Paris, the romantic City of Light, is getting tired of its famed rudeness to tourists. Tourism officials, like good paper pushers everywhere, decided that a manual was needed. They came up with a six page booklet titled "Do you Speak Touriste?" According to the Chicago Tribune, 30,000 copies are being distributed to hotel staff, waiters, cab drivers, and others.
Not to be out done by a bunch of Euroweenies and Eurotrash, especially the French surrender monkeys, I feel it is my civic duty to publish a handy dandy guide for service and hospitality workers in Chicago.
Chicago is a major tourist destination and Chicago tourism is an exploding industry. Weekend suburban and exurban visitors, people from down state and out of state, foreign tourists, and business travelers are all putting Chicago on the map as an international world class city to visit.
Here are some helpful tips to assure that tourists feel welcome, want to return, and most important leave you big tips. Remember, this is Chicago. At the end of the day it is all about the money.
- Be nice, smile, say hello. Don't worry about not being able to speak a foreign language or even proper English for that matter. Hello and a big smile is the de jour greeting the world over. A hand shake never hurts either.
- Have a rudimentary knowledge about the city. If over fed English people ask you how to get down to 290 do not send them to the nearest weight loss clinic. If a Frenchman asks about a fille de joie, he is not looking for a tip on a horse or a steak. If an Italian asks where he can find good puttanesca he is not looking for a fille de joie. Speaking of which, try not to put Italians and French together. The Italians never forgave that fil de putain, Napoleon, for screwing up the southern half of their country.
- Chicago is known the world over for Al Capone. Please remind the tourists there were other very famous people who lived here. If you can't immediately think of famous people, just rattle off street names. They won't know the difference and will be impressed.
- Know where various places of amusement are located. You should have a ready supply of brochures for the Admiral,VIP's, The Factory, Scores, and the Pink Monkey. For the ladies, there is Hunkomania.
- Tourists love to gamble. Be able to direct them to one of the casinos surrounding the city. If they ask why Chicago does not have its own casino, be polite and explain to them that while Chicago is a cosmopolitan city, the State of Illinois is run by rubes, bark chewers, and backwoods pecker heads.
- If they ask about safety, remind them that Chicago is much safer than Beirut, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, or Benghazi. Also reinforce that our police officers are not out there to create disorder, they are there to preserve disorder.
- If business travelers ask about doing business in and with the city, please do not mention corruption. Remind them that our honest ethical politicians no longer take bribes. They only take hefty contributions to their campaign funds.
- Know the locations of Jims Original, the Wiener Circle, the Diner, and other all night fine dining establishments in case travelers want to sample our finer cuisine.
- Be extremely helpful and remind tourists that you can get them anything they need 24/7, including but not limited to esoteric art and avant garde movies, a limo, sports tickets, a doctor that makes house calls or a dentist in the middle of the night, more booze for those all night parties, and any kind of food delivered to their rooms. Even things as simple as helping to make a body disappear will make tourists appreciate you and our city.
- Keep a supply of business cards on your person. Just simple information, your name, cell phone, and email. A title would be good too. "Expediter" has a nice ring to it. Hand these out to tourists and be sure to collect cards from them.
- The service and hospitality industry can be a small world. Get to know bartenders, waiters, maitre d's, concierges, hosts, and hostesses of the major restaurants and bars in the city. If a tourist needs a recommendation for fine dining, a good steak, top shelf booze, a quiet club with smooth live jazz, or a better hotel, you can impress them by calling your friends right there and then, making the reservation, and assuring they or their party will be given first class red carpet treatment treatment. Always reciprocate for your industry friends.
Oh, and all you tourists out there, remember, we will roll out the red carpet for you, but when you tip, tip in cash.
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