Today, while checking the museum's email, I came across a message quite unlike those I'm used to receiving. It started out well, not unlike some of the more formal tour requests we get.
My name is _________. I am contacting you from England. I want to make reservation for 4 people in December 2013. Hope you can accommodate us on that date?
I thought, "Hey, sure, we don't have any tours booked in December, we're wide open. And then I read on. It turned out to be an email requesting a room booking for a holiday stay at an inn or hotel. At first I considered not answering, but then I thought, "What if they really think we're an inn? I don't want to be rude?" And I wondered, what if it's a strange form of spam? And I decided it was too well written for spam. So this is what I wrote back in response:
Dear Mr. _________,
You seem to have mistaken us for an inn ! We're a museum, in London, Ontario, Canada, not currently renting out cot space in our galleries, but as we are a small museum and constantly looking for new fundraising initiatives, we'll take the idea under advisement. However, if you wish to book a tour while you're here, we would be delighted to host you.
I mean, some museums do sleep-overs, right? Anyway, I hope the prospective guest finds it as amusing as we, here, did, and accepts my response with the humour it was intended. The letter provided us a bit of a laugh amongst all the other, more serious things we slog through every day.