Backseat Novelist

, , , , | Friendly | October 19, 2019

(I’m in the library writing my novel on my laptop. A man comes over and leans over my shoulder, reading what I wrote.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Man: “Yeah, you spelled her name wrong. It’s supposed to be ‘Ariel.’”

Me: “Well, her name is Ariella.”

Man: “And what’s this? Your narrator is a guy? Your narrator should be a girl, because you’re a girl.”

Me: “Lots of authors write from different points of view. I’m reading a book right now where the narrator is a girl, but the author is a man.”

Man: ”And who’s Reese? Reese is a girl’s name.”

Me: “Reese is a unisex name. Now, please leave me alone.”

Man: “God, I was just trying to help!”

(He stalked away to harass someone else.)

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“My Struggle” With Customers

, , , , | Right | October 13, 2019

(I’ve just come off of my lunch when the phone rings with a customer query.)

Me: “Good afternoon. [Library], how can I help?”

(A gentleman with a strong Eastern European accent proceeds to ask for a book; after a bit of effort I manage to work out that he is after a copy of “Mein Kampf.”)

Me: “Okay, sir, let me just see if we have a copy of it in stock.”

(A search of the catalog shows that every book is either on loan, missing, or long overdue. I inform the customer of this.)

Customer: “What do you mean? Do you know who’s got the books?”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t know who has them, sir.”

Customer: “It’ll be the Germans taking them all.”

(I look bewildered at the phone, a little shocked at what I just heard.)

Me: “I- I really couldn’t say, sir.”

Customer: “What did you call me?!”

Me: *confused* “I said I really couldn’t say, sir.”

Customer: “Well, it’s not good enough.”

(The customer hangs up on me and I just stare at the phone in surprise and confusion.)

Coworker: *having heard my side of the call* “What was that all about?”

Me: “I have no idea.”

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A Membership To The Humanity Club

, , , , , | Friendly | October 7, 2019

When I was in my last year of high school, my family got into huge economic problems and I couldn’t afford any kind of luxuries. I had to walk everywhere because even bus fare was beyond our means. I loved to read, but buying any new books was completely out of the question, and I grew tired of re-reading the ones I had at home.

There was only one library within walking distance to my school or home, but I couldn’t afford the very small amount of money needed to become a proper member, so I would hurry there to grab a book and read inside the building for the half-hour between the time I left school and the time the library closed. I would memorize the page I had reached and grab the same book to continue reading the following day. I had managed to read a couple of books after a few weeks of doing the same thing when the librarian called me over one day. To my great surprise, she told me that she had noticed me coming in every day and how enthralled I was in my reading, and offered to let me take out books with her membership, since I couldn’t afford one of my own.

Thanks to her, I was able to take out as many books as I liked during a very hard time in my life and have something new to read comfortably at home whenever I wanted. My family moved cities after that year and I never saw that librarian again, but to this day, I can’t forget her and her act of kindness that brightened my days in a very dark time.

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As Thick As A Block

, , , , | Right | October 7, 2019

(I am in the computer lab at the help desk when a patron walks up from a computer to ask a question. This is edited for brevity; it actually took a few minutes to get this point across.)

Patron: “I have a question for you! Is there a password I can use to get around blocked sites?”

Me: “No. Only my boss and I can unblock sites. If the website block is a genuine false positive I can unblock it for you. Just let me know and I will check it.”

Patron: “Okay.” *wanders back to PC*

(Five minutes pass:)

Person: “Can you come and unblock this?”

Me: *saunters over and looks down at screen* “No. No, sir. I’m afraid I cannot unblock that.”

(The URL contained “XXX Dating.”)

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Outside And Out Of Line

, , , , , , | Right | September 30, 2019

(There has been some recent heavy rain. A library patron alerts us to an elderly woman with a walking frame who has slipped outside in front of the library. We call an ambulance and I sit with her until it arrives; she is in a lot of pain. The ambulance eventually arrives and they are trying to transfer her to a stretcher. She seems to be a little confused, won’t let go of my hand, and thinks I’m her daughter. At this point, one of our more demanding regulars approaches:)

Regular: “Ah, [My Name], good, you’re not doing anything. Your Wi-Fi is very slow today; can you fix it?”

Me: “No, I can’t right now. Can you ask someone who is inside?”

Regular: “There is a line inside.”

Me: “Well, go and stand in it.”

(He walks back inside.)

Paramedic: “Wow.”

Me: “Yeah.”

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