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This Is Why We Need Libraries

, , , , , , , , | Right | November 26, 2022

I work in a public library. A woman comes up to our help desk with a young girl about five or six years old. It should be noted that the woman is white, but the young girl is black.

Patron: “Hello. Long story short, I am fostering this girl while her asylum application is going through the motions. Her English is limited, but she’s fluent in French. My French is okay, but I’m having trouble explaining the concept of a library.”

Me: “My coworker is fluent in French. Maybe she can explain easier?”

Patron: “Thanks, but I don’t think it’s a translation issue. I just don’t think she understands the concept.”

Me: “Hmm. I’ll call my coworker over and let’s see what we can do.”

I call my coworker over, who is originally from Martinique. After explaining the situation, he starts speaking to the little girl. What they say was translated to me after.

Coworker: *To the little girl* “So, how it works is that you look at the books. When you find one you like, you bring it to me or to my friend here, and we make a note. Then you can borrow it!”

Little Girl: “What does ‘borrow’ mean?”

Coworker: “It means that as long as you promise to bring it back when you have finished reading it, you can take it home.”

Little Girl: “But I have no money.”

Coworker: “It’s okay. You don’t need money. You just need to bring the book to me or my friend. As long as you’re with your guardian, we can sort out the rest.”

Little Girl: “So… I can read the books?”

Coworker: “Yes!”

Little Girl: *Eyes going wide, looking around the whole place* “I can read… all the books?”

Coworker: *Laughing* “Haha, yes, as fast as you can read them!”

She is simply awestruck. She slowly turns around, as if the sheer size of the place is finally dawning on her. She then tugs on the shirt of her foster mum.

Little Girl: “Let’s go find the books!”

She checked out with five books (the maximum for a child dependent on an adult library card) and she was back within days to return them and check out five more.

After a few months of this, and as her English improved unbelievably quickly (I wonder how that was happening?) she was able to get her own card, and her voracious appetite for books increased as a result.

Sixteen years later, the asylum application is a thing of the past, and this little girl is now a young woman studying for her degree in Literature. She uses our library for all her resource materials.

At the time of writing this story, she currently has the maximum number of books out on loan and has never been late in returning or extending their loans.

Thankful For That Last Call

, , , , , | Right | November 24, 2022

I work as an at-home technical support advisor for a popular electronics company. It is Thanksgiving Day, and for the first time in seven years, I get to spend it with my family. I am scheduled to clock out at 4:00 pm. At 3:20, I take a call from a very sweet, elderly woman. We resolve her issue in about fifteen minutes and we begin to just chat.

Caller: “Do they have you all working from home?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Most of our physical locations are still closed.”

Caller: “That’s good. Do you get to have dinner with your family?”

Me: “Yes! For the first time in seven years. I’m so excited.”

Caller: “Oh, that’s lovely! What time are you off?”

Me: “I’m off at four.”

Caller: “If someone calls just before the end of your shift, do you have to take the call?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. And I won’t be able to clock out until that call has been resolved.”

Caller: “Oh. In that case…”

She asks me the most random questions. Can our earbuds hear our thoughts? Do they talk about us behind our backs while in their charging case? Why are they called smartphones when their intelligence is severely limited? It is hard not to laugh; she seems so serious. We ponder possible answers, and then…

Caller: “Well, my dear, I think it’s time we both join our families for dinner.”

It took me a moment to realize she had intentionally kept me on the phone so I wouldn’t have to take another call right before the end of my shift. It was officially 4:00 and she was clearing me to clock out on time.

My voice cracked as I practically declared my undying love for her. We wished each other happy holidays and ended the call.

I had a wonderful time with my family. I will always be incredibly grateful for that woman.

The Latest NAR Avenger: Bobby Spiderman!

, , , , , , , , | Right | November 23, 2022

I work in the produce department. There’s a kid in there named Bobby who has a really good sense of humor. He takes a call from a customer.

Customer: “I found a spider in my grapes!”

Bobby: “Sometimes bugs do come in on the fruit. We’re very sorry that happened.”

Customer: “I’m bringing it in so you can test whether it’s poisonous or not!

