Tuesday, October 25, 2005


It seems that some of our patrons are under the delusion that we are either psychic within the ranks of Sylvia Brown or the stupidest amoeba to slither out of the primordial ooze. While I’m terribly flattered that they think so highly of our abilities, I feel the need to remind people that we are unable to deduce your needs based on a single monosyllabic grunt. Sadly, the people who believe the former quickly adopt the latter’s beliefs the second we ask for clarification or elaboration.

I present to you an example that happens way too often:
Patron: Computer.
Me: (Why yes it is, good job! Now can you tell me what those rectangular things on the shelves are?) ….yes….?
Patron: *heavy sigh* Computer! *points at the computers*
Me: (Yes, we’ve established that you can name and locate the object. You want a cookie?) Do you need to use the computer?
Patron: *rolls eyes* Yea.
Me: Okay…what did you need it for?
Patron: I need to do some stuff.
Me: (Oh goody, an English major.) What specifically? We have different sets of computers for different functions.
Patron: *more sighing and impatiently crosses arms over chest* I don’t know. I just need a computer!
Me: (It’s funny when they get all huffy like it’s MY processor speed that’s the problem.) It makes a difference based on your needs. Do you need Internet, to look up articles or to type a letter…?
Patron: *rolls eyes again at other patrons* Fine, Internet!
Me: (Look, it’s taking everything in my power not to grab by pointy, mental nail file; don’t encourage me) Okay, then you’ll need to sign up at the computer with your full library card number.
Patron: What?! I never needed that before!
Me: (AHA!! I knew it! You’ve used for computers before and at least know that they all have a different purpose! You’ve just been screwing with me!!) Yes, Sir, several months ago we switched to PC reservation.
Patron: I don’t have my card. I thought I wouldn’t need it! All I want is a stupid computer for five minutes!

Naturally this conversation rapidly spiraled downwards into the hell of pointless, ungrateful complaining. That same conversation also applies for books. Library Extraordinaire has gone into that before so I’ll spare you from the torture of trying to be rational in the face of stupidity. To be honest, I can pretty much tell what they’re trying to communicate in their own lazy way early on, but I simply can’t encourage that kind of behavior. Think of it as a public service. I do this for all customer service people. I will play stupid and make them tell me exactly what they want to train them for proper public speaking. I would hate for someone to die because they walked into the emergency room and would only say ‘arm’ and gesture impatiently.

I tend to have a modicum more respect for the patrons who think we are hopelessly stupid but are nice about the whole thing. You know, the one’s who are condescending but believe they are doing a public service. They are the ones who feel the need to say everything very loudly and veeeeerrrrrrrrry slowly as if proper enunciation is the cure for incompetence. Trust me, I’ve tried, it doesn’t work.They are the ones who insist on coming around the desk to look over my shoulder to make sure that I’m doing everything right. They then top everything off with ‘deary’s’ ‘huns’ and a ‘good job’ dripping in demeaning tones.Not great for my self-esteem but at least they’re not being mean about it.We ask for so little and boy do we get it.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Tranzliate this Shiznit to Jive!

Click the Spinn'n Rim Beotch!

www.myYearbook.com -- Created by 2 high school students to kick myspace's ass