Not Doing Too Much Thinking Upstairs

| Silver Spring, MD, USA | Right | July 18, 2017

(I work at a library with five floors. The fourth floor is for adults, and the fifth floor is for children. Kids being kids, it sometimes gets noisy, especially after school lets out, but most of our patrons take this in stride. One homeless dude I call ‘wannabe-scot-guy’ because of this green cap he wears on his head is not so accommodating.)

Wannabe-Scot-Guy: “You know, you guys really should consider moving this floor upstairs.”

Me: “Okay… and why would that be, sir?”

Wannabe-Scot-Guy: “It gets annoying, hearing the kids screaming from upstairs. I mean, we’re adults; we deserve better than this.”

Me: “Uh… well, I guess I could forward that to my boss, but I don’t think there’s a lot we can do about that, sir. I apologize.”

Wannabe-Scot-Guy: *sighs* Fine. But you really should tell the kids to pipe down sometime. Thought you ought to know.”

(Of course, having dealt with too many other overprivileged adult patrons that day, what I really wanted to tell him was ‘Yes, sir. I agree completely. I will be very careful to tell my boss we should close this library for 10 weeks and spend more than $30,000 of taxpayer money just so you can hear the kids scream at you from below instead.’ But my job security is pretty low as it is.)

It Behooves You To Tell A Lie

| Bettendorf, IA, USA | Right | July 16, 2017

(A patron approaches the desk.)

Me: “How are you today?”

Patron: “Do you want the truth, or a real good lie?”

Me: “Oh, let’s go for the lie.”

Patron: “Oh, my day was terrible! My dog ran in front of a car, and the car swerved into a truck, which swerved into the ditch and flipped over! Unbeknownst to us, the truck was full of toxic waste, so my dog now has hooves!”

Me: “That was the best lie I’ve heard all day!”

Patron: “Wonderful! Now, how do I get a library card here?”

(I have a feeling he’s going to be one of our awesome patrons!)

Unfiltered Story #90904

, | Unfiltered | July 15, 2017

(The library director said something to my coworkers today that caused them all to go in an uproar. This isn’t the first time it’s happened but I try to stay out of it since I’m trying to get a full time job and I don’t want to make enemies with library directors. This conversation happens in the evening at the main desk. Note: we have security cameras that point to this desk so I try to be careful about what I say)
Coworker: did you hear what [library director] said to [other coworker]? *she tells me what she said* I can’t believe she said that! Can you believe she said that?
Me: *aware of the cameras I give her no reaction*
Coworker: you have to admit that’s a pretty awful thing to say to someone.
Me: *still no reaction*
Coworker: I mean who says that!? I can’t believe she said that!
Me: *hoping she’ll stop* honestly, I’m trying to stay out of it.
Coworker: good! You should! *continues to tell me how outraged she is*

A More Civilised Way To Do Tea

, , | Friendly | July 9, 2017

(It is during a presidential election year, just as the Tea Party political movement is gaining support. However, it’s not widely recognized yet. My friend and I won’t be old enough to vote in the election, so we’re not paying much attention to all the political stuff. Neither of us have ever heard of the Tea Party. We’re bored one day, sitting around her house and trying to find something to do. We overhear her mom talking on the phone from the other room. We can’t hear the whole conversation, but we catch the words “Tea Party,” “library,” and “today.” Our local library often has events for children and teens, so we make some incorrect assumptions.)

Friend: “A tea party at the library? Sounds fun.”

Me: “Yeah, let’s go.”

(We head over to the library, but when we arrive, we find a bunch of people shouting and carrying signs. They’re completely blocking the entrance to the library, so we start walking through the crowd.)

Woman: *holding sign, and very loudly, to me* “It’s great to see the younger generation getting involved. [Political opinion I don’t agree with], right?”

Me: “Um…”

Friend: “Sorry, we were looking for the tea party. Do you know where…?”

Woman: *holding sign* “You found it. This is it.”

Me: “…”

Friend: “…”

Me: “But where’s the tea?”

Woman: *a bit confused* “Well… there is no tea. It’s just a metaphor. The Boston Tea Party, you know?”

(The woman walks away to go yell political slogans with people who actually want to hear them. My friend and I turn to each other with disappointed expressions.)

Friend: “No tea…”

Me: “No scones…”

Friend: “Not even those little cucumber sandwiches. This is boring. Let’s leave.”

(We ended up checking out a cookbook from the library and making scones and fruit tarts at my friend’s house. We had our own tea party, without any politics in it.)

Well, At Least Is Wasn’t Blue

, | Ireland | Learning | July 5, 2017

(While working on the main circulation desk, a group of four friends, who all seemed very nice, walk up the desk. A female student asks if I can tell her the name of a book she had returned to us the previous week. In Ireland, libraries do not keep the records of a patron’s library books for privacy reasons. I explain this to her and ask if she can remember any details of the book such as author, general subject field, anything.)

Student: “I think it was purple…”

Me: *brightly* “Oh, the purple one?”

Student: *excitedly* “Do you know it?!”

Me: *excitedly* “Of course not. We have one hundred and twenty thousand books here!”

(Her friends erupted into laughter as did the student when she thought about what she said!)

 

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