The itchy wool sweater

Thursday, May 17, 2018
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
It’s been an ‘itchy wool sweater’ kind of day...and I don’t mean that it was so cold here I had to get out the woolies.  Nope...something else entirely...
We traveled over to Belfast on one of those no frills airlines and I must say, it was one of the all around smoothest trips I’ve had in a long time.  After an early arrival we got checked into our room and then went to scout out the meeting point for our evening walking tour.  I had booked this tour last August because it was advertised as a small group tour and after reading all the great reviews, we wanted to be sure to get a spot.
We met the guide at the appointed time...he was a bit...well...different.  Turned out we were the only 2 on the tour.  The tour lasted a little over 2 hours...and it was a bit...well...different.  But we did get to see a lot of street art and some areas that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen.  And then we get to the itchy wool sweater part...
When I booked the tour I was certain that it was priced at £8/person.  That was the reason I booked it, because of the very reasonable price point and the very good reviews.  And when you’re the only 2 on the tour, it really shines a spotlight on your tipping percentages.  I had originally planned to give him £10 when I expected there to be a full tour.  We both opted to up our payment to £12 giving him a 50% tip.  We gave it to him, feeling like ‘Jack the Lads’, you know, big tippers.  He responds with the most odd of remarks...”you’re going to give me more?”.  Now I’m thinking, okay, I know you’re a bit odd, but you must get SOME tips when you do your tours.  My parting words to him were “we’re all good?”, and he responded “yes”.  So, Bob’s your uncle, and off we go.  It wasn’t till we got back to our room that we revisited the fellow’s website...which had been modified greatly since I booked the tour.  The price was now showing as £8 for groups of 8 OR MORE and £15 for groups of less than 8.  Ooops!  Having seen that, we revisited his comment again and decided that what he was ACTUALLY saying was ‘you need to give me more money’.   Now I’ve got severe ‘itchy wool sweater’ feelings.  I feel awful that we basically short changed this guy.  I now go from feeling like Jack the Lad to a total schlep.  What to do?  Tackle it straight on, I say.
So, I send him an email saying that when I check his NEW website, the one that’s changed since I booked the tour last August, it appears that his prices have gone up and we short changed him and we’d like to pay him what we owe him.  He says not to worry.  I explained that I thought the price was £8 and we were giving him a substantial tip, to which he replied that he checked back on my original booking and that he HAD raised his prices after that time, so felt he should apologize to us for the misunderstanding.  He offered to take us out for a pint...but afraid THAT’s not gonna happen.  I’m just glad that I’ve been vindicated.  I didn’t want him complaining about those damn shortchanging Canadians.  
My ‘itchy wool sweater’ is feeling a tad more comfortable now.
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Carol Jackson

I LOVE the umbrella art! What's more Irish than umbrellas. lol Looks like you are having a blast. I'm enjoying catching up on your trip. Say hello to the old country for me and me Mum. Ta