Due Tonight Vs. Do Tonight

, | Learning | March 12, 2013

(I’m a librarian in a university library. It’s almost 5 PM and I’m getting ready to go home.)

Student: “Hi, I have a research paper and I don’t know how to find sources for it.”

Me: “Okay, what’s your topic?”

Student: “It’s [topic].”

Me: “That one might be tough to find a lot of information on. When is the paper due?”

Student: “Midnight.”

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Your Argument Doesn’t Hold Water

| Learning | March 12, 2013

(At the college bookstore where I work, students can sell their books back for cash at the end of the semester.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I won’t be able to buy your textbook back because of the water damage.”

(I flip through the book’s crinkled, sticky pages.)

Student: “Oh, it’s okay. It’s not water damage, it’s humidity. I went on vacation to Missouri and it was humid.”

Me: “I still can’t take your book back because I cannot sell this to another student in this condition.”

Student: “But it’s not water damage! It’s humidity! Humidity made the pages stick together!”

Me: “Ma’am, what is humidity?”

Student: “Water, duh!”

(There’s a pause while the wheels begin to turn in her head.)

Student: “Oh…can you help me find my other books, then?”

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Somebody Failed Listening 101

| Learning | March 12, 2013

(While waiting for his to-go food to arrive, a customer is making small talk with me about college.)

Customer: “So, what are you studying in school?”

Me: “Psychology, sir.”

Customer: “Why? That’s a stupid profession. You won’t go anywhere with that! All you’re doing is wasting Daddy’s money!”

Me: “Actually, sir, I am pay—”

Customer: “My daughter studied Psychology! She wasted all my money!”

Me: “Sir, I’m paying for my own college.”

Customer: “Dads always pay for college!”

Me: “Mine isn’t. I live alone and pay for my own schooling.”

Customer: “Whatever. Dads always pay!”

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Parental Misguidance

| Learning | March 12, 2013

(Parents often call to make sure their children are where they are supposed to be or are going to be ready when they come to pick them up.)

Me: “Computer lab, this is [name].”

Mother: “Hi, I am looking for my son. I think he’s up there using your computers.”

Me: “Okay, can you tell me what he looks like?”

Mother: “Well, he’s got medium skin, he’s kind of heavy, and he looks a little slow.”

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Words Fail Me

| Learning | March 12, 2013

(A student comes in to the Registrar’s office to pick up a transcript. After discovering that she never placed an order, I tell her to place the order so that it will be ready in the afternoon. After checking the system over the course of several hours and not seeing the order, I call the student.)

Me: “Yes, I see you still have not placed your order.”

Student: “I placed it hours ago!”

Me: “Uh oh, I hope something is not wrong with our system. Did you get confirmation that the order went through?”

Student: “Yes! I still have it up right here on my screen. It says right here: ‘Transaction Failed’!”

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