The Incidents Where Mr Mysto Has Not Been At His Best…
It is rare that anyone in any business would put on their web site the occasions when they have failed, we do so here to be honest with you. We have spent and great deal of time on this web site telling you about the great result you can expect from employing Mr Mysto and to not tell you about the very rare occasions that he has failed in the eyes of our client’s would give you a slightly distorted picture. That is not our intention or what we want for you.
In each of the stories that follow, I think you will agree that Mr Mysto is only in part to blame, but the bottom line is the client was unhappy, they reported it to us, and we pass that information on to you.
In Mr Mysto’s own words…
First I must explain one thing, a terrorist child at a party… At every party there are of course excited children, and thank goodness for that, some are over excited and need to be gently brought down a peg or two, some are extremely excited and they take a bit more effort from me but do settle down after a short time, none of these children are a problem, its part of the job and to be honest a part I enjoy.
However, very occasionally a terrorist arrives at a party, this chap (yes they are usually boys) is totally uncontrollable, he runs around a great speed, bumping into things and other people and no matter what one does they NEVER settle down, they are hell bent on destruction at all costs. I believe they have a chemical missing in their brains and sometimes are very bad cases of ADHD. Of course it is not the children’s fault, its nobodies fault, they are born that way. These children are very rare, but arrive at about one party in 50. The way I normally handle the situation is to ask dad to hold on to him for his own protection. On extremely rare occasions (twice in about 30 years) I have experienced two terrorist at the same party.
On 17th February 2001, I arrived at the party as usual. Things started to go wrong quite quickly, firstly the birthday girl was 9 not 6 as we were told by her auntie who booked. Secondly the parents started unloading lots of alcoholic drinks, clearly they intended to have a party for themselves at the same time, two young lads aged about 2 ½ arrived and also two older girls aged about 14 and finally no less than 4 terrorist turned up, these lads started running round the hall, they bumped into and flattened the two toddlers and whilst I was across the other side of the hall with the other 16 children the uncle came over and seemed to think it was my fault. I suggested that if he and the other adults could catch the lads running round and bring them over to me AND sit holding them, then they might settle down, (although deep down I knew this was unlikely) uncle was less than pleased at this proposal and said something along the lines of that what I was being paid to do.
The show itself went okay considering four 8/9 year old boys were running round and making a lot of noise, one toddler was pushing a chair around the floor and making a frightful racket and the other very young lad was in his mums arms still a little upset from the earlier incident when he was pushed to the floor, and his mum looking at me as if it was my fault. She clearly wanted to get back to the drinking, smoking and talking at the other end of the hall, but was stuck holding her child.
After the magic show the children sat down for their tea and dad produced Happy Meals from McDonald’s complete with the toy which on this day happened to be a water pistol. Some of the children excused themselves and went to the toilet and when they returned they thought I was the best target for jets of water, you will not be surprised to read I did not and started taking the water pistols out of circulation, empting them and giving them back. I allowed others to go to the toilet, but not with the water pistols.
Uncle returns to the scene and unbeknown to me showed the children how to fill the water pistols with Coke, again I became the target. This time I took them out of circulation and didn’t return them.
The games were largely uneventful and everyone played to a point. I made most of the games, dancing games so that the terrorists would meld into the other children standing up.
At the end of the party was the prize giving, the mother had made is clear to me that she didn’t want me to give a party bag to either of the two toddlers (too young she said) or to the two older children (too old she said) I told her equally clearly that she could not make me appear mean, and whilst I understood her wishes, if these four children played the games and asked for party bags they would get them and she would be charged for them.
You guessed it, the toddlers with their mums in tow asked for bags and the two older girls also requested bags and also received them.
Mum was extremely upset when I added a few pounds to her bill.
All in all a very unsatisfactory party, I was very unhappy and upset with the whole event, and couldn’t sleep for a three nights.
Absolutely there were bits I could have done better, but I think you will agree the patience of a saint would have been tested.
For sure an unhappy client and I am pleased to say she has never re-booked me.
Date unknown but in the mid 1990’s.
I called my client on the Monday morning following her son’s party on the previous Friday. She said that she was unhappy and wanted to say why. We of course asked what the problem was…
She said she thought that Mr Mysto would be setting up all the food tables and organising the children during the food break, instead he was in the other room setting up his show whilst she had to set tables herself (with her husband) and later he was clearing his magic show away leaving her to handle the food break again along with her husband.
She agreed that the entertainment itself was fine, but she felt she was left to do more than she expected.
Clearly this client had misunderstood what we had said and that is entirely our fault.
We did two things…
- We sent her, her cheque back, she didn’t ask for it back, she didn’t even ask for a discount, but she was clearly upset with us, and that was not what we wanted for her.
- We had a close look at what we say on the phone to people and modified that section to make it crystal clear what is on offer. Basically Mr Mysto will take the children to wherever the food will be and help settle them down and once they are settled and eating, he will disappear to clear away his magic equipment, then he will return to the children and help there if necessary.
Again, I must report that the client has not rebooked.
It happened in 2008.
The party was for a three year old lad, it was in a hall where the acoustics were poor and as is often the case with this age group, the parents stayed. There were around 35 children.
The normal practise is to make it clear to parents before hand that we believe that the party is all about the children and nothing about the adults, including magician, client and the other parents.
On this occasion due to the poor acoustics and the large number of guests, the level of sound coming from the parents was so loud as to make it difficult for the children to hear. My efforts in trying to control the parents led to the client contacting us afterwards and reporting he was unhappy and thought I was rude.
We had an exchange of frank emails where we agreed a resolution to his problem and whilst I can say he is not 100% happy he now fully understands and accepts the challenge I had on the day.
Again for our part we have looked at what I do and the advice we give client’s and have modified it a little to include more information for client’s to help them understand our thinking and what to expect from us.
Whilst it is always our desire to inform people honestly and try and over deliver on the promise, which is what we achieve for the vast majority of our clients, one is unfortunately bound to upset a small number along the road.
On a positive note these client’s who have been good and brave (it is a difficult thing to do) enough to tell us where we have failed to meet their expectations allows us a chance to make what we do better and for that I thank them.
To read about how it usually goes Stress Free Childrens Parties