It's your child's birthday, it's your anniversary, it's your once in a lifetime visit to our country, it's your dad's special birthday, it's your honeymoon.
A special event occasions a special experience; taking a dino mad kid to a natural history exhibition, taking the missus on a guided tour of a stately home. But if you get in touch with a venue a couple of days before you plan to visit, find out that what you want to do or see is fully booked out or unavailable (and advertised as such for months in advance) and then play an emotional blackmail card, the odds are that staff will feel for you - but not be able to do a darn thing about it.
Really, we'll want to help, we'll make suggestions for alternatives, we'll add your name to waiting lists. But if that guided tour is fully booked, we have good (insurance often) reasons why we can't "just squeeze two more on" and if that exhibition is closed we probably can't "let you have a peek" because it'll be covered in dust cloths, hoardings and workmen/curatorial staff, with most of the exhibits missing or not even on display.
I hate saying no to people (I know, I whine a lot here, so that may be a shock) but it hurts knowing there is a disappointed kid whose parents have already said "Yeah! we can do that!" or a new spouse whose ideal honeymoon will be less ideal.
So a plea, if you will, to plan ahead a bit - because at the very least, birthdays happen the same time each year - and the more warning you give your chosen museum, gallery, historic house, castle... the more likely the staff will be able to pull out the stops and make your day awesome.
We want you to be happy, and we want to be the people who make that happen. So plan a little, and we can plan a lot.
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
Follow The Attendant:
All text and images are produced by and copyright of the artist, holder of the domain name of attendantsview.com