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  • I still can't believe it

    I decided to go on an excursion yesterday. Several people went, and it was organized by a guy who specializes in such things. We went hiking in a protected nature area.

    Well. It turns out that this nature area has lots of high rocks, with equally high stairs carved into them. I am afraid of heights. I managed to get through one area simply because, once up, there was no choice but to continue down another staircase, then up a third.

    I told everyone that I would hike with them to another rock formation, but if there was a high staircase there, I would just turn around and walk back to the meeting point. It was simple, or so I thought.

    We got to the high rocks, and sure enough, the staircase was STEEP. I said that I couldn't climb it, and that I would meet everyone back at the meeting point. You know, the same thing I had clearly said earlier.

    Well. Our guide didn't want to hear that. It would take a long time to walk back there, he said. It was just one more staircase, he said. He would go with me all the way up, he said.

    He just kept working on me and working on me. Finally, I went up, hanging on to him the whole way, with another member of the group generously taking my backpack (which was heavy). I was terrified the whole way.

    We got up, we walked around, I took photos of the scenery, and we walked the length of the rocks.

    Oh, and guess what?

    The only way out was down the steepest fucking staircase imaginable.

    I had to go down on my butt (not the first time I'd had to do that during the day). I kept thinking that I couldn't panic, because if I did, I could easily die. And if I didn't die, I could be badly injured, possibly permanently disabled.

    I got down. I got my backpack from the person who carried it. I walked back to the van. I saw our guide standing around the meeting point, and he began to walk towards me. I kept on going without looking at him.

    Later, he approached me (when I was alone) and tried to compliment me into dropping my justified rage against him. I pointed out that I could have died up there. I pointed out that he told me there was only one more staircase.

    So he did the same bullshit that manipulators do - he used that soft voice, he told me that earlier, he suggested that I stay at the meeting point rather than walking as far as the rocks, he said that the staircase I climbed was the last flight up. Because that's oh so important, right?

    I'm still traumatized and pissed off - no, furious - at what he put me through. And for nothing. We weren't in an area where I had to climb the stairs in order to get back to the meeting point. I could have simply walked back, but he kept pushing and refusing to take no for an answer.

    If someone's claustrophobic, you don't lock them in a closet for a few hours, then open the door and congratulate them for still being alive. If someone's afraid of the water, you don't throw them in and tell them that they're perfectly safe. And if someone's afraid of heights, YOU DON'T PUSH THEM TO CLIMB A HIGH FUCKING STAIRCASE.

    These are all things I wish I had told that motherfucker yesterday. The knowledge that I could have died didn't faze him in the least. He put my life at risk, my safety at risk, and my mental health at risk. And now, I have to deal with the fallout, while he goes his merry way.

  • #2
    If he works for any kind of boss I hope you will take this to that boss and let them know in no uncertain terms what kind of asshole this guy is. I am afraid of heights as well so I definitely can imagine what you went through.

    I live on the 14th floor of an apartment building and can look out my windows with no problem ... but my balcony is completely off-limits to me. I tried to wrap some greenery around the railing last Christmas and my knees literally buckled ... never had that happen before. In a couple of years I plan to apply for a unit several floors lower (it will cost $250 to $300 to make the move but it will be well worth it, IMO).

    What he did to you was inexcusable and he should not be leading excursions if this is his usual MO.
    Customer service: More efficient than a Dementor's kiss
    ~ Mr Hero

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    • #3
      Agreed. Have a word with the boss.


      eireann & Pix - That sucks. My brother doesn't care for heights, either. Hugz.

      My variation on that is that heights per se don't bother me -- just steep angles. Makes it a pain in the ass to go down stairs if they're even a few degrees steeper than normal. e.g. the escalators in Atlanta's airport: very long and really steep; took me a while to compose myself long enough to go down one in a situation where they were my only realistic choice. Fortunately, there wasn't a crowd, so I just waited for a nice big space between other travelers and had my traveling companion stand right in front of me while I held on to the railing for dear life.
      "I shall endeavor to exceed your expectations. Let others settle for greatness; I will strive to be superior" - Doctor Octopus (clone)
      "Retail is a cruel master, and could very well be the most educational time of many people's lives, in its own twisted way." - me
      "Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down...tell you she's hurtin' 'fore she keens...makes her a home." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds, "Serenity" (2005)

      "I have always thought that when customers tell you 'I’m never shopping here again,' they view that as a threat, we hear it as a promise, but it always turns out to be a lie." ~ 'AdoptsDEATHsCats', reddit
      Acts of Gord – Read it, Learn it, Love it!
      "Our psychic powers only work if the customer has a mind to read." - me

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      • #4
        There is no boss; it's just this guy. He later lied about the hike we took through the woods - he said it would just be a gentle incline. If by "gentle incline" he meant that you don't need crampons or ice axes to ascend, he was correct. But damn, did I get a workout.

        I'm done. I do want to go hiking again, but if I do, I'll go alone or with someone I know I can trust.

