Own Up To Their Mistake

, , , | Working | March 10, 2018

(I work at a library that also has a museum. We are publicly funded and affiliated with a university. Telemarketers still sometimes call, and it can be pretty funny.)

Me: “Hello, [Library and Museum]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “May I speak to the owner, please? I have a great deal for them.”

Me: *thinking she means one of the curators, and wants to donate something* “Can I have the name of who you’d like to speak to?”

Caller: “No. I just need to speak with the owner.”

Me: “Ma’am, we are a public library and museum. There are about four different people you could be referring to. Could I get a name?”

Caller: “No! The owner! I need to speak with the owner!”

Me: *realizing she’s a telemarketer* “Our library is a public institution. We are also affiliated with [Local University]. We don’t have an owner like a traditional business. Is there something else I could help you with?”

Caller: “But… the owner?” *hangs up*

(I felt bad that she was so confused, but our name alone should have been enough for her to know we weren’t buying. I also should have realized she was a telemarketer earlier, but patrons do genuinely say things like that when they want to make a donation.)

Nerfed That Meeting

, , , , , , | Working | March 9, 2018

(The programs department at our library likes to have us employees “test” new activities before they put them in place for the general public. One morning before we open, they hand out Nerf guns and declare that we’ll be having a “Nerf War.” Soon, every employee is running around, hiding behind bookshelves, and cackling like mad as they fire foam projectiles at each other. In the midst of all this, the phone rings, and I hold up a sheet of white copy paper as a “flag of truce” while I run to the phone and pick it up.)

Me: “Community Library. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Speaker: “Hi, this is [Administrator]’s husband. Can I talk to her?”

Me: “Of course.” *winces as someone shrieks in the background* “Can you hold, please?”

(I run back out under my makeshift “flag of truce,” and tell the administrator her husband is on the phone. She shifts her Nerf gun to one hand and grabs the phone with the other.)

Administrator: “Hello? Hey, hun… No, I haven’t had a chance; I’ve been in meetings all morning. Okay, talk to you later. Bye.” *hangs up*

Me: *eyes her Nerf gun* “Meetings all morning, huh?”

Administrator: “Yup. *runs out to re-join the Nerf war*

(Whoever said librarians are a boring lot has never actually worked with them.)

Work Experience Can Shape Generations

, , , , | Friendly | March 3, 2018

(I’m in my local library on the computers searching for a book, when I hear a child yell suddenly and feel someone tug at the back of my shirt.)

Boy: “HEY, LADY!”

(I turn around to see a little boy I worked with at his preschool while doing work experience.)

Boy: “I know you. You were a teacher at my school. You were teaching with Mrs. [Teacher].” *turns to dad* “Dad! Dad, this is Miss [My Name]; she was at my school.”

(The dad and I nod to each other.)

Me: “Hi there, [Boy]. I sure was! I had lots of fun with you guys, too. Want to know something pretty cool?” *the boy nods* “Your teacher, Mrs. [Teacher], was my teacher when I was little.”

(His eyes go really wide.)

Boy: “Wow, you’re really old!”

(His dad laughed and told him they had to go. I guess 16 is really old to a four-year-old.)

Warring Between The Library Sections

, , , | Right | February 28, 2018

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for some books on the wartime occupation of the Channel Islands.”

Me: “Sure, I’ll show you where to look. They’ll be in the Second World War section.”

Customer: “Would that be fiction or nonfiction?”

Why Simply Ask, When Imagination Is Much More Fun

, , , | Right | February 27, 2018

(I am helping a patron who has been bantering with me during his transaction. At the end, he asks about the location of some movies, except what he actually says is this:)

Patron: “So, if a wicked witch were to fly in here on her broom and turn you into a stack of DVDs, where would he—” *indicating my coworker* “—shelve you?”

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