Tour Guide Confessions From An Irate Tour Guide. 

Ooooh! I dug into this. A headline like that!? Hoo boy, good stuff.

When I was reading it, all I could think of was yeah, wow, this guide is really angry. What are they conveying to their groups with all this anger? A lot is the answer. A lot.

I’ve listed the tour guide’s “confessions” and how I think this disdain is making itself known to the audience.

I take groups — usually families — around a beautiful stately home in the South West, and tell them all about the history of the building.I’d say most of them are more interested in how to get to the tearoom afterwards.

Really? Oh no. You think most of the people coming on your tour, before you’ve even started, are not interested in your tour? That’s coming out in your body language my friend. I bet the first impression your guests get of you is a furrowed brow and crossed arms.

I don’t expect kids to behave perfectly, but I often have to ask them not to grab things or eat crisps on the way round — because it doesn’t occur to their parents to stop them. I’ve even had nine-year-olds having tantrums because they’re “bored”.

First, I want to eat some crisps. Second, kids can be the toughest audience, no doubt. Challenging even. But also really freaking fun and to watch them learn is as glorious as it gets. My guess on this one? Rolling eyes and some passive-aggressive shade throwing to the parents.

The ones who really get my goat, though, are those I know are retired teachers or lecturers. They have to prove they know more than me, as if they’re at a pub quiz. I often wonder why they’re on the tour, given that they already know everything. 

I get people offering information a lot, sometimes it’s really valuable and they’re adding something original to the tour that the other tours didn’t have. Sometimes, it makes that person feel REALLY good to add something they know. My guess is this comes out as an audible “huff” and then a long solid sigh.

Women in pairs are terrible for simply wandering off — I’ll be halfway through explaining something and turn round to find half the group has disappeared.

HEY!! Hey. This is true of course, but HEY. My guess this annoyance comes out with you waiting in silence for them to return to make the whole group suffer while you prove your important tour guide point to them.

Once, I found a lady sitting on a precious four-poster bed. It was roped off, but she’d just climbed over ‘to see what it felt like’. People forget how easily historic objects can be damaged.

They do. And that’s what we’re here for. It’s okay to educate our guests on correct behavior in our spaces we love so but I can’t imagine your tour was much fun after this. This comes out in hunched shoulders and a too-fast walk between sites.

I prefer the foreign visitors, who tend to be more respectful. Brits grumble about entrance fees and are harder to impress.

I bet you resemble that remark and your grumbling under your breath is TOTALLY noticeable to the Brits on your tour.

It’s a tiring job physically, but what wears me out most is arguing with middle-aged men about history. The competitive spirit of people on a pleasant day out never fails to amaze me.

It is a demanding job physically – thank god.

My point here is, is that every annoyance you complain about is showing on your face, in your words and I promise your audience is picking up on it. It’s a vicious cycle of resentment and the words “irate” and “tour guide” really should never go together again, Name Withheld.