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Doesn’t Look Like Anything The Cat Dragged In

| NM, USA | Family & Kids, Popular

(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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No Room For Argument

| AR, USA | Crazy Requests, Popular

(I work at an academic library and one of the services we offer is for our customers to check out study rooms. I take a call from a woman around noon.)

Caller: “I want to know if I can reserve a study room?

Me: “It’s first come, first serve, and we aren’t allowed to reserve them.”

(I have to repeat myself several times because she insists on a study room and isn’t actually listening to my answer. After I tell her for the fourth time:)

Caller: “That’s fine. I’ll be in at about six.”

(She asked for my name again, and hung up. Around five o’clock I left for the day. But my coworker told me what happened when this woman came in for a study room.)

Customer: “Hi! I have a study room reserved for six.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t reserve study rooms. It’s library policy.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not what [My Name] told me earlier! I was told I’d have a study room! Where am I supposed to study now?”

Coworker: “We do have a study area on the fourth floor if you’d like to use that. But it is an open space; I can’t guarantee how crowded it will be or the noise level. But since this is a library I can ask them to keep it down if it becomes too loud.”

Customer: “That is unacceptable! I was told I’d have a study room! I demand that that promise be kept!”

Coworker: “Ma’am, I was here when my coworker was on the phone with you. She told you several times that the study rooms are first come, first serve. But if you’d like I can give you a pager and let you know when the next available study room is open.”

Customer: “That is unacceptable! I demand you clear a study room right now! Or I’ll get you fired!”

Coworker: “First off, ma’am, I’m only volunteering over the summer so good luck getting me fired. Second, you had requested the room for six o’clock and you may only check the room out for an hour at a time because of how in demand they are. It is now seven forty. Even if we did do reserve rooms you would have missed your reservation and the check out time would have already elapsed. Third, you want me to recall a room, kicking someone out who also needs to study in the process, just so you can have your way? I’m not going to do that. Now, it’s fairly quiet on the fourth floor. You can study there either until you’re done studying or until a study room opens up. Or if you can’t be civil you can leave.”

(The customer got red faced, yelled for a few more minutes, cussing out me, my coworker, and library policy, then stormed out.)

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A Message From The Messiah

| MD, USA | Religion

(I am calling a patron up to tell them they had accidentally turned in a DVD case without the disk inside. I get their answering machine.)

Machine: “Thank you so much for calling me on this blessed day Jesus has provided for us. Praise Jesus and all his wonders. Praise God and everything he has given us. For he is our savior and we should all bow down to his golden light. Praise Jesus, praise Him, praise the Lord! Thank you for calling me and have a wonderful, BLESSED day!”

(The machine finally beeps to let me leave a message.)

Me: “Um… hello, Miss [Name]. I am calling today because you returned a DVD case without the disk inside. I have renewed the item and you can return it to us anytime before then. Thank you, and… um… Praise Jesus.”

(I hung up and realized a split second later what I had just said.)

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Books With The Same Story Every Night

| UK | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Time

(It’s late on a Friday evening, near closing time, and the library’s empty. My coworker and I are discussing customers who dawdle at closing time in the various other branches of the library, taking FOREVER to select books and get them checked out.)

Coworker: “Sometimes I feel like they do it just to prove a point.”

Me: “I know! Thank goodness this branch is so quiet. Geez, imagine if someone walked through the door right as we were closing up?”

(Minutes pass, and seven o’clock gets ever closer; we tidy up and, in the final few minutes, shut off the computers. Then, right on the dot on seven, the phone rings.)

Coworker: “Oh, NO.”

Me: “You have got to be kidding.”

(I answer, hoping it’s from one of the other branches open this late.)

Me: “Hello, [Library].”

Caller: “Hello; I was wondering if you could find a book for me?”

Me: “I’m very sorry, madam, but we’ve just closed. The library opens again at nine tomorrow morning.”

Caller: “Oh, please, could you just check?”

Me: “Well, our computers have shut down for the night, so the only way I’d be able to find it would be by a physical shelf check. But I can make a note of it, so that we can look for it tomorrow and call you back as early as possible. What’s the name of the book?”

Caller: “I think it’s called Who Moved My Cheese? It’s a fiction book.”

Me: “And do you know the name of the author?”

Caller: “No, I’m afraid I don’t. Can’t you look it up?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t. Like I said, the computers have shut down for the night, and won’t start up again until tomorrow morning. The program we use for managing our books is on those computers, so I can’t look for the book on the system to see if we actually have it, whether it’s on loan or where it might be, or whether any of the other libraries have it.”

Caller: “But couldn’t you look on the shelves?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. We’re officially closed; we’re literally just about to lock up and leave. A physical shelf check would take a fair while, especially since we don’t know the author’s name or what genre the book is. Again, I’ll make a note of your name and request so that we can look for it when we open tomorrow at nine.”

Caller: “Please, can’t you have just a quick check now?”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, but we can’t. It’s now past seven. We need to go home. If you’ll give me your name, I promise we’ll look for the book as soon as we open tomorrow.”

(She finally gives me her name, very disappointed. I hang up and stare at my coworker.)

Me: “She must know what time we close. She MUST. Who DOES that? A minute or two before closing time, I get that, but right on the hour?”

Coworker: “Let’s get out of here before someone thinks we’re still open.”

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It Just Doesn’t Click

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I am a librarian. A patron comes up to the reference desk.)

Patron: “How can I print out pictures that I find on the web?”

Me: “Here, use this mouse and keyboard, and I’ll walk you through an example. Here’s a random picture that I found on the Internet. Press Control+P and watch what happens… Okay, good! You’re looking at the print dialog box. Now, don’t do this part now, but when you’re in the computer lab doing this with a picture you actually want to print, you’ll click the Print button.”

Patron: “And then it will print?”

Me: “Yes. Don’t click Print now, but when you’re in the lab, you’ll click Print and your picture will print out downstairs.”

Patron: *click*

Me: “…aaand here’s your complimentary printout of a random picture.”

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