I Don’t Hate Men, Just You

, , , , | Romantic | August 27, 2017

(I’m at the library, minding my own business, when a man old enough to be my father approaches me. He’s not a total stranger; we have seen each other at the library before. We’ve even had the basic, “Hi, how’s the weather?” conversation the previous week, but nothing beyond that. Note that we haven’t said a single word to each other this day.)

Man: “Hey, here’s my number, [phone number]. And don’t forget it.”

Me: “Um… okay.”

Man: “So, what about dinner at [Local Restaurant]?”

Me: “I don’t date.”

Man: “What? Hate men or something?”

Me: “No. I’m asexual. I’m not into dating anyone.”

Man: “Oh. Coffee, then?”

(This is far from the only conversation I’ve had with men old enough to be my father. Without fail, even after telling them I don’t date, they ask me out for coffee. They don’t even seem to care enough about me to know I don’t drink coffee [I’m a tea drinker]. And this has happened over a half a dozen times.)


, , , , | Learning | August 23, 2017

(Overheard conversation in the library between two grade-eight students from a class I’m covering.)

Kid #1: “I met my new neighbours yesterday. They’re from a place near Saudi Arabia that starts with a G.”

Kid #2: “Ghana?”

Kid #1: “Ghana? Oh, ya, that must be it!”

Me: “I think it’s Qatar. It’s pronounced with a G.”

Kid #1: “Are you sure it’s not Ghana? You’re not the geography teacher.”

Me: “Kid, if it’s Ghana I will not make you do your final exam.”

(It was Qatar by the way; the kid told me the next day.)

Unfiltered Story #92397

, , , | Unfiltered | August 23, 2017

(I have signed up as a volunteer to help new immigrants learn English. At the training session, we are told that we will get our partner assignments that week. After a week has passed, I send an email inquiring as to when this will happen, and I’m told that due to a recent holiday, they haven’t been sent yet, but they will be soon. Two weeks later, I still haven’t received an email, so I write again. I am told that they sent the email about ten days earlier, but I check my inbox and my spam and everything else and it’s not there, so I ask them to resend it. That’s when I get this little nugget:)
Office: “I just noticed that the email was sent to a “gmail” account…. could that make a difference?”
(Given that the email was supposed to be sent to my university email, and that I don’t have [university email]@gmail.com, YES THAT WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE. JUST LIKE PUTTING THE CORRECT COUNTRY ON A LETTER!)

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 12

, , , | Right | August 22, 2017

(I am a reference librarian at a public library. We get a number of reference questions by phone. In particular, there is one elderly woman who as far as we know has never been in the library, but calls nearly every day to ask a question that is usually related to something in pop culture — for example,  the name of an actor on a TV show she has watched. She’s a very sweet lady, so we always do our best to help her. One Saturday afternoon, my supervisor and I are together at the desk in the reference room, which is full of people but still fairly quiet. Anyone in the room could easily hear us on the phone. Our friend calls and my supervisor answers the phone.)

Supervisor: “Oh, hello, Mrs. Smith. How are you? How can we help you today?”

(She pauses to listen and her eyes get huge. She looks at me, looks around the room, and then suddenly GETS DOWN UNDER THE DESK and speaks very quietly into the phone, while I stare in astonishment. A moment later, she re-appears and hangs up the phone.)

Me: *confused*

Supervisor: *whispers* “She’s reading a book and wanted to know what a strap-on is.”

A Library Of Unreasonable Requests

, , , , | Right | August 22, 2017

(You would be amazed at just how many people come to the library expecting a full range of services that don’t fall in our scope of expertise, and then get mad when we tell them we can’t do it. My guess is that because we’re free, and the services they want aren’t, they think they can circumvent us.)

Customer: *with a strong Eastern European accent* “I want get computer.”

Me: “Okay, sure. Just scan your library card at that machine and one should be assigned to you in 0-10 minutes.”

Customer: “No, I want get computer and then I want you help me with visa.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I bringing friends to America and I want to make sure their visas are right.” *takes out a 30-page document* “Here. I want you to look at each page to make sure it done right.”

(For the record, we’re not supposed to hold anyone’s hand while they work on a project, both because we don’t have time, and because we’re not necessarily qualified. I quickly flip through the document anyway, in the hopes it will convince him to leave.)

Me: “It looks good to me, sir.”

Customer: “No… I want you come with me and help me with visa all way!”

Me: “We’re not immigration attorneys, sir. And we’re not supposed to give that kind of time.”

Customer: “So that’s it?! You won’t help?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that’s the best I can tell you.”

Customer: “Where your supervisor?! I want talk your supervisor!”

Me: “He’s on the third floor, but I don’t think he’ll tell you anything different.”

(He stomped off angrily. I paged my boss to let him know he’s coming. I never heard back from my boss or the customer, so I can only assume he told the customer the same thing. Pro-tip: A library is a place to gain public information about anything, or a place to get your books. It is not a law office, a medical clinic, a bar, a brothel, a homeless shelter, a public bathhouse, a public storage facility, or a free daycare service. Please do not treat us like one.)

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