Do My Dissertation For Me Kthnxbai

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2018

(I answer the phone.)

Me: *in Dutch* “[Institute]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Do you speak any Dutch?”

Me: *in Dutch* “Yes, ma’am, I do. You have reached [Institute]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “So, you speak some Dutch?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I am certified near-native, and I do translation work here at the institute. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Oh… kay, I guess. Well, I’m doing a huge dissertation; I mean a really big one.”

Me: “All right…”

Caller: “It’s about the war.”

Me: “All right…”

Caller: “So, my professor said that your library has a lot about the subject it’s on.”

Me: “That is very likely. You may come during [opening hours] and sign in to access the library.”

Caller: “I want to make an appointment.”

Me: “The library doesn’t work with appointments. You can just come sign in and go right in.”

Caller: “But I want an appointment.”

Me: “I’m sorry. The library doesn’t work with appointments, but you can simply come use it, and the archive. For free.”

Caller: “But I’ve never been there before!”

Me: “All right.”

Caller: *whining* “How will I know what to do?

Me: “There is always someone at the information desk in the library to help visitors navigate the books and archives.”

Caller: “And he will have the time to just work with me until I’m done?”

Me: “Well, no, we cannot provide step-by-step continual personal guidance for each and every visitor, but he will explain how the system works, and how to access the material and request documents, and he will be right there if you have any questions.”

Caller: “But you just said he’ll be there to help me.”

Me: “Yes. He is there to help all of the visitors to the library and archives.”

Caller: “But I need someone to help me! You said he’s there to help me.”

Me: “He is there to help you. He is there to help everyone.”

Caller: *whining* “But what if I can’t find something?”

Me: “Then you go to him.”

Caller: “So, basically everything is incredibly easy to find?”

Me: “Well, you need to use the system, which he will explain in detail when you come in.”

Caller: “I still think I should just make an appointment.”

Me: “The library does not work with appointments, and we do not have anyone on staff who can stop their important research work to spend several hours in the library with each visitor. Please believe me: the system is simple, and there is always someone there to help you.”

Caller: *outright sulking* “Well, I GUESS.” *big sigh* “FINE. I will come use the library. But I still think I should be able to make an appointment so someone can actually help me.” *click*

The Patrons Can Wear You Down

, , | Right | April 10, 2018

(In my library system, if you’re charged with a lost or damaged book, you’re allowed to find a cheaper version of it and have it replaced. One day a woman comes up to the desk.)

Patron: “Hi, I need to replace a book I lost. I was told I can bring in another book to replace it.”

Me: “Sure! May I see the book so I can match up the ISBN number?”

(The woman hands me the book. It’s an old, worn, discarded copy from a different library. It still has the old library barcode and stamps on it.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I cannot take this. It has to be a new copy.”

Patron: “I was never told that! I was told I could bring in any book!”

Me: “Ma’am, this is not even a good copy. Many of the pages are worn and there are pen scuffs on the cover.”

Patron: “I WAS TOLD I CAN BRING IN ANY COPY!”

(I ended up getting my manager, who told her the same thing. She eventually left with her worn copy, grumbling.)

A Joke Book

, , , , | Friendly | April 3, 2018

(A friend of mine walks into the library where I recently started to work. He pauses, looks around, and comes up to the front desk with a grin.)

Friend: “Excuse me. Do you have any books?”

Me: “You know what? You’re not the first person to ask me that, but you’re the first to ask it as a joke.”

(No, I wasn’t kidding. He thought that was as sad as I think it is.)

An Ocean Of Passive-Aggressiveness

, , , , | Related | March 28, 2018

(My mom and sister have taken my four-year-old daughter to the library while I’m at work. The library has a station of seashells for the children to look at.)

Sister: “If you put the seashell to your ear, you can hear the ocean!”

Daughter: “Oh, I hear it! Grandma, listen!”

(She holds the seashell to my mom’s ear.)

Daughter: “Can you hear it, Grandma?”

Grandma: “No.”

Daughter: “Well, maybe if you’d stop talking, you would hear it.”

Books Are For All Kids, Big And Small

, , , , , | Hopeless | March 26, 2018

(I work at a library. I am helping an elderly woman find some children’s books: “The Boxcar Children,” “Nancy Drew,” etc.)

Me: “Are these for your grandchildren?”

Patron: “If I told you who I was getting these books for, you wouldn’t believe me.”

Me: “Try me.”

Patron: “My 80-year-old wife grew up with 13 siblings. They were very poor, and didn’t have the advantages I had. My mother always took me to the library, and I read everything I could get my hands on. I read these to my wife every night to recapture some of the childhood she didn’t get to have.”

(I started tearing up. Sometimes I really just love my job, and I love people.)

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