As a tour guide you get used to dealing with a lot of petty issues. There are always passengers who gripe about things and you try to resolve things as best you can, no matter what the problem, because it makes for a better tour.
A lot of these issues involve conflict with another tour member and you have to be judge, jury and executioner. I don’t have King Solomon’s wisdom but I have got fairly good at finding common ground and I have got very good at just listening and not saying anything committing, because being heard is sometimes all that they need. Doesn’t mean I don’t roll my eyes hard afterwards, though. And I am totally judging them.
Rarely, I am presented with a situation that makes me want to slap the complainer and one of these types presented to me on this last tour.
Day 1, mind you.
He started out by saying “I don’t want to be a whinger on the first day..”
Immediate internal “Uh oh!” from my partner and myself. Partner responded “Then don’t be. I am not in the mood today.”
Passenger ignored that warning light. “It’s about the guy sitting in front of me.”
Okay, then. Some sort of personal space issue/inappropriate behaviour/health problem?
“He’s too tall.”
“He’s blocking my view out the front with his big fat head.”
(For clarification purposes, it should be noted that we practice seat rotation and on this particular trip we had 12 spare seats on a capacity loading of 28.)
There was a moment when my eyes locked with my partner. The words bubbling up on his lips were identical to those being held clamped down by mine: “Well, don’t fucking sit behind him, then!”
A more diplomatic answer was given (along the lines of assigned seats just for start of day; feel free to move around; we told everybody this, including you, on day 1) but we made sure that everyday after that he was assigned to that same seat behind the too tall guy.