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  • Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 6

    | Pennsylvania, PA, USA | Math & Science, Money

    (A woman comes up and gives me $2 for her daughter to print. With our computers, you need to have money in your account in order to print. The daughter prints something, then tries to print again. The mother comes up twice, complaining that nothing is coming out and that something is wrong.)

    Me: “How much is it saying it will cost?”

    Patron: “We have enough.”

    Me: “Okay, then it should print.”

    Patron: “It’s saying it’s printing, but nothing is coming out.”

    (I go over and try to print it. They don’t have enough.)

    Me: “You need to put more money on the card.”

    Patron: “Why?!”

    Me: “The prints costs more than you have on there.”

    Patron: “But she only printed once.”

    Me: “This new print costs $1.50. She already spent at least $0.70, from what I can see. You only gave me $2.”

    Patron: “So?”

    Me: “So $2 minus $0.70 is less than $1.50.”

    Patron: “I don’t get it.”

    Me: “You need to give me more money for the prints.”

    Patron: “But why?!”

    Related:
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 5
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 4
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 3
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 2
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up

    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*

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