8 reasons you may not want to book your vacation with Thelma Harper

''It's a great day here at the Raytown Travel Agency! May I help you?" It's a shame Mama only got to say that cheerful line a few times before being fired.

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When Thelma Harper was feeling a little down about her age and the fact that she doesn't have many hobbies, Naomi had a great idea to cheer her up. 

She suggested to get a job to take up some of her free time and keep her occupied. Mama did just that. 

In "Mama Gets a Job," an early season one episode of Mama's Family, Mama goes to an unemployment agency and is set to join the Raytown Trave Agency. 

On her first day of employment, it's easy to see why any vacationer just might want to steer clear of Mama. She's the first person new customers see in the office, and deal with on the phone. 

Here are 8 reasons why you might not want to book your vacation with Thelma Harper. 

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1. She won't be super enthusiastic about her job


Mama tends to get stressed out easily. At the unemployment agency, she destroyed her personality test and snapped the pencil that came with it. One of her first tasks on the job is to greet customers with a big, bright smile. This image is the best she's got.  

2. She doesn't know how to use the office telephone


Mama just finishes setting up her new desk when the first call rings in. She picks up the phone to say "It's a great day here at Raytown Travel Agency! May I help you," but the phone keeps ringing. She frantically tries to repeat the greeting call several times over, but the phone continues to ring. She didn't press down the flashing button first, thus the call didn't come through. We stand by Mama on this one, as her manager only tells her how to work the phone after she "feels like such a fool." 

3. She will force hospitality on you...


When Mama gets her first in-office customers, she greets them with a long stare before standing up and saying, "Well don't just stand there! Come on in, come on, you're standing there like a couple of dodos." Still, she sits her customers down and does offer them complimentary coffee, and prepares it for them. 

4. But she won't listen to you


Sure, Mama will get the coffee, but she'll make it the way she wants it, regardless of what the customers want. When they ask for coffees with three lumps of sugar each, Mama isn't having it. Really, she's just looking out for her new customers. "Well now I'm only gonna put two lumps. If you keep putting three lumps you're going to wind up with diabetes or with boils on your neck." Perhaps not the best customer service, but at least she reminds the customers that those coffees are free!

5. She'll take personal calls on the clock


After getting a pair of coffees with two lumps of sugar, that darn phone rings again. Mama scampers over to her desk and answers it correctly this time, only to hear Buzz's voice on the other end of the line. He can't find his sneakers for basketball practice. Luckily, Mama says "Well I would imagine they're probably right where you took them off, baby!" When she relays to her customers what Buzz said, they simply say, "We would like to arrange a trip to Tahiti." 

6. She'll judge you


"Tahiti!? Well you wouldn't know to look at the two of you that you had a nickel to your name." 

7. The personal calls will keep coming


Not only did Buzz call to inquire about his sneakers, Vinton calls asking where his ironed shirt is, followed by Naomi complaining she can't put on her make up! Mama takes every call, but when Naomi calls back for the second time, Mama loses control, picks up the phone and demands "who is it?" As the customers try to intervene, Mama holds up her hand and says "just hold your horses Brennen I got a family crisis here." After this, it doesn't take long for the customers to take their business elsewhere.

8. She got fired on her first day


After berating her customers several times and losing their business, it's no surprise Mama gets fired on the spot. Even after, when the phone rings, she picks it up and yells "I don't care if you can't find your sneakers, I don't care if you don't got a shirt, I don't care if you can't get to your make up, this is not my problem!" After a brief pause, Mama quietly says, "it's for you, Herbert" while extending the phone. Rough first day, Mama! 

SEE MORE: Can you tell the difference between Mama’s Family and The Carol Burnett Show?


The Harper family starred in sketches before getting a sitcom.


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CortneyNicole 16 months ago
Mama is so funny when she said it on the phone: "It's a GREAT day here at the Raytown Travel Agency may I help you!?" And then after that she got fire and the boss said to Mama "I believe Mrs. Harper that you are Terminated! Go home to your love ones!"

That Mama's Family story was so funny when she just cracks me up!
Zip 16 months ago
Great story!
When I saw the title of this story, I was thinking it was going to be about the Hawaii episode. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was about this one. It is hilarious from start to finish. I love that stare she gives that old couple when they walk into the office. And how long it goes on before she welcomes them.

Mama's boss,Herbert(after firing Mama): "Why don't you go home to your loved ones!"
Mama: "If it wasn't for my damn loved ones I'd still have a job."

And her talk with Vinton at the end. "...you know how the mama bird will nudge them out of the nest and if they can fly, they fly away and they never come back. But if they can't... SPLAT!"
Vinton: "What are you trying to say, Mama?"
Mama: "Vinton, don't ever climb a tree with me!"
CortneyNicole Zip 16 months ago
I love it! Everytime I've seen this show it cracks me up just like Mama and her grandson Bubba working at McRay's 😂
tootsieg 16 months ago
Mama is so funny. Still laughing.
Andybandit 16 months ago
That episode of MF was hilarious. She had great customer service. I would choose her for a travel agent.
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