Friday, October 26, 2007

But My Story is so Much Better

I come from a family of storytellers. And as we all know, family members will embroider and embellish stories (right in front of you) and then, possibly, accuse you of being a stickler when you try to inject a little truthiness.
But families are special.
However, staffers in the US Capitol want to extend this more-fun-than-the
-boring-truth approach to the Capitol staff tours. Here's how it breaks down. Right now you can get tours of the Capitol from staff member (arranged by your congressperson or congresspersons, should you be fortunate enough to have more than one). There are also trained tour guides who would be easy to find once they finish up the visitor's center. So, they want to do away with the stafff tours. Now, to be fair, I am sure staff members would not be prohibited from showing friends or family around. But, the trained tour guides want to put this in place, in part because staffers tend to share stories that, while fun and pervasive, are lacking in fact. Their response - our tours are more fun.
And they may be, but it seems like if the staffers really want to keep leading tours they could:
*stop sharing the untrue stories
*and/or warn people that some stories are unsubstantiated
*and/or volunteer to go through a short training session that the professional tour guides to hold.
I'm sure there are other variations, but I find it fascinating that folks want to defend their right to mislead people, because it's more fun.
Now, I know it sounds like I'm being a big stickler, but if I travel from out of town (or even across the city) and arrange for someone to give me a tour, I don't think it's crazy to think that I have an expectation that they know what they are talking about. Or will be honest about what they do know. And if people don't want their tours cluttered up with facts, what do they need the staffers to lead them around for?