I Scan’t Do That

, , , , | Learning | April 23, 2019

(We offer free scanning for students who need to scan documents for legal purposes. I’ve placed it in the copier and am showing them the steps.)

Me: “When it prompts you for your email address, put in your college email.”

Student: “I want to send it to my Gmail.”

Me: “This copier only sends email to college addresses. From there, you can forward it to your personal email.”

Student: “I’ll just put in my Gmail address.”

Me: “That will not work. The copier is only hooked up to our internal server, not to the Internet. It will not send to an external address.”

Student: “But I want it in my Gmail.”

Me: “Do you check your college email regularly?”

Student: “Yes.”

Me: “Do you know how to forward an email?”

Student: “Yes.”

Me: “So, send it to your college email, open it up, and forward it to your Gmail. I can help you do that.”

Student: “I just want to scan and send it to Gmail.”

Me: *removes the document, hands it to student* “Okay, I think [Drugstore twenty-minute bus ride away] does that. I don’t know what they charge, and there’s usually a line.”

Student: “Oh, great! Thank you!” *heads off to spend an hour and get charged a fee doing something they could do for free in three minutes*

Mother Doesn’t Know Best

, , , , , | Right | April 22, 2019

(I am a high school student that likes to go to the library or somewhere quiet to study. Normally, I would sit in the computer study or teen area, but today there seems to be something wrong with the book scan in both so I head to the adult and study area, where I find this conversation happening.)

Woman: “My kid just wants to borrow a book. Why do I need this stupid card you’re talking about!?”

(The worker is a young lad, just started his job here two weeks ago, and still knows more than the woman fighting with him.)

Worker: “Ma’am, it is the policy that you have to sign up to the library and then get a library card. You cannot borrow a book without having said card to swipe on this machine and then scan the book. This lets us know when you borrowed it and when it needs to be returned, and keeps account of how many books you have borrowed.”

Woman: “I don’t care about this stupid card; my son needs this book!”

(The eight-year-old boy is at the counter, signing up to the library, and I am simply helping him do it as his Mum is a bit preoccupied.)

Worker: “Ma’am, you can’t just take the book; you need to get a library card.”

Woman: “But why?!”

Worker: “Because it is store policy!”

Woman: “Don’t raise your tone at me, young man!”

(I step in, having been coming to this library for years and knowing all the rules and how it works.)

Me: “Ma’am, store policy states you need a library card to take out books. Your son and I, while you were making a fuss over it, already created an account, registered the book, and started reading and doing his school work already. Now, if you’re going to continue to make a big fuss, then I suggest you leave and think about how you talked to this boy when he was stating a fact. Now that you have your card, you can borrow any books; it is a simple three-step verification and can be done in minutes! Now, if you excuse the boy, he is the only worker in this section and there is a line waiting to ask him questions!”

(The woman stayed silent, grabbed her son, and left instantly. On the way out, the little boy turned around and mouthed what I think was, “Sorry,” and waved goodbye. As for the boy who was working, he thanked me a lot and told his manager. We all had a laugh.)

Unfiltered Story #147706

, | Unfiltered | April 22, 2019

(I’m a weekend supervisor at a university library. On this day, it’s just me and two student workers, and I’ve left them at the circulation desk while I take my lunch break in the back. After about ten minutes, one of my workers comes to tell me they need my help at the desk, and I come up to find a young male student standing there.)

Me: Hi, how can I help you?
Student: I’m looking for [date] issue of [Magazine], and I’m having trouble finding it.
Me: Our periodicals section is right over there, they’re organized alphabetically so the “S”s should be toward the back.
Student: Yeah, I looked over on those shelves and it’s not there.

(I’ve had several students from the First-Year Seminar class come looking for back issues of that magazine for an assignment this week, so I’ve fielded this same question several times recently, and know for a fact all the issues that should be shelved there are.)

Me: Really? They were there a few days ago.
Student (slightly frustrated): Will you just come look?

(I go over to the periodicals section with him and right up to where [Magazine] is shelved. The most recent issue is propped up on the display, with a clearly visible stack of back-issues right below it.)

Me (pointing): They’re right there.
Student: Oh. Those are [Magazine] too?
Me: Yep.

(He would have seen that if he’d spent a nanosecond looking at them before interrupting my break.)

She Has Steal Appeal

, , , , , , | Right | April 20, 2019

(I’m working the information desk with my coworker when this happens. A middle-aged, blonde woman with a strong Eastern European accent comes up, looking very angry.)

Customer: “I need police!”

Me: “Okay, what for?”

Customer: “My purse stolen! I vas sitting at bench outside, I put my purse under, and next thing I know it gone. Person next to me, gone, too!”

Me: “And how long ago was this?”

Customer: “About ten minutes ago.”

Me: “Oh, wow. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Do you need the number for the police?”

Customer: “Yes!”

(I give her the non-emergency number for the local police.)

Me: “Here. You can call that number and file a stolen property report. The police should talk to you soon.”

(She dials the number on her cell phone and starts talking.)

Customer: “Yes, I need police officer!” *pause* “My purse stolen!” *pause* “I was sitting at bus stop, I put my purse under the bench, and when I look up it gone! Person next to me, gone too!” *pause* “Okay.” *pause* “No.” *pause* “Ten minutes ago, why?” *pause* “What?! But why can you not send someone now? I at library, [address], you always have officer here! But, but…” *pause* “Fine! But be here quick!”

