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    Their Mind Is Long Overdue

    | Maine, USA | Extra Stupid

    Me: “Library. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Hello?”

    Me: “Hello, this is the library. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Is this [bank]?”

    Me: “No, this is [library].”

    Caller: “What?”

    Me: “This is [library]. I believe you have the wrong number.”

    Caller: “What?”

    Me: “You have the wrong number.”

    Caller: “What number is this?”

    Me: “It’s [number].”

    Caller: “What?”

    Me: “It’s [number].”

    Caller: “I know. That’s the number I dialed.”

    Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but you either have the wrong number or dialed the wrong number. This is [library] not [bank].”

    Caller: “What?”

    Me: “This is [library] not [bank]. You have the wrong number.”

    Caller: “So then, what’s the right number?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I have no idea what [bank]’s number is.”

    Caller: “Why not?”

    Me: “Well, I don’t work at nor do business with that particular bank. I have no reason to need the number.”

    Caller: “What?”

    Me: “You have the wrong number and I don’t know what the right number is.”

    (I hang up, but the phone immediately rings again. I’m pretty sure it’s the same person, so I let it go to voicemail. A few minutes later I check my messages, and, sure enough, there’s a message from the person I had just spoken with.)

    Caller: “This is [name] and I’m having issues with my checking account. I called earlier, but the person who answered didn’t know what they were talking about!”

    Blowing Things Out (And Up) Of Proportion

    | CA, USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids, Top

    (When I was in 7th grade, I volunteered at a local library. My main job was to gather books for pull lists. One day when I’m checking in some books and filling out sending forms, a man and his daughter walk up to my computer. Note: the scanner I am using beeps every time I scan a book.)

    Daughter: “Why is it making that beeping sound, Daddy?”

    Father: “I don’t know. Maybe she’s checking them in.”

    Daughter: “Really?”

    Father: “No. I think she’s going to steal them.”

    (I look up, confused, and I’m about to interject when the father walks over to the head librarian’s door.)

    Me: “Um, sir?”

    Father: “Quiet, thief!” *knocks on the librarians door*

    Head Librarian: “What seems to be the problem, sir?”

    Father: “That girl over there, who is clearly not authorized to run those machines, was stealing your books!”

    Me: “I was checking them out to put them into the send boxes.”

    Father: “No! I clearly saw you stuff books into your pockets!”

    Coworker: “Sir, she doesn’t have any pockets.”

    Father: “I meant down her shirt!”

    (Note: I am wearing a tight fitting shirt. If so much as a piece of paper had been under my shirt, it would have been very visible. Needless to say, there are clearly no books under my shirt.)

    Father: “Fine! If you don’t believe me, I’m calling the cops!”

    Head Librarian: “Sir, she was not stealing books! Please do not call the police!”

    (The father ignores the head librarian and proceeds to dial the police anyway. The operator on the other end of the phone is speaking loud enough for us to hear.)

    Father: “Excuse me, I’d like to report a girl stealing books at the ***** Library.”

    Operator: “Sir, are you a member of the library staff?”

    Father: “No, but I saw it happen!”

    Operator: “Well, I’m sorry, sir, but—”

    Father: “…and she planted a bomb!”

    Me: “What?!”

    Operator: *sighs audibly* “Right. We’ll send a bomb squad…”

    (Five minutes later, there is indeed a bomb squad outside the library doors. They end up having to clear out the library, search me, and go through the entire library with bomb-dogs.)

    Daughter: *to her father* “How come you said she planted a bomb? She didn’t!”

    (When the police heard that, they arrested the father. I got a week off.)

    This Apple Doesn’t Foul Far From The Tree

    | Virginia, USA | Family & Kids, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I work in a community college library. I am passing through the kid’s room, where students often leave their children while they study, when I witness a small boy push a girl down over a toy.)

    Little Boy: *to the little girl* “F***ing C**t!!”

    (Shocked and offended by his foul language, I march straight into the room, snatch him up by the arm, and physically drag him, bawling and squalling into the main library, where his mother is talking on her cell phone.)

    Me: “I’m going to tell your mom EXACTLY what you said to that little girl—”

    Mom: *into her phone* “Hold on…” *to me* “Hey! HEY! What the F*** are you doing to my boy!? F***ING B***H!”

    Just Tell Him The Title, Pure And Simplex

    | WA, USA | Rude & Risque, Top

    (A customer approaches the counter with his girlfriend/partner. He wants to make sure that he has returned all of his items. The only book left on his account is one on a sensitive topic.)

    Me: “Well, it looks like there is just one… uh… health book on here.”

    Customer: “What? What ‘health book?’ I don’t have no ‘health’ books out.”

    Me: “Uh… it is a book about a… specific illness. If you like, I can show you how to look up your account information in private at our website.”

    Customer: “No, no, no! I don’t have time for all that. Just tell me what the dang book is!”

    Me: “It’s called Managing Herpes.”

    (The girlfriend’s eyes go wide and she turns to the customer.)

    Customer’s Girlfriend: “You… what… but you said… WHAT?!”

    (Both of them left quickly after that!)

    Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 2

    | UK | Bigotry, Top

    (I’m in the library, queueing at the front desk to take out two books. I’m standing with my arms wrapped around the books. Patron #1 is talking to a librarian at the counter, while Patron #2 is waiting further down the counter.)

    Patron #1: “Do you have any Islamic books?”

    Librarian: “Well—”

    Patron #2: *patronizing* “No, dear, because this isn’t a Muslim country. It’s a Christian country.”

    (Patron #2 looks around at me and the librarian as though she expects us to agree. We are both white.)

    Librarian: “Actually, we have a collection Islamic books in both Urdu and English. They’re just over here.”

    (The librarian shows Patron #1 to the books.)

    Patron #2: *to me* “Can you believe that? Why do we need Paki books in our libraries? This is what’s wrong with this country. Maybe instead of speaking Paki, they should learn English and try to fit in!”

    (I remove my books from my arms and lay them out clearly where she can see them. I have a sociological study of the Philippines and a history of India, as my two closest friends were born there).

    Me: “Maybe what we need are more books that teach people to stop being bigoted and start respecting and understanding other people.”

    Patron #2: *scoffs at me and leaves*

    Related:
    Our Great DiscrimiNation (Not Always Working)


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