A Staple Of Gender Identity

| Abu Dhabi, UAE | Learning | August 12, 2016

(I am an undergraduate student who works part-time at the university library. There are two staplers at the desk: one is blue and the other is pink.)

Student: *after trying to use the pink stapler* “Hey, um, this isn’t working!”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I’ll try to fix that. You can use the blue one, though.”

Student: “Uh, no. The blue one is for boys.”

Me: “Haha, yeah, I know. Seriously, though, the blue one works better so you can use that one.”

Student: “Um, no, I’m not going to use that.”

Me: “Okay…?”

Student: *walks away with unstapled papers*

Problems Of An “Always On” Generation

| Abu Dhabi, UAE | Learning | August 12, 2016

(I am an undergraduate student who works part-time at the university library.)

Student: “Um, excuse me, can you help me? This computer is not working.”

Me: “What’s wrong with it?”

Student: *while clicking the mouse* “The screen is black. Can you come, please?”

(I walk over to her computer and see that the monitor looks like it is off.)

Me: “Oh, OK. Maybe the monitor’s plug has been pulled. Let me fix that.”

(I quickly realise that the computer is actually off. Student is still clicking.)

Student: “I don’t know what happened. I shut the computer down, and now it’s not working.”

Me: “Um, OK. So you clicked “shut down” and it turned off, and now it’s not working?”

Student: “Yes.”

(I proceeded to show her how to turn the computer on by pointing at the power button and asking her to press it.)

Student: *when the computer turns on* “Ohhhh!”

The Classless Part Of Society

| AR, USA | Friendly | August 11, 2016

(I am sitting in a library I frequent just about every week or so. The librarian who works there on weekends is teaching a small group of teens to play a sort of roleplaying game. While I try not to eavesdrop, I can’t help but hear this gem:)

Librarian: “Okay, so you would be a level one human with no class.”

Teen #1: “Sounds about right.”

Your Business Model Is Rent Out Of Shape

| SD, USA | Right | July 26, 2016

(I work at a public library at the circulation desk. One day a young man approaches the desk.)

Patron: “How much is it to rent a book?”

Me: “If you have a library card, it is free. If you live outside the county, you pay for the card but borrowing items is always free.”

(The patron then wandered over to the audio books before returning to the desk.)

Patron: “How much to rent books on CD?”

Me: “They are free to borrow, sir.”

(He shakes his head and goes to the DVD section. Again he returns to the desk.)

Patron: “How many DVDs can I take and what does it cost?”

Me: “You may borrow five at a time and there is no cost unless they are returned late.”

(The patron looks confused.)

Patron: “I just don’t get why you do this if there’s no money in it for you. Well, good luck with that!”

Doesn’t Look Like Anything The Cat Dragged In

| NM, USA | Related | July 26, 2016

(I am sitting in the youth services section of the library, near the desk, reading a book and waiting for my daughter to come out of story time when I observe a boy about nine or ten approaching the desk.)

Employee: “Welcome to the library. Can I help you find something?”

Boy: “I was wondering if you could help me find my grandma?”

Employee: “Sure. Can you tell me what she looks like?”

Boy: “Well, she’s really old and REALLY wrinkly and has old person hair, and she smells like an old person, and I think she’s wearing a purple shirt. Kind of a crazy cat lady look?”

Employee: *blushing at the boy’s words* “Sorry, I haven’t seen anyone fitting that… description.”

Boy: “Okay, but if you see her, will you tell her me and my mom are at story time?”

Employee: “Sure will.”

(Two minutes later, a lady comes looking for her family. She’s probably not a day over fifty and very stylishly dressed with nice hair.)

Employee: “Welcome to the library. Can I help you find something?”

Lady: “Yes. I was looking for my daughter and grandchildren. The oldest boy is wearing a green shirt and brown ball cap. Have you seen them?”

Employee: “Yes. They went into the story time room.”

(The lady leaves, and the employee looks at me, knowing I saw the whole thing.)

Employee: “Really old crazy cat ladies are getting nicer looking every day!”

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