Email Fail, Part 11

| AL, USA | Right | March 17, 2017

(I work as a librarian in my town. We aren’t really allowed to stay and help patrons on the computers because we aren’t qualified tech support nor do we have the time. Occasionally, I bend the rules a little and assist patrons who really need it. But today I really learned why we don’t help with computers.)

Patron: “I need help printing something from my phone.”

Me: “Is it in an email?” *this is usually what people mean by ‘on their phone.’*

Patron: “I don’t know. It’s just on my phone.”

Me: “Okay, it would need to be sent to an email and I can log you on to one of our computers to print. We can’t do any wireless printing, sorry.”

Patron: “How do I do that?”

(She leans over the counter with phone in hand asking me to do it for her. It takes a couple of tries but finally sends to her email. I log her onto a public computer and have to reset her email password for her because her “phone just knows it and she doesn’t have to log in, ever.” 15 minutes has already gone by.)

Patron: “I ordered flea bath for my cats on [Website] because I was getting a good deal.”

(I try to be polite and sound interested. However, it’s after lunch time and I’m starving.)

Me: “That’s great.”

Patron: “Yeah, but it was written in some foreign language I can’t read so I don’t trust it. I’m sending it back. But the guy was from Texas! I thought it’d at least be written in American.”

Me: *just nods head; I never respond to remarks like this*

Patron: *pointing to the screen* “The page won’t send me the return label. Why?”

Me: “I’m not really sure. It must be the website. It says to try again later. It could be running slow.”

(We try a few more times to open the email. She decides to call the website’s customer support number to get an answer.)

Patron: *on the phone with support* “I really don’t know what you’re saying. I don’t understand all this computer stuff. Talk to this girl that’s helping me.” *she shoves her phone that’s been pressed against her face into mine*

Me: “Hello?”

(I try not to act disgusted by using a stranger’s phone as I tell him exactly what the page says and he understand immediately what happened. The seller created the shipping label wrong so the site couldn’t process it correctly. It would be another week before it’s fixed and she could return her flea bath. The phone call lasted another ten minutes.)

Patron: “Well, okay. If I don’t get the label then, do I just throw my stuff away? I don’t trust it.”

Me: “I guess so. I’m just going by what the support guy said.”

Patron: “Okay. Anyways, I thought the flea bath was written in Mexican or something. I can’t read that so I asked my daughter to come look at because she took Mexican in high school. But she said “Mama, I can’t read that. It ain’t Mexican.” So I’m guessing it’s probably United Kingdom language or something. I can only read American. Thanks for all your help though!”

(She left the computer without getting her label and I rushed to lunch in bewilderment at her story. When I came back from my break, I learned that she left her contact information in case we ever sold our book carts or card catalogues. You know, the two main things we use daily. I won’t be bending the rules again any time soon.)

 

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