Marked For Better Things

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Right | June 8, 2016

(I work at a small museum and do outreach programs for schools, libraries, community centers, etc. We have been warned that the AC is down in this location, so instead of my usual slacks, I wear knee-length shorts. Two small tattoos on my calf and ankle are visible. After the presentation, while I’m cleaning up the crafts table:)

Patron: “What are those things on your legs?”

Me: “They’re for my family, ma’am.”

Patron: “You’ll never get a job with marks like that on you.”

Me: “I do have a job; I’m working it right now.”

Patron: “You know what I mean; a real job.”

Me: “It IS a real job. And with all due respect, ma’am, you’re the one at a public library at two pm on a Wednesday.”

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Not As Wise As An Owl

| USA | Working | June 3, 2016

(I am getting a book about owls in my local library for a project I am doing. I go to check it out.)

Library Clerk: “Why do you want this?”

Me: “I wanted to learn some more about owls for a project I have at [Local School].”

Library Clerk: “What else do you need to know? They fly and hunt and stuff. There is no need to make it complicated.”

Me: *face-palm*

If It Scans, It Fits

| NC, USA | Right | May 7, 2016

(I work at a public library and I am working by myself for a few hours.)

Patron: “I want to use a computer.”

Me: “Okay, just scan your library card at the PC reservation computer behind you and it will assign you to a computer.”

(Twenty minutes later I am super busy helping other patrons. I notice she is standing there looking confused.)

Patron: “I scanned my card. Now what?”

Me: “Okay,  it should have assigned you to a computer. Did you see what number you were assigned?”

(The patron shakes her head, because of course she didn’t.)

Me: “Let me check to see which one you’re on.”

(I looked on the computer and saw no reservation. The patron proceeded to show me that she scanned her card on the photo scanner and uploaded it to the computer used for the photo scanning machine, not the PC reservation computer with the barcode scanner. This woman figured out a freaking photo scanner but couldn’t understand how to use the barcode scanner to reserve a computer.)

The Allergic Dead

| Costa Mesa, CA USA | Friendly | May 6, 2016

(I’m a bit of an oddball and have some unusual allergies as well. I and a coworker are on break talking about allergies. I had just gotten done explaining that while I’m not allergic to gluten & can eat white flour fine, I am allergic to whole wheat.)

Me: “I’m also allergic to pork.” *I pause for a moment because normally people try to tell me such an allergy is impossible, he says nothing, after the pause* “You know, since they call humans ‘long pork,’ I wonder if that means I could never be a cannibal.”

(I have no idea why I even said anything that weird.)

Coworker: “The fact you have to ask that worries me.”

Me: “I’d be the weirdest zombie in the zombie apocalypse!”

Raising Hands And Raising Standards

, | Victoria, BC, Canada | Learning | May 4, 2016

(I am a substitute for the librarian in the school. The last class of the day to come into the library is a very loud grade five class. They have clearly already mentally checked out for the day, but I have to read a chapter of a novel to them before they can take out books and go home. One boy in particular has been very disruptive and is calling out rudely without putting his hand up.)

Me: *reading the novel aloud*

Disruptive Boy: “I NEED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. LET ME GO TO THE BATHROOM.”

Me: *reading aloud, ignoring his behaviour*

Disruptive Boy: “WHY WON’T YOU LET ME GO TO THE BATHROOM? I HAVE TO USE THE BATHROOM.”

Girl: *raises her hand and waits for me to acknowledge her* “Excuse me, miss, may I please use the bathroom?”

Me: “Why, of course! Thank you so much for putting your hand up. Off you go.”

Disruptive Boy: “WHAT? THAT’S NO FAIR. WHY WON’T YOU LET ME GO TO THE BATHROOM? THAT’S SO STUPID. THIS CLASS IS STUPID.”

(At this point the rest of the class understands what I’m doing, and the disruptive boy’s friend grins as he puts his hand up.)

Me: “Yes, [Boy #2]? Thank you for putting your hand up. What would you like to say?”

Boy #2: *extremely sweetly* “Miss, may I please use the bathroom?”

Me: “Why, what a polite young man you are! Of course you may. Off you go now.”

Disruptive Boy: *sighs, gives up, and puts his hand up at last*

Me: “Yes, what would you like?”

Disruptive Boy: “MAY I PLEASE GO TO THE STUPID BATHROOM.”

Me: *exaggeratedly looking around the library* “Oh, dear, I’m terribly sorry, but it appears we already have a boy using the bathroom. You’ll have to wait until he comes back.”

(The class erupts into laughter as his jaw drops after realizing what I’ve done. He became much quieter after that and never actually ended up needing the bathroom after all!)

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