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    Dialog Boxes Are Forever

    | Ottawa, ON, Canada | Top

    (I’m at the library checking my email, when another patron seated next to me taps me on the shoulder.)

    Patron: “Excuse me, I’m trying to get into email, but something pops up, I click “No”, and all I get is a blank page.”

    Me: “Have you tried clicking ‘Yes’?”

    Patron: “Why would I do that?”

    Me: “Well, if it’s asking if you want to continue, and you should click ‘Yes’.”

    Patron: *tries again* “It just brings up the blank page again!”

    Me: “Did you click ‘Yes’ to continue?”

    Patron: “No, I clicked ‘No’.”

    Me: “Why did you click ‘No’? I told you to click ‘Yes’.”

    Patron: *tries again* “Okay, do I click ‘No’?”

    Me: “You click on ‘Yes’!”

    (Not surprisingly, she clicks on ‘No’. She does this several times as other library patrons who overhear us begin to laugh.)

    Patron: “Okay, so I get this message–”

    (This time, I seize her mouse before she can do anything and click ‘Yes’. Hotmail pops up.)

    Patron: “Oh, it works now! That’s funny. Thank you!”

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    How To Strike Out 101

    | Wisconsin, USA |

    (I’m female, and one day a male patron walked up to me.)

    Patron: “Can you look up information on gonorrhea for me?”

    Me: “Sure…”

    (I start searching in various databases when I suddenly feel the patron caressing my knee.)

    Patron: “You’re doing such a good job!”

    Me: “…”

    Textual Discrimination

    | Melbourne, Australia |

    (A customer approaches me holding an audio book.)

    Customer: “What’s this?”

    Me: “It’s an audio book.”

    Customer: “What’s that?”

    Me: “Well, it’s books read aloud so people can listen to them instead of reading the text.”

    (The customer looks horrified.)

    Customer: “Do you have more?”

    Me: “Oh yes, those shelves behind you there.” *pointing*

    Customer: *looking at the rows of audio books* “That’s disgusting! People who can’t read shouldn’t be allowed in libraries anyway! You shouldn’t pander to them!”

    Me: “Well, it’s also for people who have low or no vision.”

    Customer: “They have no right to books, either!” *storms out*

    LOL OMG Grandma, Read The FAQ

    | California, USA |

    (We have an older patron who comes into the library to use the Internet. She’s around 65 and not computer literate, so we help her out whenever she needs us.)

    Patron: “Miss, could you help me? I don’t understand what is happening.”

    Me: “What’s the problem?”

    Patron: “I think I had a stroke or something!”

    Me: “Oh my God, what do you feel?”

    Patron: “Well, I can’t understand the words on the computer. It doesn’t make any sense! I’m so confused!”

    (She seems fine, just aggravated, but I call over my co-worker who is in a nursing program.)

    Me: “Can you check her out real quick?”

    Coworker: “You’re fine. What did you feel?”

    Patron: “Well, nothing. But, all of a sudden, I lost my ability to understand writing. I opened an email from my granddaughter and I didn’t understand a word of it!”

    (My coworker and I read the email:)

    Hey grandma! I’ve been having a gr8 time in Ny with mom and dad. we’ll b back in ca on the 4th. I miss u! c u l8r!”

    Coworker: “Um, I think she just wrote in a hurry and didn’t realize that you didn’t understand her shorthand. It’s teenspeak, so it’s a little hard to understand.”

    Patron: “Oh, thank God…such a stupid girl! I’m going to tell my son to throw her TV and computer away and make her read some books!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you’re preaching to the choir.”

    Much Ado About Nothing

    | Iowa, USA |

    Library patron: “How much is this book?”

    Me: “Well, according to the price on the back it looks like it costs about $27.00. However, the actual price may vary depending on where you buy it.”

    Library patron: “Wow, that is a lot of money.”

    Me: “Yea, kind of.”

    Library patron: “Okay, well…I’ll take it,”

    Me: “Okay, I will need your library card and I can check it out to you.”

    Library patron: “Oh, I want to write a check.”

    Me: “Ma’am, we don’t sell books here. This is a library, so you borrow them.”

    Library patron: “So you are not going to sell me this book?”

    Me: “No, but I will gladly let you check it out if you have a library card.”

    Library patron: “What kind of store is this?”

    Me: “It isn’t a store…it’s a library.”

    Library patron: “So you really won’t sell me this book?”

    Me: “No, I cannot sell you that book.”

    Library patron: “Fine! I’ll take my money elsewhere!”

    Me: “Nice doing business with you!”

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