They Don’t Have Book Smarts

, , , , | Right | August 18, 2017

(A customer comes to the desk as my colleague, to my left, informs their customer that they’ve taken a book out before.)

Customer: “I hate it when you lot tell me that.”

Me: “Oh. The computer tells us automatically and some people don’t remember what they’ve read, or don’t recognise the cover if it’s a reprint and don’t like to reread a book.”

Customer: “It’s none of your business what I read. I don’t think you should be able to see that.”

Me: *unsure if he’s joking* “Well, we see the books when you bring them to the desk anyway?”

Customer: *not listening* “Should be freedom of information or something like that…”

Me: “Well, I’ll try to remember not to tell you when you’ve taken a book out before. Did you want your other books renewed?”

Customer: “Yes, please. What ones do I have out?”

Me: *speechless*

A Miserable Teacher

, , , , , | Learning | August 18, 2017

(I’m 12 and in seventh grade when my history teacher takes us to the school library. I see ‘Les Miserables’ on the shelf, and since my big sister in college is in a performance of it, I’m interested, and pull it down to take a look.)

History Teacher: “You can’t read that.”

Me: “Huh? Why not?”

History Teacher: “You’re twelve. It’s way too hard for you. Put it back.”

(I’ve never gotten along with this teacher. He tends to be pretty misogynistic, and when I told him that some of the information in the textbook about Christopher Columbus was wrong, he told me to shut up and follow the book. Defiantly, I take Les Miz up to the check-out counter.)

History Teacher: *following me* “I told you, you can’t read that! Put it back!”

(I check it out anyway — only to return it a week later, after ordering my own copy, so that I can annotate it and highlight. It’s dense stuff, so I start taking meticulous notes in order to get through it. A few months later, I’m reading it in class when my teacher spots me.)

History Teacher: “You’re still reading that?!”

Me: “Yes. I’m four hundred pages in.”

History Teacher: “I told you not to read that, and you’re deliberately disobeying me! Go to the principal’s office!”

(Given that I’m usually a very quiet, straight-A student, the principal is very surprised to see me.)

Principal: “[My Name]? Is everything okay? Are you sick?”

Me: “No. [Teacher] sent me here.”

Principal: “Um… why?”

Me: “I was reading Les Miserables.”

Principal: “During class?”

Me: “No. During silent reading time.”

Principal: “…”

Me: “He doesn’t want me reading it. He thinks it’s too difficult for me, but so far, I like it.”

Principal: “Don’t… read it in front of him, then, I guess? Go back to class, [My Name]. I’m still not sure why he sent you here.”

(Eight months after picking it up, I finish Les Miz, and I take great pleasure in handing the teacher my annotated copy and my two notebooks full of notes on it, right as we’re about to start French history. Needless to say, he fumes, and starts complaining about me at parent-teacher conferences. Thankfully, my parents take my side.)

Teacher: “[My Name] is disrespectful and headstrong. I told her not to read that book, and she did it anyway!”

Dad: “You told her it was too hard for it, but honestly, she seemed to be enjoying it. Wouldn’t you rather have your students challenge themselves?”

Teacher: “No, I want them to listen to me! The textbook is right, and so am I!”

Mom: “Frankly, with that attitude, I’m not sure I’d listen to you, either.”

(I will credit that incident with one thing — ten years later and starting medical school, I still take fantastic notes!)

A Series Of Unfortunate Choices

, , , | Learning | August 12, 2017

(In kindergarten I was somewhat of an advanced reader, so my teachers occasionally had a hard time finding books for me to read. At one point, I had been given “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, which is somewhat of a disturbing book for a five-year-old. When I came home in tears after beginning to read it, my mom had to have a talk with the teacher who recommended it. This is what happens.)

Mom: “Why did you recommend this book to my son? He read it and started crying!”

Teacher: “Really? How come?”

Mom: “What do you mean how come? The main characters are imprisoned with an evil uncle who basically tortures them!”

Teacher: “Oh, I didn’t know that.”

Mom: “What? How could you not know?”

Teacher: “I didn’t read it first, if that’s what you mean. I had no idea.”

Mom: “Why didn’t you read it? What if it had something rude in it?”

Teacher: “Oh, I figured the plot didn’t matter as long as it was his reading level.”

Mom: “WHAT? How could the plot not matter!? You never should have given him that book!”

Teacher: “But it was his reading level…”

Buy A Bible Or You’ll Have The Devil To Pay

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2017

(Where I live, people are quite devout when it comes to their religious beliefs. I am waiting in line at a local bookstore. The woman ahead of me puts a bible down on the counter, and the cashier reluctantly picks it up and scans it.)

Cashier: “That will be, umm, £6.66 please.”

(Both I and the woman stare at the little display, showing that a discount percentage has been applied due to a sale.)

Woman: “I don’t know what to do. It’s the Holy Bible, but it’s clearly satanic.

Me: “It’s just the sale price.”

Woman: “I know. Are the owner’s Satanists?”

Cashier: “I don’t think so. The sale was decided by the publishers, as they’ve released a newer edition with a hardback.”

Woman: ”Is it more holy?”

Cashier: “It’s definitely more expensive.”

Woman: ”I don’t know what to do…”

(After some serious consideration, the woman agreed to buy both the sale bible and the new £37.99 edition with an elaborate hardback and velvet marker.)

Me: “What will you do with the cheaper one?”

Woman: “I’ll take it to my church and dip it in holy water. If it doesn’t burn I’ll donate it.”

(Finally I’m able to purchase my book.)

Me: “Have you had that a lot since the sale?”

Cashier: “We’ve had people coming in with priests and vicars. I’ve even had holy water sprayed on me. I think the publishers are just playing a joke on us.”

Has Been Volunteering That Information

, , , , , | Right | August 9, 2017

(I live very close to a library and often go there to help out. The librarians all know and respect me. I am however, quite young.)

Librarian: “Hello, [My Name].”

Me: “Hello! Anything you need done today?”

Librarian: “Could you shelve the books?”

(I start shelving the books — a whole cart full — when this particular patron comes in.)

Patron: *looking at me* “You know, you really shouldn’t be messing with their books. They work hard to shelve them!”

Me: “I am shelving them. I volunteer here.”

Patron: “No, you don’t! You’re too young to be working here!”

Me: “I don’t work here. I volunteer here.”

(The patron keeps badgering me, so I ignore her and keep working. When I’m almost done with the cart, she comes back.)

Patron: “Why are you still messing with the books? You don’t work here!”

Me: “Fine! Ask me anything about this library; I’ll answer correctly.”

Patron: “How much for printing?”

Me: “A black and white page is 25 cents, a color text page is one dollar, and a color image is two dollars.”

Patron: “Anyone can do that.” *seeing a librarian come out of the back room* “Miss! Did you know this girl has been messing up your books for the past hour?”

Librarian: “[My Name]? No, she was shelving them. She volunteers here.”

Patron: *taken aback* “Well, I bet she shelved them wrong.”

Librarian: *doing a quick run through* “Nope. They are all here. [My Name], how about a cookie?”

(I march myself into the back room, get a cookie, and eat it in front of the awestruck patron.)

Patron: *huffs and angrily stomps out of the library*

Me: “By the way, those books are due back in two weeks!”

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