, , , , | Working | December 9, 2017

I volunteer at my town library, helping with the summer reading club. When kids read for a certain amount of time in a week, they get a prize. Many of the prizes are cheap little toys that, predictably, aren’t the best quality. There is one, however, that is really something special. The prize is a little tub of bouncing clay. The packaging says [sic]:

“Air Dryinging”

“Soft&Light Weight”

“Make little beautiful world with my hands on”

Yeah, you pay for what you get, but I was still the only one concerned that a library program to promote literacy among kids was handing out a prize with this many errors.

They Need To Go On Gardening Leave

, , , , | Working | December 4, 2017

(It’s a sad fact that libraries often have to remove and delete old books from the shelves to make way for new ones, as we don’t have the space to keep all our books. We tend to call this process “weeding.” I’m on pretty friendly terms with my supervisor, and we occasionally talk about gardening and other things. Since I’ve been assigned a large weeding project just at the beginning of gardening season, I suppose it was inevitable that the following would happen:)

Supervisor: “How’s the weeding going?”

Me: “Oh, we haven’t started yet.”

Supervisor: “…”

Me: “Oh, you meant weeding the shelves! That’s going pretty well. I’m sorry; I thought you meant our garden.”

(We had a good laugh, at least.)

I Don’t Want To Make A Big Deal, But Here Is A Big Deal

, , , , , | Right | December 3, 2017

(It’s a Sunday, so there are only two librarians working the library circulation desk. As I come up to the desk to check out my books, both librarians are talking to an older woman.)

Woman: “This is not a big deal; I just want to make it clear that I feel I have been cheated!”

Librarian #1: “Ma’am, while you may have overpaid your overdue fines—”

Woman: “I was told they would be credited against my future fines!”

Librarian #1: “I do not know who told you that, but they were mistaken.”

Woman: “My son says you do it for him all the time. And it’s only a quarter, but—”

Librarian #2: “We’ve never done credits.”

Woman: “—It’s not a big deal if your employee POCKETED TAXPAYER FUNDS!”

Librarian #1: “Ma’am, any excess fine payments are donated to the Friends of the Library, and we always ask beforehand if that’s all right.”

Woman: “It’s only a quarter. I get it. It’s no big deal, but I don’t understand—”

Librarian #2: “Ma’am, if you wanted to bring in your receipt—”


Librarian #1: *exasperated* “Ma’am, here is a quarter; I apologize for the misunderstanding.”

Woman: “Well. Fine.” *takes her book and her quarter and marches out*

Me: *as I step up to the desk* “I’m so glad that wasn’t a big deal.”

Librarian #2: *wearily* “You have no idea.”

Oh, Hi-o!

, , , , , | Friendly | November 29, 2017

(I am a student library assistant at a small public library across from the administration building of an osteopathic medical school. One day, a woman who looks to be about the same age as my parents comes into the library. We strike up a conversation.)

Woman: “I haven’t been back here since my husband graduated from [Medical School].”

Me: “Where are you living now?”

Woman: “Columbus, Ohio.”

Me: “Oh, my family has friends there! Maybe you know them!”

Woman: *condescendingly* “I doubt we would know them. Columbus is a big city.”

Me: “Well, the husband is chief of surgery at [Major Osteopathic Medical Center in Columbus]. I just thought—”

Woman: “Oh! We do know him!”

Me: *quiet smile*

Not A Turn-Up For The Books

, , , , | Right | November 20, 2017

(I work the front desk at a university library. The actual library building is fairly large and includes a small food court on the basement floor. One day, two girls walk up to the front desk:)

Customer #1: “Hi, do you all have food here?”

Me: *thinking she’s referring to the food court* “Yes, ma’am, we do.”

Customer #1: “Great! Can I get a meatball sub, to go, please?”

Me: *dumbfounded* “Ma’am… This is a library. If you want food, the food court is downstairs.”

Customer #2: *hitting her friend on the arm* “You idiot! I told you!”

Customer #1: “What?! He said there was food!”

(They started giggling and walked downstairs.)

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