Sum-thing Wrong With Our Schools

| Colorado Springs, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science

(I am working the circulation desk at the downtown public library. A patron walks to the desk with a few DVD’s in hand.)

Patron: “Hi! How many DVDs can I get?”

Me: “You can have up to 20 checked out at once.”

(The patron places his DVD’ on the counter.)

Patron: “So, here I have…”

(There is a bit of a pause as he is thinking.)

Me: “…3?”

Patron: “Yes! 3 DVD’s. And you said I could get…”

(Another pause.)

Me: “…20.”

Patron: “Okay, 20 total. That means I can still get…”

(A rather long pause, while the patron is clearly thinking very hard.)

Me: “…17 more.”

Patron: “Whoa! You’re really good with math!”

Despicable Free

| New Zealand | Awesome Workers, Holidays

(It’s the holiday season and my 6-year-old daughter and I are in our local library. Money had been a little bit tight lately, since we’ve had to spend on decorations and presents and I’m a single parent. The library loans out DVDs, $5 for a week but there is a special section where kids DVDs are free and they are generally Disney movies or kids cartoons/TV shows.)

My Daughter: “Mom, can I get this Despicable Me DVD please? It was in the kids section!”

Me: “Sure thing sweetie. Let me just get my card so we can go.”

(As I self issue the DVD out, I realise it was misplaced in the kids’ section and actually costs $5. My daughter sees this on the screen.)

My Daughter: “No mom, it’s too expensive! I don’t want it anymore.”

Me: “It’s only 5 dollars! It’s fine; we can get it.”

My Daughter: “No no no! I don’t want it anymore!”

(Not wanting to cause a tantrum from her, I go up to the library assistant behind the counter.)

Me: “Hi there, I issued out this DVD a couple of minutes ago, but my daughter doesn’t want it anymore. I was wondering if I could return please?”

Library Assistant: “Is there something wrong with the DVD?”

Me: “Oh, not at all. There was just a little misunderstanding with the price.”

Library Assistant: “Oh. Well, tell you what! Take it for free. Just give me your card and I’ll take the charge off.”

Me: “Thank you! I know it doesn’t seem like much but, $5 is a lot to us. Thank you so much, happy holidays!”

(When I returned to my daughter with the DVD in my hand and told her the whole story, she was grinning from ear to ear. She got up and ran by herself to thank the lovely library assistant and he even gave her a high-five! We’re much better off now, but I’ll never forget that small act of kindness.)

More Clueless Than Keyless, Part 2

| NY, USA | Extra Stupid

(I am working by myself at the lower level circulation desk of our library. A patron with two small children comes to check out a pile of books and hands me her key-ring with her library card on it. I scan it, hand it back, and check out her books.)

Patron: “Where are my keys? [Son], did you take my keys?”

Son: “No.”

Patron: *to me* “Did you give me my keys back?”

Me: “Yes, I did.”

(She continues looking, can’t find her keys, and begins to yell at me and at her children.)

Patron: “We are not leaving until I find my keys!”

Me: “You went to get your daughter a crayon. Might the keys be on the coloring table?”

Patron: “No! I didn’t go anywhere! They have to be here!”

(I go to check the coloring table, but I don’t see the keys. I go back and check the circulation desk again, even though I know I gave the keys back to her.)

Patron: “WHERE ARE MY KEYS?!”

(At this point, I have to help some other patrons.)

Patron: *to other patrons* “I’m sure that girl didn’t give my keys back.”

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t have them. They aren’t at the desk.”

Patron: “WHERE ARE THEY?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Patron: “This is ridiculous! This always happens down here! It’s a d*** good thing I didn’t lock the house. How would I get in without my keys!?” *to her children* “WE’RE LEAVING!”

(She drags her children upstairs to the main circulation desk. While there, she tells them that I’ve taken her keys and won’t give them back. However, while complaining, she finds her keys in her bag. Not surprisingly, she did not come back to apologize.)

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More Clueless Than Keyless