03 November 2011

"Don't know much" --Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt

A few months ago I had purchased half-price tickets for a guided tour.  I realized the tickets were expiring in March 2012, and, fearing the weather would only get worse between now and March, booked the tour for the two of us for this past Saturday, October 29th.  Fall is perfect for tours, no?

Er, no.  It snowed.  And sleeted.  And was quite cold.  The. Entire. Time.

To make matters worse, the tour guide was terrible.  Here are the highlights or maybe I should say lowlights from the tour:

*passing Pentagon*
Participant:  Excuse me, isn't that the Pentagon?
Tour Guide, looking around, in a blase voice:  Oh,... yeah.  That's the Pentagon.

*at Arlington cemetery, out in the snow/sleet, which by the way, only added to the feeling that this place is the most depressing, deathiest place I've ever been*
Tour Guide:  There are now 50 different insignias that you can get on your headstone if you are buried here.  Even Wiccan!  Wiccan is a male witch.
Hubs:  What?  No, Wiccan is someone who practices Wicca, regardless of gender.  A warlock is a male witch.
Tour Guide:  That's right.  I knew that. 

*still at the cemetery, sopping wet and still getting snowed on*
Tour Guide points to three stones at a distance:  Those are the memorials for the three NASA disasters. 
Me, thinking THREE NASA disasters?  Challenger... Columbia... Did they do something Apollo related?:  Really?
Tour Guide:  Yeah, the shuttle disasters.
I walk over to see these.  Sure enough, the ones on the left and right are memorials to Challenger and Columbia.  The one in the middle?  Well, here, look:

After walking back to the Tour Guide, disgusted, I say:  The middle one has nothing to do with NASA.  Go look!
Tour Guide, not looking:  Oh, I guess I was wrong.

*driving near Iwo Jima*

Tour Guide:  I don't know why the carillion isn't sounding.  That's really strange.

Maybe because there's no such thing as a carillion?  It's a carillon, fergawdssake.

After 5 of the 9 people cut their losses and took a cab home, they decided to cut the tour a bit short.  Best decision ever.  I can't believe I paid for this--even half price.

Which all leads to my question of the day:  Do tour guides agree to be tour guides thinking that they don't have to actually know anything about what they're touring because people who go on tours will just assume the guide is right? Grrrrr.


Tania said...

I just saw that very same episode on Happy Endings! Ignorant tour guides should exist strictly for comedy's sake.

Mike said...

Sounds like the tour guide was not happy being a tour guide. Probably making things up just to keep themself entertained.

Unknown said...

He was probably still drunk. Can you blame him? I would be drunk too if that was my job. Hell, I'm drunk NOW and that's not my job. So, I guess I don't have a point.

suicide_blond said...

ugh! i would have written a letter to the tour company... im an avid letter writer....something about the stamp and handing it to the postman makes me feel vindicated whenever i feel wronged...
i try to write compliments too when i feel folks/products/service exceeded expectations...sadly those letters seem to be rare these days.

Gilahi said...

There was a followup to the whole "Wiccan" thing:

Tour guide: "Are you a wicca?"

Me: "Wiccan. No."

And at the end of the tour she was STILL asking for clarification on that whole wicca/wiccan/warlock thing.

spleeness said...

Whoa. That is the LAMEST-sounding tour I have ever heard of. You deserve your money back!! I loved "Is that the Pentagon?" -- they didn't even feel the need to point it out! Or the new memorial in front of it post 9-11, I bet (the arcs). Mr. Weather didn't cooperate but at least HE wasn't getting paid.

HK said...

Oh man, that's terrible. I think most tour guides are cool people who like the spotlight and to have fun. Sounds like this tour guide is just an idiot.

The Bug said...

What a pain - I hope you DO complain to the company.

We had the BEST tour guide in Charleston a couple of years ago. Like HK said - she enjoyed the spotlight & made the tour a lot of fun.

Cyndy said...

You should complain and they should offer to give you your money back - or at least apologize and promise to bring that guide back in for another training session.

Cinderellen said...

Shocking incompetence, and what a disappointment for you. Better luck next time.

Alice said...

wow, that's amazingly terrible. and this person was PAID to do that?!