Pages get a lot of questions. Technically the reference desk is supposed to answer those questions but when you’re out on the floor you’re the first person the patrons see. For the most part, if it’s a question you can answer without any real trouble, you end up answering it.
Most of the time it’s a “where can I find this?” situation. Pages shelve everything so we know where everything is (usually). Why send the across the building to ask someone a question you have the answer to?
I had been upstairs shelving the DVDs and VHS collection when an elderly woman who stood about four feet and look like a stiff breeze would knock her over approached me.
“I was wondering if you could help me?”
“I can certainly try.”
“I’m looking for some movies. I’m part of seniors group and we’ve got a DVD player. I thought it might be nice if I could find a few films to take in to watch. Do you have any suggestions?” She looked at me hopefully.
This is the kind of question we’d normally end up sending to reference. One that takes a while to answer and requires a little more information that just the location of one item. But it was a slow day and I watch a lot of old movies so I actually had a couple of films I could recommend.
I pointed out some titles I thought would be good. Mostly old classics. Clark Gable, Humphry Bogart, Greta Garbo. Stars the seniors would know.
She took two or three and beamed at me.
“You’re such a sweet girl for helping me.” She said.
“Um, thanks!” I never know quite what to say. “You’re welcome.”
And then, without any warning, she hugged me. She hugged me while the rest of the girls working watched. And laughed.
I made a quick retreat to the back room. Unfortunately the story spread pretty quickly and I spent the rest of the day having people ask me if I needed a hug.
“No thanks. I met my quota for today.”
Please, don’t hug the staff.