Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Back to the grind, oh, and can we be a little friendlier to visitors?

Well, I'm back from my vacation and it sucks. It's tough to readjust to the work routine after a week of waking up tto only white sand beaches. It was almost depressing as I stared blankly from the train today into the unpicturesque sceneries along the stretch from 12th Street to West Oakland station, lost in the sight, with no reaction to the pushing and shoving around me. I've passed the route hundreds if not thousands of time by now, but never had it looked so depressing and run-down.

Anyway, that was this morning, and I think I've snapped out of it now. I saw a few tourists wearing Mets, Braves, and Yankees jerseys around the Civic Center BART station today. Obviously, they were visiting SF for the All Star game. They looked lost. First of all, why were they even staying near Civic Center?? Out of all the better tourist friendly places to stay in SF, why there?

These guys looked very lost and made the HUGE mistake of asking a homeless person for direction. The homeless man could not offer any advice that is understandable and frankly, the tourists were appalled by the smell around him. I could tell because I pass by him every single day. The tourists then asked a man dressed in a suit for directions, and he simply said, "Sorry, can't help you." Whenever they tried to approach someone for help, the person would purposely walk the opposite direction. This went on for about 2 minutes. No one wanted to help them.

I was waiting for the company shuttle and decided to offer my assistance. They seemed grateful to see a friendly face but unfortunately, being TERRIBLE at directions, I didn't know how to get to Fisherman's Wharf by MUNI. Gosh...I felt bad. All I could say was....oh, maybe you can go ask the concierge in the hotel right there, I'm sure they can give you a MUNI map.

I was not helpful at all but at least I was friendly. I wished them a good time at the game and enjoy SF. Though I didn't to a thing to steer them the right way, they kept on saying thank you. I cant believe people were so unwilling to help them out! We're not an unfriendly city, if anything, I think SF has the reputation of being hospitable to everyone! Come on, people, it doensn't hurt to spend 15-30 seconds to help out first-timers to our city!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

They could have asked a station agent for help. There is a red guide called the destination guide, which will tell anyone on how to get most places on Public transportation, have them get one from the Station Agent.

Anonymous said...

Dang! You would think they were asking for help in New York! I'm always giving directions outside of Embarcadero station ...

ConcordCommuter said...

I find myself giving directions to tourists several times a week on MUNI. Fortunately, I know my way around SF pretty well. It is amazing to me how lost some people become... I regularly see people out in the Sunset asking for directions to the wharf or ballpark.

Chuck said...

True on the Civic Center business... Hotels *are* cheaper there.

"F-isherman's Wharf" is my mnemonic for people from out of town (no, I don't think the F actually stands for that. Really, it's the F'd line, because it takes for F'in ever to get anywhere, and it's usually fillled with F'in tourists).

Even if things still get turned around, worst case from those directions is that you steer a wholesome southern family into the Castro accidentally...

Fritz said...

Powell Street station then walk straight north 2 miles across Chinatown until you hit water. There ;-)

But Chuck's right -- F Line trolley takes them right there.

Future reference for tourists: Dial 511 on your cell phone.

Honey B said...

Actually, in my humble opinion, SF is the LEAST friendly city I've ever been in. When I used to work there, I fantasized about pasting stickers around saying "Remember to say please and thank you" because I almost never heard these words in my SF perambulations. I'm not the least bit surprised that those folks had trouble getting help from strangers in SF.