We have fewer human interactions than we did years ago. This is due to technologies such as ATM’s, self-serve check-outs, computer shopping, etc; however, we still have lots of opportunities to chat with strangers. For me anyway, it is always a pleasure to converse with a stranger who is willing to exercise his/her sense of humour. I suspect that managers often tell front-line workers to NOT try to be funny. Let’s face it, whenever you speak, you run the risk of offending someone. If trying to be funny, that risk increases. I don’t think it would stop me.
During the March Break, I worked as a tour guide for a group of international high school students for their trip to Quebec City. As the guide, I am not responsible for chaperoning or discipline. My job is to see that all aspects of the tour go according to plan. A lot of time is spent calling ahead, confirming details and trouble-shooting when unforeseen circumstances pop up.
We had just visited the city’s observatory and were back on the bus. I realized that when I called one of the restaurants earlier, I forgot to confirm that they were aware that we had a vegetarian and a gluten intolerant student. I decided I would call again. I pulled out my phone and looked at the call log. I pressed the number that I thought was for the restaurant.
Now keep in mind that the following conversation was entirely in French. When the person answered I wasn’t actually listening. In my mind I was composing my sentence in French. I didn’t pick up on the fact that I had actually called the observatory. A man answered. After his salutation I spoke.
“Hello. It’s Gary calling again. I have the group of twenty-five students arriving for supper. I would like to confirm that you have a meal planned for our vegetarian and our gluten-free student.”
“ … You have called the observatory, but here vegetarians are able to travel in the same elevator as the rest.”
I started to laugh. I loved this guy. And he was able to confirm that the elevators were also gluten-free.
Follow W5education.wordpress.com for stories every Friday