Helpful: The opposite of what you’re being

There is a lot of information that is incredibly helpful in my job. Unfortunately, it seems like that is the information I am lease likely to receive. So here is a handy list of things that aren’t going to help me at all.

“I’m looking for a book.” Followed immediately with “called ***” or “with this call number” this is exactly right. On its own, followed by a blank stare this is the least helpful thing you could say.

“My teacher said there was some reserve stuff here.”* Not only is this a poorly constructed sentence, it also fails to provide me with any useful information.

“It’s on reserve.”* I’m sure it is. That doesn’t help me unless you have a call number.

“It’s right over there.” * This (usually combined with pointing) is NOT an adequate substitute for a call number. Yes, I am aware of where the books are kept. Pointing in there general direction doesn’t help me in finding a specific book. It’s kind of like standing outside and saying “my house it over there”.

“I don’t know who wrote the book/the title of the book/my instructors name/my class number.” Funny, neither do I. Of the two of us, I’d say that it’s a bigger problem for you. Guess you might want to figure it out then, eh?

“I had this book out once before but I can’t remember the title/author but I remember that it was yellow/blue/red/any other colour.” That would be helpful if we sorted our material by colour. Which we don’t. Or if we kept records of every item you’ve ever taken out (and had them listed by colour). Which we don’t. Are you seeing the problem?

“I have it written down but I forgot it at home/lost it/threw it away.” So what you’re telling me is, you know where to find the information, have found it previously and somewhere along the way you became incapable of performing this miracle again? That really is a shame. An unhelpful shame, but a shame none the less.

This is not a complete list, mind you. But if you could at very least try to avoid these, I would be forever grateful. I will also try to advise you as more come up.

-Late Fines.



*These three normally come from one person, in that order.

Published in: on October 31, 2009 at 9:59 pm  Comments (3)  

The seat on the chair goes up and down, up and down, up and down…

This morning one of my co-workers was telling me about another woman who works here. Apparently she was sitting kind of funny and so she asked her about it.

She was sitting on two phone books because her chair was too low.

Her chair was too low because she didn’t know that you have to get off the chair for the “up/down” lever to make the chair go up.

Some days it’s not just the students…

-Late Fines.

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

You don’t want me to answer that

“There are no stupid questions.”

Not true. I believe that saying should be “there is no end to stupid questions”. Believe me, I know. I work in a library.

When you work in a library and the #1 most asked question is “where are all the books?” you know that there are stupid questions. Lots of them. From lots of stupid people. (One professor actually asked how to get out of the library. You use the same doors as you used to come it, the ones ten feet from where he was asking.)

There are two terminals at the front desk. For parts of the day it’s not odd for there to be only one person on the desk, leaving one terminal open. Have I confused you yet? No? That’s because you’re not a university student, apparently.

One girl came up to the counter this afternoon and stood there looking a little lost. It happens a lot. She looked at me and then at the empty terminal.

“Which one should I go to?”

Sigh. The other one, sweetheart. I’m just decorative. Luckily the midget hiding under the desk over there is really good at dealing with the terminally stupid. Now will you be so good as to excuse me? I suddenly have a splitting headache.

-Late Fines.

Published in: on October 17, 2009 at 4:45 am  Comments (5)