Bobby: “We don’t do that… and she hung up.”

The customer comes in later with a spider in a Tupperware container. She comes up to me.

Customer: “What are you going to do with it?”

As I’m backpedaling my way through the conversation, Bobby walks up.

Bobby: “OH, YOU’RE THE SPIDER LADY!”

He grabs the container and notes how big the spider is, which freaks her out a little bit.

Customer: “What are you going to do with it?”

Bobby: *With the most serious tone* “Probably going to shake him up and see if he’ll fight the other ones we have out back.”

Then, he just walked away. The customer went ape-s*** on me, but I wasn’t even mad.

A Little Slice Of Doing The Right Thing

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: MelonGodVEVO | November 23, 2022

I work for a pizza place. I’ve been delivering for about three weeks now, and tips are either really bad or pretty good.

I go to the door for a delivery and a kid answers; his mom is in the back. I hand him the order: a personal pizza.

Me: “Hi. Your total is [total].”

I’m pretty sure he is just happy to pay for something because, without hesitation, he hands me a $100 bill, claps, and runs to his mom to tell her he paid.

I don’t notice it is a hundred and think it is ten, so I walk back to my car. Then, I see that the bill he gave me has that blue line and gold 100 on it. I get really happy, but I realize that I’d feel guilty if I left.

I go back and knock on the door. The mom answers and looks really confused. I show her the bill.

Me: “Your little boy gave me this.”

Mom: “[Boy], come here, please.” *To the boy* “Where did you get this?”

Boy: “I got it from your purse!”

Mom: *To me* “I’m so glad you brought this back; it was supposed to be for our groceries this week.”

In the end, I got a $3 tip, but I didn’t mind since I’d just saved a family from going hungry for a couple of days.

Just Dash Right Out The Door, Mister

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: hotbiscuitboy | November 22, 2022

I work at a restaurant during winter and summer breaks between semesters. A [Delivery App] driver comes in.

Me: “It’s going to be about ten more minutes before your order is ready.”

Driver: “That’s fine.”

He sits down at the bar on his phone for a few minutes.

At this point, we’re pretty swamped, and I’m the only server for tables, phones, to-go orders, etc. This means every mistake that isn’t from the kitchen is mine.

In my hectic state, I make a mistake and give [Driver]’s order to another driver who has been waiting. I realize about a minute after she walks out the door with it, and of course, I have to do the walk of shame to the bar to talk to this guy.

Me: “I’m so sorry, but I messed up and gave your order to another [Delivery App] driver. You’ll have to wait another fifteen minutes or so. We’re going to bump your order to the top of the queue.”

This guy wastes NO time in standing up and pointing his finger right at me.

Driver: “I’ve been waiting for ten whole minutes! You should’ve told me!”

Me: “Sir, I told you as soon as I realized the mistake.”

I don’t know what else he expected me to do.

He starts to raise his voice. Other customers are looking over, and I’m sure I look pretty stressed because I’m sweaty from running around the restaurant and I get anxious when people are mad at me.

Due to the small size of the restaurant, my manager, who has worked with the owner of this restaurant for years, comes out of the kitchen with a no-bulls*** look on her face. Let me just say that I both fear and admire this woman for her tenacity.

Manager: “What’s the problem here, sir?”

She looks like she already knows some bulls*** is about to come out of his mouth.

The man angrily gestures with his hands while telling her that “this girl” (me) messed up his order and he’s been waiting forever, blah, blah, blah, and then he swears at her.

Big mistake. This 5’1” woman is probably tougher than anyone he’s ever met. She swears right back at him.

Manager: “She already f****** apologized to you! What more do you want?”

He tries talking over her and raises his voice again, at which point she motions to the door.

Manager: “All right sir, have a good day.”

This pisses him off, but she just keeps repeating it as he yells at her.

Manager: “You can leave now, sir. We don’t want you in here. Just leave, have a good day.”

She kept telling him to have a good day, and he finally stormed out. I never saw him again, but it felt so good to have the manager stand up for me like that. Perks of working at a local business: no one can report you to corporate, so the manager and owner can tell anyone to f*** off if they’re an a**hole.