"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

09 January 2015

Telephone Conversations

I was recently scheduled to work our library's combined circ/reference desk for part of an afternoon.  One of my jobs at said desk is to answer the phone, which I don't really mind doing as long as I can be reasonably sure I'll know the answer to the person's question. Since about 75% of the questions have to do with our hours, I can handle this job.  Today, however, I got a question I honestly couldn't answer.  Actually, it wasn't even a question:

Me: Anytown Public Library. This is Jenni; how can I help you?
Patron: I'd like the mild wings with ranch sauce.
Me: Um, this is the Anytown Public Library.
Patron: Oh. [Pauses] I'm, I'm really sorry.
Me: No problem; have a nice day!

That was definitely my favorite question of the week.  My favorite all-time phone question, though, happened when I was still in library school:

Me: Anothertown Public Library. This is Jenni; how can I help you?
Patron: Well, we're in the middle of a Scrabble game, and we have a disagreement about a word. We wanted to see if you could tell us if it's actually a word or not.
Me: Sure, no problem.  What's the word? [Begins to pull up dictionary.com]
Patron: It's T-U-R-D. Is that a legal Scrabble word?
Me: Well, according to the dictionary, it's a legitimate English word, and it's not an abbreviation or a proper noun, so I'd say yes, it is a legal word.
Patron: [to someone else in his home] I told you it was a word; the librarian just said so!

If there's anything to be said about working in a public library, it's that it is never, ever boring.

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