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    Understanding Of The Technology Is Backwards

    | York, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s a crazy busy day in the library, with queues of around 10 customers per member of staff, and everyone is run off their feet. A lady comes in on a mobility scooter who is known to staff as a bit of a deliberate time waster. She starts shouting for a member of the staff to come and assist her.)

    Me: “Can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes. I want something photocopied.”

    (Normally photocopying would be self-operated by the user, but I can see why it would be difficult to do from a mobility scooter.)

    Me: “Okay, no problem. Let me give you a hand. What do you need copying?”

    Customer: “This!”

    (She pulls an artist’s pad from her bag, which has a picture of a bird on it.)

    Me: “Thanks. Let me get that copied for you.”

    Customer: “Hang on. I need to finish the leg. Do you have a fine liner?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. I can get you a biro though?”

    Customer: *grumbling* “I suppose that will do.”

    (I hand her the biro and she starts painstakingly drawing in the leg of the bird. I glance over at the desk and see the queue has become even longer.)

    Me: “I’ll pop back when you’ve had a chance to finish that.”

    Customer: *shouting* “DON’T YOU DARE! STAY HERE! YOU HAVE TO HELP ME. I’M DISABLED. I TAKE PRIORITY!”

    Me: “I understand, but if you aren’t ready for me to help you, I can come back later—”

    Customer: “Write on this in mirror writing for me.”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “I need you to write on it backwards. Put my name and the date and the title, but backwards.”

    Me: “Um, I’m really sorry but I don’t think I can do that. Why does it need to be backwards?”

    Customer: “So it will be the right way round when you have photocopied it.”

    Me: “That… is not how photocopiers work. It will be fine written normally. I promise.”

    Customer: “You are so stupid! It’s the same as when you take a photo… That comes out backwards, too.”

    Me: “… I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work like that either.”