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CSI Has A Lot To Answer For

, , , , | Right | May 3, 2022

A patron hurries up to our helpdesk with a CD in her hand.

Patron: “I was told you could help me. I have a video from my security camera, and I need to get a license plate of a car that destroyed my mailbox.”

Me: “That’s not a service we normally provide, but let me get you set up on one of our computers, and let’s see what we can do.

I get her set up and logged in, and we play the video from her CD. The resolution is TERRIBLE, and we can barely make out the make of the car, let alone the license plate.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t help you with this.”

Patron: “Can’t you zoom and enhance?”

Me: “Pardon me?”

Patron: “Zoom and enhance! Like they do on CSI.”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s a TV show. It isn’t real.”

Patron: “You’re just being lazy! They can see things off of eyeballs! This should be easy!”

She’s referring to a much-ridiculed scene from the show where the characters zoom into an eyeball on camera and can see a crime being committed from the eyeball reflection.

Me: “Ma’am, I know what you’re referring to, but it’s made up for TV. That stuff isn’t possible with your camera. Your resolution is just too low.”

Patron: “Then show me how to be more resolute! Push the button to make more resolution!”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, that’s impossible.”

Patron: “Is it because the shot doesn’t have any eyeballs?”

Logged Off From Reality

, , | Right | May 2, 2022

A woman walks into the library and waves her phone in my face.

Patron: “I need to print a document from my email.”

Me: “No problem. Do you have a library card with us?”

Patron: “Yes.”

Me: “Excellent. Then you can use one of our computers to log onto your email and—”

Patron: “I don’t want to log onto your computer.”

I look around. The library is virtually empty. All but one of our computers are free.

Me: “Okay? Unfortunately, we have no way to connect your phone to our printer, so that’s the only way we are able to print anything for you.”

Patron: “But I need to print this!”

Me: “And like I said, if you’ll just log onto one of our computers—”

Patron: “I don’t want to log onto your computer!”

Me: “May I ask why not? I’ll be happy to help you if—”

Patron: *Waving phone ever more vigorously* “I need to print this!”

Me: “And like I said, it’s technically impossible for us to print from your phone, so I’m afraid the only way you can print it is from our computers.”

Patron:I don’t want to log onto your computer!

Me: “Again, we can’t print from your phone, but I’ll be happy to help show you how to print from the computer.”

Patron:No! I need to print this!

And so on and so forth with little to no variation, until she finally stormed out of the library without the printout she needed so badly that she’d rather spend five minutes arguing than two minutes in front of a computer.

Don’t Get All Agitato, My Guy

, , , , , , , | Friendly | April 26, 2022

I’m sitting in the library working on my summary notes for a music extension class, preparing for a viva voce — a kind of oral exam — tomorrow. My best friend comes up behind me and starts reading over my shoulder.

Best Friend: “Why are half your notes in Italian?”

Me: “…I’m actually secretly multilingual and never told you.”

Best Friend: “O… kay… Not gonna lie, I’m a little hurt.”

Me: “My guy, it’s music stuff.”

Best Friend: “OH!”

What Is WRONG With People?!

, , , , | Working | April 21, 2022

I work in a library. For several years, our “Sunshine Committee” organized a Secret Valentine’s program. February was usually grim and gray; we were all getting some cabin fever and getting on each other’s nerves, so we actually looked forward to a little bit of fun in the miserable midwinter.

Those participating drew names. The idea was that you could, for the seven days preceding Valentine’s Day, gift your Valentine with little remembrances, like a chocolate bar here, a note pad with funny sayings there… or maybe you just found a book on the shelf that your coworker might like, and you left it on the desk with a note.

Or you could wait until the last day and do one big fun presentation. There was also a small social tea so that gifters could identify themselves. It was fun, and people got super creative to stay within the (very generous for the time) ten-dollar budget.

People got very clever with gifts. One person walked in to find a display made up entirely of books whose titles featured his first name. Another had a special day announced during which people were encouraged to give her a smile. It was fun and it boosted spirits.

So, naturally, someone had to ruin it all.

Things began to go downhill in the fourth year of the event.

First, a young page who was participating for the first time got stiffed by her Valentine who had been leaving notes hinting at a big surprise at the end. And the big surprise was that… there was no surprise. Nothing. The kid was crushed, so the staff in her department quickly put together a “surprise” out of whatever they had received and whatever a few could find at the pharmacy across the street.

A female department head received a silk nightie, along with a collection of massage oils and, um, lubricants. And it was clear that the nightie had been worn at least once, as it gave off the unmistakable aroma of perfume and Eau de body sweat. She was too embarrassed to complain, but one of her employees went to the Sunshine Committee and suggested they put some kind of rules about the genre of gift to be given.

The next year, someone still refused to listen to the “no gifts that might be perceived as harassment” regulation. Another female employee received a type of panty usually gifted to a bride at a shower, body oils, and a hotel room key. Given that the key came from a hotel in a city where a certain oddball staff member had been staying for a week, everyone was pretty sure who was responsible, but the committee didn’t pursue it.

The next year, there was another more explicit description of what not to give. They thought they had covered all the bases, but they were wrong.

Another department head received a huge hanging plant, which was nice. But the item that came with it gave everyone pause: a framed picture of a bleeding human heart with the caption, “I’d kill for you.”

And thus ended a practice that had previously been nothing more than a fun way to bond with each other during a cold winter month. There is always someone out there looking to spoil what was meant to be a way to spread a little sunshine in dark places.

Some People Will Prick Anything To Be Offended About

, , | Right | April 18, 2022

I work in a library. One of my assistants is very crafty, so I let her do the bulletin board displays in the teen center. A few days after she puts a new board up, an older gentleman comes up to me at the reference desk, flustered and clearly angry.

Patron: “I need to speak to a manager!”

Me: “That would be me; I’m in charge of reference. How can I help you?”

Patron: “That board in the teen center is obscene! How could you allow something so filthy to be put up?! Especially in a library!”

I haven’t had a chance to look at her new boards yet, so I get up and walk over there with the angry man trailing along behind, spewing righteous indignation about the decay of morals, etc.

I look at the board and almost laugh: my assistant has put up cut-outs of various forms of cacti along with the words, “I hope you pricked a good book!”. While some of the cacti do look mildly phallic, I know my assistant didn’t mean it and honestly, I find the whole thing very funny. I put on my best game face, though, and turn back to the angry patron.

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m not sure what the issue is? Because you could prick yourself on the needles from the cactus?”

Patron: *Bright red* “Oh, I, uh… That’s not how I saw it…”

Me: “Well, how did you see it? Can you explain why it’s offensive?”

Patron: *Muttering* “Never mind.”

He shuffled away. I had a good laugh about it, but a few days later, another patron complained for the same reason so I asked my assistant to take it down. She was confused until I explained it to her, and then she was completely mortified. She told me it wasn’t intentional, and I assured her that I knew that. It really was a cute bulletin board, though.