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        • #5
          I'm sorry he put you through that. What an asshole.
          "I look at the stars. It's a clear night and the Milky Way seems so near. That's where I'll be going soon. "We are all star stuff." I suddenly remember Delenn's line from Joe's script. Not a bad prospect. I am not afraid. In the meantime, let me close my eyes and sense the beauty around me. And take that breath under the dark sky full of stars. Breathe in. Breathe out. That's all."
          -Mira Furlan

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          • #6
            Too bad he doesn't have a boss you can complain to ... although if this is normally the way he treats his customers, he'll be looking for another line of work soon.

            Don't hesitate to tell others what went on during that expedition. It might convince a few people to find a different leader.

            EricKei: Thank you. I took this particular unit because I was leaving my then-late mother's house and was running out of time ... finding an apartment in this city is an unbelievable PITA. I like the unit well enough, but ... not much point in having a balcony if you can't use it.
            Customer service: More efficient than a Dementor's kiss
            ~ Mr Hero

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            • #7
              He may not have a boss, but online reviews of what he did can give a warning to others. Hopefully bring attention to the people running the park of what he is doing to visitors. That alone can bring heat down on him as he has to explain why he is forcing people into things that could cause them to get hurt.

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              • #8
                He doesn't have a Yelp page; if I posted about his antics on his Facebook page, he'd just delete it and block me. As far as I can see, the only way to really let people know what he does is to show up at the meeting places for his excursions and warn people going on them. Which would make me look like the weird one.

                I'm using word of mouth right now. People who know me will know I'm telling the truth. And they'll tell others. And so on.

                I'll tell you something else. He was lying to all of us earlier in the day, too. He said that, at the park where we were hiking, a few tourists had died recently. Then he admitted it wasn't true. We all laughed, but - why do that in the first place? Why tell your group lies and then let them know you were lying? Why not just tell the truth?

                I trust this guy about as far as I can throw him.

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                • #9
                  He sounds like a sadist. Sorry to hear you had to go through that, I too felt the heart-gripping fear when I have to confront a phobia. Not great!


                  I have a lot of odd phobias. Like I'm afraid of skulls, but I don't tell people that because no doubt someone will think, "her fear can't be that bad," or more likely, "It will be fun to scare her!" and place a skull on my lap or in my bed or wear a t-shirt with a skull with it. It's one reason I hate Halloween, and watching PBS or Discovery, when they show unwrapped mummies, or hominids, or the death of Richard III or when they found him under a car park.
                  Time! Time! Time is what turns kittens into cats.

                  Don't teach me a lesson; all I learn is that you are an asshole.

                  I wish porn had subtitles.

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                  • #10
                    I asked a question in another Facebook group (cycling), and he was among those who answered it. He also "helpfully" pointed out that he does cycling excursions. I blocked him; now, he won't be able to see any of my posts, nor can he respond to them.

                    I don't know if he realized that I'm the one who posted about cycling. I hope not, because if he did, that means he's trying to get me to join another outing. And that's deeply unsettling. Apart from his hugely important lie about "only one more staircase", he lost track of several of us (including me) on a later hike through the woods. He had to call me to find out where we were. We didn't realize we were supposed to take a trail off the main path, because the others, who were well ahead of us, didn't wait. We just walked right on by and continued some distance down the main path.

                    A good guide WAITS for the rest of the group.

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                    • #11
                      Quoth Eireann View Post
                      I asked a question in another Facebook group (cycling), and he was among those who answered it. He also "helpfully" pointed out that he does cycling excursions. I blocked him; now, he won't be able to see any of my posts, nor can he respond to them.

                      I don't know if he realized that I'm the one who posted about cycling. I hope not, because if he did, that means he's trying to get me to join another outing. And that's deeply unsettling. Apart from his hugely important lie about "only one more staircase", he lost track of several of us (including me) on a later hike through the woods. He had to call me to find out where we were. We didn't realize we were supposed to take a trail off the main path, because the others, who were well ahead of us, didn't wait. We just walked right on by and continued some distance down the main path.

                      A good guide WAITS for the rest of the group.
                      He doesn't have a Yelp page but somebody suggested you let the park know about his shenanigans. If somebody gets hurt (or worse, dies) on one of his little excursions because he's pulling stupid pranks, the park will at the very least get some really bad publicity, and at the worst be included in any civil lawsuit brought against him (AND get some really bad publicity) because it will be assumed they knew what he was doing.
                      Customer service: More efficient than a Dementor's kiss
                      ~ Mr Hero

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                      • #12
                        Lawsuits aren't that common here. They can drag through the courts for years. Granted, if it were a personal injury lawsuit, or one arising from a death, that might take less time (and it would effectively destroy his standing as a guide).

                        This guy is one of those sweet-talking types who's good at making people believe that he's just as good as he seems to be, and that if someone has a problem with him, the problem is really with that person. You know the type. It's essentially my word against his, because nobody heard him say that I only had one more staircase to go, and nobody heard him tell me later that he meant one more staircase to go up. Later, he approached me at a restaurant as I stood alone, and in a low voice, asked me what was wrong. Again, nobody else heard the conversation. And, yes, he disclaimed any and all responsibility.

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