Why travel agents go gray #1

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May 25th, 2001, 11:27 PM
  #1
The Phantom
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Why travel agents go gray #1

True Stories From Travel Agents:

Customer requested an aisle seat on the plane so that their hair would not get messed up by being near the window.

A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. Agter going over all the cost info, the client asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?"

(To be continued) The Phantom
 
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May 26th, 2001, 01:22 AM
  #2
Ben Haines
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I'm not altogether content with this message. True, the well-taught, the well-read, the rich, know these things. But many countries fail to educate and to pay well the mass of their people, and service to that mass might be a better way than standing by and laughing. If the Phantom is American, he or she might think of Rooseveldt's New Deal, and what it meant.

I look foreward to disagreement -- I know I'm being a bit heavy-footed.

Ben Haines, London

 
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May 26th, 2001, 06:08 AM
  #3
Ed
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Ben, you're usually so impeccably on the mark on this forum. I do think, this time, you may have missed.

This collection of stories have been circulating the Internet for several years to my knowledge. I suspect their actual age may be older. True? Urban legend? Who knows. They are funny.

 
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May 26th, 2001, 06:45 AM
  #4
s.fowler
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I'm with Ed here. I have two good friends who are travel agents. The stories they tell are actually like this, if not worse. We're not talking urban legend here. Part of it may be that in our fast-paced society people don't have the time to stop and think about whether what theya re saying makes sense.
 
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May 26th, 2001, 09:10 AM
  #5
Cindy
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You're so right, Sally. I had a friend who was a 411 phone operator. She said people would make all kinds of strange requests. Like "Where's the closest supermarket?" (Um, the operator doesn't even know where you are.) And "What time is L.A. Law on tonight?"

Everybody doesn't know something, I guess.
 
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May 26th, 2001, 09:43 AM
  #6
John
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To Ben:
I had a good deal of respect for your prior posts and regarded them as being both helpful and informative. That has now ended with your crass assumption that the originator of this thread is being insensitive and must therefore be American. Fortunately the likes of you are not representative of the majority of Brits who I find to be pro-American.
I for one shall ignore your posts in the future.
John
 
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May 26th, 2001, 10:19 AM
  #7
jahoulih
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I (an American) think that John's reaction is uncalled-for. Mr. Haines did not assume that the original poster was American; he merely noted the possibility in a conditional sentence. And while I don't think the Phantom was being particularly insensitive, I do think there's a good likelihood that he or she is American--the majority of people on this board seem to be Americans, and one of the Phantom's anecdotes has an American context.
 
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May 26th, 2001, 10:37 AM
  #8
Mel
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Ben: Don't go away! Next to the rude posts that show up on this board, your gentlemenly way of saying that you're "not altogether content" is well within the bounds of expressing a fair and alternative viewpoint. We who love the UK need you!
 
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May 26th, 2001, 10:59 AM
  #9
Jody
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Ithink Ben has been misunderstood! He could not be rude if he tried. Maybe in his job he didn't have contact with people like some of the service industries. I'm a pharmacist and you would not believe what people have asked me. We have had to tell people that suppositories have to be unwrapped before inserting, 1 medication says remain upright for 1 hour after taking, and a patient told me she coludn't stand up that long with her arthiritis, when BC pills first appeared on the market, one lady was not swallowing them , she was inserting them!! it's a wonder we all don't have grey hair, not just travel agents and 411 operators. People sometimes just don't think or think too much!
We love you Ben, please don't be upset.
 
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May 26th, 2001, 11:34 AM
  #10
Judy
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Every year, in Canada and U.S.A., there are articles in newspapers reporting more than half of high school students (sometimes up to 75%) failed simple tests in geography. In the era of "global village","cultures understanding" and "environment awareness", with mass media available to people, this shall be an alarming phenomenon, It indicates certain defaults in social and educational systems.
I truly believe everyone should try ones best to help remedying the problem. especially fellow travelers who love travel, love this planet! In my local library system, we have been trying some programs to help young poeple toward more aware of geographic and cultural differences in the world.
 
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May 26th, 2001, 12:02 PM
  #11
Capo
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First of all, urban legends or not, I find things like this amusing.

Second, regarding Ben's comment, I understand the point he's trying to make: that ignorance about things such as geography or what flying in a airplane is like may not be due to an unwillingness to learn even though there are resources available, but may, instead, be due to not having access to educational resources in the first place.

That being said, however, I think a lot of ignorance is willful, the result of people not caring -- for whatever reason -- to take the time to learn even though they have resources for learning available.

 
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May 26th, 2001, 12:15 PM
  #12
Al
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Our favorite question from a tourist: at what altitude do the deer become elk?
 
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May 26th, 2001, 12:29 PM
  #13
Capo
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Al, my sister used to work for the Jackson Hole tourism bureau and she once sent me a list of a number of questions allegedly asked by visitors to Jackson Hole. One of them was that question (or a close variant.) Another one I remember from the list was "Who made the Tetons?"
 
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May 26th, 2001, 12:43 PM
  #14
clairobscur
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John,

I fail to understand where you read in Mr Haines post that the OP "is being insensitive and must therefore be American". He merely wrote that if the OP was american he should think about Roosevelt. I guess you should read the posts more carefully before responding, especially when you attack someone.

Now, I suppose that if you want to discard Mr Haines posts from now on, you can do that. Your loss...
 
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May 26th, 2001, 02:21 PM
  #15
Ben Haines
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I have read with pleasure this well-balanced correspondence.

Ben Haines
 
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May 26th, 2001, 02:25 PM
  #16
mac
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Mr. Haines, your point is well taken. If we sneer at ignorance, it frightens people from asking questions that could correct the condition. Besides, the best humour is self-directed; it is far funnier to laugh at one's own ignorance, than someone else's.

On that note, I remember once asking a Coast Guard crew why Monosodium Glutamate was carried on their search and rescue plane. Puzzled, they asked me to explain why I thought that they did. "Well," I said, "back there in the hold, you have a neat little compartment labelled "MSG".

Okay, so how was I supposed to know it stood for "MESSAGE."

On the other hand, I was glad I asked the question. They all roared, and so did I! I hear it's now a standby joke about how the Coast Guard makes the best Chinese Food....

 
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May 26th, 2001, 03:29 PM
  #17
chris
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To Cindy with the 411 friend. In the earlier days of the phone system and in certain small cities and towns, there was a time when you just had to pick up the phone and dial information and the operator was used to answering questions such as the ones she mentioned. It wouldn't surprised me some grandma still think that's still the case.
 
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May 26th, 2001, 05:32 PM
  #18
Art
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Continuing the response re our education system.
Several yers ago we, my former wife and myself took in my niece (my wifes brothers daughter) who had been thrown out by her stepmother. She was in her 2nd year in High School at the time and mentioned that her friends family were driving to Europe that summer. She wanted to know how long of a drive that was.
 
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May 26th, 2001, 05:39 PM
  #19
Bert
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Let's get back to the stupid traveler stories - How about the moron that wanted to book a seat on the new plane (747) with the built in pool?
 
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May 26th, 2001, 09:22 PM
  #20
Anon
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What an idiot! Didn't he realize those new 747's with the built-in pools get booked up pretty quickly!
 
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