Sunday, March 14, 2004

Evolution my ass...

Dude, working in customer service and the leisure industry can teach you all you need to know about the stupidity of mankind. Not that it bugs me too much... it's good fun, and one always got a story to tell over a pint.
I work at this café which is part of the Oceanarium in Bournemouth. And I really love it there, 'cause our team is wicked awesome and funny, our bosses are really cool, and the cafè faces the beach which is beautiful in any weather, and you can have your lunch in the shark tunnel when it's raining, and on the pier when it is sunny and warm.
But it blows your mind sometimes what levels of lame and stupid the homo sapiens can reach.

When I want to get to the staff room, I have to walk through the shark tunnel, balancing my sandwich, and my coffee, or whatever is on my menu that day. Guess what line I am getting EVERY BLOODY TIME?
Yes. "Isthatwhatyoufeedthesharkshehehehe?" A large latte and a marinated chicken panini... That must be SHARK FOOD! It was funny the first 0.5 times. Yessir. Caffeinated sharks. That's what we want.
I don't mean to be a bitch, but the only thing that is funny about it after you have heard it about 280 times is that people think this is really an original joke.
Same goes for people that complain about the entrance fee (To be fair, it is rather pricey - we're sorry that our staff does not work for free and that the fish need to eat), and then pull off stuff like: "One adult, one seniorhehehehehe" (man pointing to his wife) or "one adult one childhehehehe" (pointing to her husband). After hearing this a million times, the only way to keep a polite smile on your face is by stapling it to your cheeks.
Or things that are just annoying is when people come in and try to haggle with you. "This is quite expensive, can't you give me a ticket for less?" (Nosir! If we wanted haggling, we wouldn't put prices up.)

Today we had a classic. Guy and his mates walk in at 11am, occupy a double table. Buy like a coffee, and then nothing for the rest of the day. They were still there at 3pm when I left. This guy had the nerve to come up to the counter with one of those customer care questionnaires, on which he had written:
"You need to cut down your price ing in the cafe ASAP next time I come you have cut your pricing soon (unidentifyable scribble)", and he started arguing with our supervisor about it. I gotta say, our prices are pretty normal... especially for a beachfront cafe. I mean, this is England. It is expensive. Deal with it.
What I gotta say to those people: Dude! If it is too expensive for you - don't buy it. It is that simple! Stop harrassing the staff, cos it's not them that make the prices! Most of them bust their asses for shit wages so they can pay the rent for their room and their university costs, and they are really not getting paid enough to get bugged by someone who occupies a large table, leering at the female staff, spreading his trash over other tables all day without buying anything.

Also, some people come in and ask for discounts because they are locals. I mean, what???? I don't come here either and ask to get paid more because I'm a local. What a crap reason is that?

But it gets better.
Our displays staff are smart people. They may wear grubby clothes, cos when you take care of animals you just don't wear suits. But they have DEGREES IN MARINE BIOLOGY and stuff. Masters. And years and years of experience. I am astounded all the time how much "Jimbo the fishmaster" knows about them creatures. But cos the staff's shirts are a bit spotty, people seem to automatically assume they are retarded and incapable of doing their jobs.

This is the Oceanarium's FAQ:
-"Do you ever let the turtles (marine turtles!) get out of the tank and walk around the oceanarium? They look kinda frustrated. They never smile." (I kid you not!)
Yes lady. We offer turtleback rides for a low fee and whenever you need a smile for your camera, say so, and we chisel it out of their jaws!

-"Isn't this tank a bit full?"
Yes, ma'am. We torture fish just for your entertainment. We are thrilled to hear your expert opinion on this subject. We're sorry, but all our staff has to offer are a few lousy degrees in marine biology and years of experience, as well as being trained in national guidelines on that matter. How would they know?

-"Do you have dolphins/dolphin shows?"
Right. Have you seen the size of this place? Where do you expect us to do dolphin shows?

-"Do you have great white sharks?"
No, ma'am. But we may consider it, if we ever decide to flood the whole bloody place to give a Great White the space it needs. And we feed babies to it, and puppies, for your entertainment. Would you like to donate yours?

What we like best are people that come in and self-righteously complain about the poor animals in capture. Ok, then why do you pay to get in and support us criminals?
Yes, our fish are unhappy. As unhappy as anyone can be who gets regular meals served whilst living in a 5 star hotel. And if it makes you feel better, we just box the endangered chameleons that were rescued at Heathrow from a bloody animal smuggler and send them back to where they came from, on an agonizing journey, because that is the humane thing to do.
And how unhappy must our animals be if they breed constantly? I guess sharks lay eggs to overcome their depression about being kept away from a sea of which existence they know nada.

It's not that this pisses me off or anything. But I sometimes just gape at people, wondering whether they are really serious, and I never quite know what to answer, cos half the time I wonder whether they are just taking the piss.

Had a chat with Milla today... and she said something which made me laugh out loud, and I think it made my quote of the day:

"People don't get that there's more sides to a person than one. Even a coin has two, and it's pretty flat."

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