somewhere with an archive. So I'm sorry, but I have to ask or I won't hear the end of it."
This came form a fan: Phone call query (bear in mind we're a transport museum): 'Hello, could you tell me where your nearest dog show is?' What now?
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
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