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    Dewey Decimal Disobedience

    | Teaneck, NJ, USA |

    (Note: Because it is a large, central location, the public library is sometimes used for town meetings. However, the library employees have nothing to do with these meetings. On this particular night, a public hearing is being held on the topic of firefighter layoffs.)

    Firefighter #1: *leaving meeting* “I can’t believe they’re actually firing people! This is so f***ed up!”

    Firefighter #2: “Those f***ing d***s!”

    Firefighter #1: “I’ll show them! I’ll mess up their card catalogs!”

    Me: *to coworker* “Do you want to be the one to tell him we use computers?”

    Weighting For The Other Shoe To Drop

    | South Carolina, USA |

    Regular Customer #1: “Hey, have you lost weight?”

    Me: *beaming* “I have, in fact! I’ve had to fight pretty hard for it. Thank you for noticing!”

    (Ten minutes later…)

    Regular Customer #2: “Are you having a baby?”

    Me: *no longer beaming*

    Alohomorons

    | Newport, TN, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids

    (I’m working in the library when a patron of about 11 or 12 years of age walks up. We have the following exchange.)

    Young Patron: “Where do you have the Harry Potter books?”

    Me: “They’re right back here…”

    (I show her to the section where we keep them. She stares at them for a while.)

    Young Patron: “Can I have the Prisoner of Azkaban?”

    (I take it out and place it on a table. She opens it up and leafs through it.)

    Young Patron: “Oh my God! There are so many words! Can I have the one with less pages?!”

    Copy That, Not

    | Pennsylvania, USA | Extra Stupid, Top

    (I am showing a guy how to use the copier.)

    Me: “Lift the lid from the front.”

    Patron: *ignores me and keeps trying the side*

    Me: “The front.”

    Patron: *ignores*

    (I reach over and lift it for him.)

    Me: “That’s the front. Do you want me to make your copy for you?”

    Patron: *ignores me again* “So, I put it like this?” *flops the thing down diagonal on the glass*

    Me: “Which side do you want to copy?”

    Patron: *silence*

    Me: “Which side–”

    Patron: “So, it’s a dime?”

    Me: “Which–”

    Patron: “A dime?”

    Me: “Wait a sec. Which side do you want to copy?”

    (A minute or two later.)

    Me: “Press copy and press start.”

    Patron: *stares at the machine*

    Me: “Copy is the first button on the screen.”

    Patron: *stares*

    Me: “Just press copy.”

    Patron: “Now?”

    Me: “Yes. Okay, now press start. It’s the giant green button.”

    Patron: *stares at the screen*

    Me: “On the right, in the keypad.”

    Patron: *stares*

    Me: “On the right.”

    Patron: *stares*

    Me: “The right. It’s the only green one.”

    Patron: *stares*

    (I reach over and point.)

    Me: “Press this button.”

    Patron: “Now?”

    Some People Aren’t Backward Compatible

    | Ohio, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at a public library. Patrons often ask us how to print from the computers.)

    Patron: “I need to pay for my printing.”

    Me: “Okay. When you hit the print button, how much did it say it was going to cost?”

    Patron: “I did not hit the print button.”

    Me: “What computer were you sitting at?”

    Patron: *impatient* “I was not sitting at a computer. I am trying to print from the typewriter!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I am confused. You were not sitting at a computer, but at the typewriter? And you want to print what you typed?”

    Patron: “This is ridiculous! I cannot believe you won’t help me!” *leaves*

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