(I’m definitely not liking where this conversation is going. For the record, we sometimes have an officer stationed in our library, because we tend to get a higher-than-average number of patrons who do not know how to behave well, but only on weekend evenings.)

Customer: “You idiot! Why you give me that number?!”

Me: “Wha… Ma’am?”

Customer: “I need officer right now! Why you not give me 911?!”

Me: “Well, ma’am… I’m sorry, but you described a crime that happened a while ago. Dialing non-emergency and filing a report is usually the wisest thing to do.”

Customer: “But I need right now! Why officer not here?! You alvays have one!”

Me: “Well… that’s usually only on evenings, ma’am.”

Customer: “So, now, what I do?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, but the best I can tell you is to wait for the officer to come.”

(She stomps off angrily. I assume that will be the end of it. Stupid me. About four minutes later:)

Customer: “This all your fault!”

Me: “Huh?”

Customer: “All my documents gone! My social security, my passport, my medication — gone!”

Me: “Well… I’m sorry, madam, but you are expected to be responsible for your own personal property.”

Customer: “So, why not call 911?!”

Me: *patience stretching just a tad thin* “Ma’am, with all due respect, if you know the number for 911, why not just call them yourself?!”

Customer: “Because you have officer here in library!”

Coworker: “I’ll call 911 for you, ma’am.”

Customer: “Thank you! He know what he doing!”

(Even after that, she still comes back to harass me several times at my desk, telling me how stupid and incompetent I am, how she’s going to make my life miserable if she doesn’t get her purse back, etc. She also proceeds to talk over my coworker whenever he tries to mediate between us. But I’m still willing to let this go, until this happens!)

Customer: “You know vat? I bet it was black guy!”

Me: *keeps my mouth shut, as I don’t want to make an already volatile situation worse* “Mm-hmm.”

Customer: “I’m serious! That’s all black people do: steal! I remember all my pill stolen when I talk to one once!”

Me: “Ma’am, please don’t speculate like that. It’s offensive.”

Customer: “But it truth!”

(Did I mention that my coworker standing next to me, who called 911 for her, is also black? Remind me to commend him for his patience. She goes back to sit down, but — you guessed it — not even two minutes later:)

Customer: “If you just call 911 first time, I no be here, you stupid, incompetent, worthless little—“



Coworker: “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Okay, let’s calm down. [My Name], the police officer is here; how about I take [Customer] downstairs?

Me: *deep breath* “Yes, please.”

(A few minutes later.)

Coworker: “Okay, the officer’s taking her statement, but he also decided it’d be a good idea to ask her to leave the library.”

Me: “Good. Thank you, [Coworker].” *deep sigh* “I want to feel bad for her, since she did get stolen from, but some people really make it difficult. Especially considering this didn’t even take place on our property.”

(I somehow never got written up for this.)

Tea Is The Warmest Color

, , , , , , | Hopeless | April 14, 2019

(I’ve loved books from a very early age, so when I was growing up it was only natural that whenever I went to a new school, I would very quickly become quite acquainted with the school librarians and their assistants. My high school librarian, an elderly woman, has a reputation for being quite strict, but has been nothing but lovely to me since the first day of school when I eagerly sought out the library to scope out the fiction section. In the second semester of my sophomore year — my 11th year of schooling for the non-Americans — I end up with a free period at the end of the day, which I choose to make into a teaching assistant period for the librarian. One day, I come in during flu season feeling a bit under the weather and I start to check in newly-returned books like I do every day.)

Me: *grimacing as I sniffle a bit but continuing work*

Librarian: “[My Name], are you feeling all right?”

Me: “Hm? Oh… I’m feeling a little sick, yeah. I’m okay, though.”

Librarian: “Oh, well, if you’re feeling sick do you want to just sit in the back today?”

(She’s told me this before on another occasion a month or so ago, but both times I felt guilty about the idea of sitting out when there’s work to be done and I’m not really feeling TERRIBLE, per se… but I have been having a pretty annoying day.)

Me: “Uh… yeah, actually. I think that’d be good.”

Librarian: “Yeah, you can sit and read in the back!”

Librarian’s Assistant: *a woman in her 40s* “Oh, yes, take it easy.”

(I grab a graphic novel off the shelf that I’d been eyeing and head to the back room. [Librarian] follows me soon after, placing a box of tissues on the back desk.)

Librarian: *opening the cupboard* “Would you like a cup of tea?”

Me: *surprised* “Oh, uh… Yes, please!”

Librarian: “Well, we have green tea, some strawberry lemonade, earl grey… What would you like dear?”

Me: *still astonished* “Earl grey is black tea, right? That sounds good.”

Librarian: “All right, then!”

(She put a mugful of water in the microwave to heat up, then gave me the tea box and made sure I knew where the honey and stirring sticks were before going back to her duties. After a few minutes, I was sipping my tea — warm as my heart was by this point — and reading the graphic novel, and I thought about all the mean things my classmates had said about [Librarian] that they would never even dare to suggest if they knew how sweet and grandmotherly she was once you really got to know her. Not only did she and [Librarian’s Assistant] care about me and my well being, but [Librarian] always thanked me for my work when I walked out the door, despite the fact that I was obligated by the school rules to show up and do all tasks asked of me! I’m pretty busy this year, but I still stop by the library to say hi to those ladies, and whenever I hear someone saying something snippy about [Librarian] in passing, I scoff to myself and think about that cup of tea.)

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