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    A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Books

    | Texas, USA |

    Patron: “Do you have any magazines with pictures in them?”

    Me: “All of our magazines are against the back wall.”

    Patron: “No, the magazines that have the pictures and you have to figure out what it is.”

    Me: “Well, you can look on the back wall and see if—”

    Patron: “Just tell me where the books are, then.”

    (I point to the books, which take up the whole right side of the building.)

    Me: “The books are all in that side of the building.”

    Patron: “Well, just tell me where the books with pictures are.”

    Me: “Many books have pictures. You’re going to need a title.”

    Patron: “Never mind!” *walks away*

    There Must Be A Wormhole To The 20th Century

    | Pennsylvania, USA | Technology

    Patron: “Do you have a typewriter?”

    Me: “No, sorry. We haven’t had one in a while, but I can show you how to use Word.”

    Patron: “No, I need a typewriter. I want to put an address on an envelope.”

    Me: “Well you can do that in—”

    Patron: “I can’t believe you don’t have a typewriter. What kind of library doesn’t have a typewriter?! Where can I find one?”

    Me: “I really don’t know. You could try [office supply store], I suppose.”

    (The man leaves, grumbling. The next woman in line comes up.)

    Patron #2: “I don’t suppose your computers can take floppies?”

    Shocking Mystery Solved

    | Phoenix, AZ, USA | Bizarre, Religion, Rude & Risque, Top

    (I work in the call center of a public library. Occasionally, we get strange callers just because it is free and we are required to talk to them.)

    Caller: “You need to help me! The Mormons are giving electric shocks to my genitals through my windows!”

    Me: “Um, this is a library, I’m not sure what—”

    Caller: “You have to help me! I called the police but they won’t help me. They say I’m crazy. It’s the Mormons! They keep shocking my genitals!”

    Me: “Well, uh, let me put you on hold for a second.”

    (I put her on hold and call out the situation to the other librarians in the call center. One of them happens to be Mormon.)

    Me: “I have a caller who claims Mormons are shocking her genitals through her windows.”

    Mormon coworker: “We are.”

    Your Complaints Are On Thin Ice

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Top

    (Our location has two entrances, one of which is closed because of unsafe conditions on the adjacent sidewalk due to a recent snowstorm. A woman approaches me as I’m shelving books.)

    Patron: “Hi. You look like who I need to complain to.”

    Me: “Okay. What seems to be the problem?”

    Patron: “These conditions are unacceptable. I had to walk another block just to get in here. All because you and your employees are too lazy to pick up a shovel and clear that sidewalk.”

    Me: “Ma’am, we don’t have the say as to whether that sidewalk is open or not. The city made that decision yesterday for safety reasons.”

    Patron: “I should have known when I saw you that you weren’t going to help me. You have that kind of face.”

    Me: *speechless*

    (At this point, another patrons steps in at my defense.)

    Another Patron: “Excuse me, miss, I hope that you’re not referring to the sidewalk on [street]. My name is [name]. I’m a civil engineer for the city and I can assure that, given the water main rupture and the three feet of frozen ice/slush, it’s going to take an extensive amount of labor to clear and fix that sidewalk. Furthermore, I find it incredibly insensitive that you would complain about this inconvenience to you when, just the other day, a poor boy slipped and fell and broke both legs on that very sidewalk.”

    Patron: *dumbfounded* “Well, I didn’t…” *walks away*

    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 5

    | Central Florida, USA | Geography

    (This is during the 2008 primaries. Our library has been set up as an early voting center. We have information sheets to help the voters make their choices.)

    Customer: “I just don’t know what I should do. These things are so confusing. Who did you vote for?”

    Me: “I didn’t vote.”

    Customer: “That’s what’s wrong with you young people today. No ethics.”

    Me: “You misunderstand. I didn’t vote because I can’t vote.”

    Customer: *shocked* “Oh MY GOD! You’re a FELON? Why would they let a FELON work here?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. No. I’m not a citizen.”

    Customer: “Oh. You’re just saying that aren’t you?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. I’m not a citizen. Would you like to see my green card?”

    Customer: “So, you’re from Canada?”

    Me: “No, I’m from Europe.”

    Customer: “That’s in Canada, isn’t it?”

    Related:
    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 4
    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 3
    Canada: America’s Hat, Part 2
    Canada: America’s Hat

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