Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

Happily Ever After

After my horrible experience I have to tell you a nice story that happened this week.

The group leader for one of our groups is a female Rabbi (I was not guiding this group but I have been working closely with them). She had a terrible few days on the trip. Her flight was late so she missed her connection and then eventually arrived but without her bags which took another 5 days to arrive. Then she fell ill and spent one day throwing up. Probably not her best Israel experience ever.

Then on Monday the group went to Masada. When the Rabbi got to the top of Masada she found her boyfriend waiting for her. He had flown out from America to surprise her and proposed right there. Isn't that sweet.

Everyone was very excited. It was all very romantic. Proposing in the place 1000 Jews committed suicide 2000 years ago. Its sort of like they are making a commitment to preserve their legacy and continue Jewish existence.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

 

I didn't know people could be this rude.


I take back everything I have ever said about difficult people on my trips. I have now met the Queen Bee of unpleasant people. Not really the Queen Bee actually – more like the wasp as she doesn’t die after she stings, she just keeps on stinging.

For some reason this woman took an instant dislike to me and didn’t bother to conceal her contempt. From the start she made it very clear that she wasn’t interested in any of guiding elements of the trip and that I certainly had nothing to teach her that she didn’t already know. She repeatedly and publicly criticized me, attacked me and questioned what I said. She interrupted me and spoke to me with open contempt in her voice.

Some examples:

To be fair I don’t think it was personal. She was similarly rude to many other people. She told one speaker (a woman doing a PhD in the history of women in Israel) that she [the speaker] was wrong and that she [mean woman] knew more about the subject. She irritated the rest of the group too, who were mostly lovely.

Around half way through the trip she simply stopped participating in anything – which was really fine with me. At the end I was looking forward to seeing what she had the gall to write in her evaluation form, but she denied me this pleasure. She refused to fill it in. Grrrrr.

Well that little outburst was very cathartic for me. I am feeling much better.


Friday, March 10, 2006

 

Purim Antics

A huge Kol HaKavod to Jameel who is the brains behind the Purim Parody Blog Super-Shpiel.
I don't know what Jameel does for a living but he probably should be fired. I am sure he has done nothing else for the last week apart from creating parody templates of all of his favourite blogs.

Among those parodied was yours truly. You can check it out here. It is totally hysterical. I could hardly stop laughing long enough to put up this post.

Respect to the guilty ones - PP and S.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

 

Places I have lost people

On Har Merom on a hike
At the Kotel
Yad Vashem
New York Subway

To be continued...

 

Update

Well I promised an update so here it is.

The trip went really well actually. I had a good time and the group was generally great. At the end of the trip, as well as giving me a generous trip, the group bought me an ipod nano – so I guess they must have liked me.

The trip leader was just as insane on the trip as before. She would pull me aside from time to time in the middle of my guiding to ask crucial questions like ‘What time will lunch be next Thursday’. She would always pull me aside from the rest of the group and assume an air of confidentiality even when asking the time.

My evaluations from the group were excellent. My favourite comment was ‘A was wonderful. I want to take her home to marry my son’. If only my skills as a tour guide did translate into girlfriend eligibility.

Several people also described me as patient. This always makes me laugh as both I and my blog readers know how far that is from the truth.

Anyway as soon as the group left the trip leader (who stayed a few extra days in Israel) sat down with my boss for three hours to complain about me. She kept saying how wonderful I was but… Apparently I felt ‘threatened’ by her knowledge and was inflexible when I didn’t do what she demanded. It really upset me until I remembered about the group evaluations and the tip and the ipod. Luckily my boss knows me and her and knows the truth of the matter.

This high maintenance group was in strong contrast to my next group who couldn’t have been more easy going. They never complained. Not once. Literally. I could hardly believe they were American Jews. They were from the mid-West however so perhaps that makes all the difference. I wonder what the next one will be like.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

 

"On a clear Day"

I am currently in the middle of a rash of groups. Three in a row with no breaks. But it is all going well. I will post m0re comprehensively when I am back at my computer. However as I had a few minutes now I thought I would write about today's events.

Today we were on the Golan. Now every tour guide knows that 'on a clear day' you can see... But how elusive that clear day is. Today we went up to Mt. Bental on the Syrian border. Ordinarily you can see Old Kunitra, New Kunitra and on a clear day off to Damascus. This afternoon you couldn't even see your hands in front of your face. I stood there telling my group what they would be seeing if we weren't standing in the middle of a cloud.

More soon. I promise.
And more on how my trip with the crazy woman turned out.

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