Twilight Torture

, , , , | Right | July 25, 2018

(I work in a library. A teenage regular comes up to the counter to check out “Twilight.” Normally I don’t care that anyone’s checking out “Twilight,” even though I don’t care for the book myself, but I find it weird that she’d be reading “Twilight” since it’s so different from the horror, adventure, and classic science fiction books she usually favors.)

Me: “Huh. So, what made you want to read Twilight?”

Regular: “My sister.”

Me: “Is she a fan of the books?”

Regular: “No, she hates everything that has to do with Twilight. We like real vampires in our family, like Dracula and Nosferatu, not sparkling fairies.”

Me: “But she recommended it, anyway?”

Regular: “Nope. She was making me angry, so I threatened to torture her by reading it to her, and I always carry my threats through!”

(She walked away smiling once I’d checked the book out for her. I would give anything just to be a fly on the wall during that torture session.)

The Maine Contenders For That Knowledge

, , , | Right | July 23, 2018

(I’m working at the reference desk at a public library, and I answer the phone.)

Patron: “Hello there. My family just moved to Maine, and I wanted to plant some flowering bushes at our house. Do you have any books about what kinds of flowering shrubs will grow well in Maine?”

Me: *running some searches in our online database* “I see we’ve got a book on native trees and shrubs in Maine, a bunch of books about general gardening in New England… another on trees that grow well in New England… but nothing specifically about flowering bushes in Maine.”

Patron: “Yeah, I was really hoping for a book specifically on bushes that would do okay growing in Maine. I don’t want to plant anything that’s not going to make it through the winter.”

Me: “Well, we can request a book from another library, or what about if you just went down to [local Gardening Center and Nursery] to see what they’ve got in stock? I know they’ve at least got rhododendrons, azaleas, and all kinds of rose bushes, since I was just there this weekend.”

Patron: “Oh, do you think they’d know which ones would grow well here?”

Me: “Well, I’m sure they could be very helpful, and they do grow all of the trees and shrubs right there on site until they’re big enough to sell, which takes years. So, I guess it would probably be safe to assume that anything they’re selling would do fine in this climate.”

Patron: “Oh. I could have probably just used my brain and done that instead of wasting your time, huh?”

Town And Country: The Dungeon Issue

, , , , | Right | July 16, 2018

(I’m at the public library. A librarian is approached by a female patron.)

Patron: “Do you guys carry Playboy or Penthouse magazines?”

Librarian: “No.”

Patron: “Well, there are a bunch of them in the back under a table.”

Librarian: “Okay, I’ll go take a look in a minute. Thank you.”

Patron: “You should get back there, because some kids could see them!”

(The librarian walked back to the area that the patron pointed out and surprisingly saw a few magazines. However, they were all copies of the magazine, “Town and Country.” The issue in question had a cover featuring a female celebrity in a modest dress.)

The One Place Where You’re Always Carded

, , , | Friendly | July 10, 2018

(I work in a library. I happen to be serving my neighbor.)

Neighbor: “I’ll take these.”

Me: “Very well, sir. May I see your library card?”

Neighbor: “My what?”

Me: “Oh, if you don’t have one, I could register you.”

Neighbor: “What’s a library card?”

Me: “Uh, you make an account and receive a card. That’s how we keep track of items and due dates.”

(Not the best explanation, but I’m still surprised a man in his fifties doesn’t know what a library card is.)

Neighbor: “But I thought the books were free.”

Me: “They can be borrowed for a certain of time, and bringing them late or losing them results in a fee.”

Neighbor: “Forget it. If I wanted to pay for paper, I would’ve gone to the bookstore.”

(He leaves the books and walks out. The woman and child behind him can finally step forward.)

Woman: “I wonder if he’s the type to get angry and ramble about identity fraud when asked for contact information.”

Child: “What would Nana say?”

Woman: “I think something like, ‘older doesn’t necessarily mean smarter.’”

(I get people that grew up with the Internet might not know much about a library, but how does that happen to an old man? My grandpa said he’d lived in town his entire life.)

Not Displaying Much Military Intelligence

, , , , , | Right | July 6, 2018

(I work at the reference desk at a public library. A man rushes over to the desk holding a piece of paper.)

Man: “I used to be in the Navy, and I need to send them a fax right away!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t have a public fax machine. The package store on [Main Street] has one that you can pay to use.”

Man: *waving dismissively at me* “No, no, I know how to use the fax.”

(He goes over to our public photocopier, opens the top, and places his paper inside. He presses the green “copy” button, and the machine makes the beeping sound that indicates an error detecting the copy size. He then removes his paper with a flourish and comes back to me.)

Man: “There! The Navy should receive that in a few days! I used to work for the Navy!”

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