Canada: America’s Hat, Part 5

| Central Florida, USA | Right | January 12, 2012

(This is during the 2008 primaries. Our library has been set up as an early voting center. We have information sheets to help the voters make their choices.)

Customer: “I just don’t know what I should do. These things are so confusing. Who did you vote for?”

Me: “I didn’t vote.”

Customer: “That’s what’s wrong with you young people today. No ethics.”

Me: “You misunderstand. I didn’t vote because I can’t vote.”

Customer: *shocked* “Oh MY GOD! You’re a FELON? Why would they let a FELON work here?”

Me: “No, ma’am. No. I’m not a citizen.”

Customer: “Oh. You’re just saying that aren’t you?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’m not a citizen. Would you like to see my green card?”

Customer: “So, you’re from Canada?”

Me: “No, I’m from Europe.”

Customer: “That’s in Canada, isn’t it?”

 

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Silence Is Golden

| USA | Right | December 22, 2011

Customer: *in writing* “Where are the encyclopedias?”

Me: *slowly, making sure he can lip read me* “One floor up–”

(The customer gestures me to write. I assume he can’t lip read. He goes on his way after I write the instructions. Suddenly there’s a crash and he looks towards the sound.)

Me: “I thought you couldn’t hear!”

Customer: *in writing* “Stop talking, this is a library!”

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Ralph Waldo Emerson Would Be Proud

| Pennsylvania, USA | Right | December 20, 2011

Patron: “Do you have any books about division?”

Me: “Sure, we have lots of books about arithmetic. One of them is bound to have what you’re looking for.”

Patron: “Good. The radio frequencies around my house interfere with my calculator, so I have to learn math again.”

Me: “Let me just show you those books.”

The Horrors Of Mispronunciation, Part 4

| Wisconsin, USA | Right | November 20, 2011

Customer: “I want books on gynecology.”

Me: “Okay. This way, please…”

(I start to take her to the health section.)

Customer: “Yeah, I really want to learn about my ancestors.”

Me: *quickly change course to the genealogy section*

 

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Reading Is Infectious

| Melbourne, Australia | Right | November 9, 2011

(A customer is returning a large pile of overdue books – about 90 for the entire family. She’s waiting while I process them in order to pay the fine.)

Me: “Well, they’re not very overdue. It’s just that there’s a lot of them.”

Customer: “Yeah, I know. I’m sorry they’re late.”

(I scan the last few books.)

Me: “Okay, over the three cards, there’s $50 in fines, but I’ll halve that to $25 as they’re not too late.”

Customer: “Oh, thanks so much. I just couldn’t get them in as we’ve all had scarlet fever.”

(I look at the pile of books, every one of which I have handled.)

Me: “Oh…”

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