This Query Is Not Remotely Cheery

, | Canada | Learning | April 15, 2013

Student: “My professor wants me to use [Business Database] for my homework, but he said I have to use it in the library. I want to know how I can use it from home.”

Me: “Unfortunately, that database can only be used within the library at those two computers over there. They’re in use right now, so you should wait over there until one is available.”

Student: *rolls eyes* “No, you’re not listening. I want to use it from home.”

Me: “I understand it’s not as convenient, but we are not able to offer it outside of the library. You need to use it here, just like your professor said.”

Student: *speaking very slowly* “I do not want to use it in the library. I have Internet at home and I want to use this database from my home. Please show me how to log on from home to use this database.”

Me: “Let me see if I understand your question. You have to use [Business Database] for your homework. It is more convenient to do that from home, so you would like to use your library card to log on from home and use the database there. Is that your question?”

Student: “Finally! Yes, that’s it.”

Me: “We are able to do that with some databases, but not every database. The company that created that database has the right to restrict how and where we provide it to our users. They only allow us to have two dedicated computers with that database on it, and it must be used within the library. You cannot use it from home. We wish you could, but you can’t. Also, because there are only two computers available, there is sometimes a wait for them, so don’t leave your homework until the last minute as you might not be able to get on the computers right away. If you would like to wait over there by the dedicated terminals, I will come over and show you how to use it when it’s your turn.”

(There’s a long pause as all of this sinks in for the student. Suddenly, they yell back at me.)

Student: “Well, you don’t have to be such a b**** about it! God!” *storms off*

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