Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Miss Information is annoyed by the French Guys

The library has a wheelchair. It is useful when people trip over one of the many hazards in and around the library. French Video Guy recently asked to use it. His back hurts. From what? He spends entire days looking at lame music videos on the Internet. If Miss Information watched old Triumph and Boston videos all day her brain would hurt but her back would be fine.

Anyway, it isn’t that far from the front door to the Internet terminals. If he can’t make it without using a wheelchair, he should probably be spending his days at physiotherapy.

Older French Guy, unrelated to French Video Guy, also had a problem. His back is fine. His brain is a different matter. He is one of those people who aren’t Internet compatible. And yet, he persists in trying to use the Internet. Miss Information would admire that blind refusal to face reality if only he didn’t have the mental prowess of a sack of hair.

Today Older French Guy shows his diskette to Miss Information. He wants to check if any new gmail messages have been received on his disk. Um. In cases like this, Miss Information has found that the best thing to do is to answer a question that makes sense instead of the question that has been asked. She sincerely hopes it is a language barrier rather than a tragic misunderstanding of computers.

Yes, she assures him. He can use the library computer to read his gmail. He can also use the library computer to open files on his diskette. This sounds good to the man who goes off happily. For about 30 seconds. He comes back. He’s gotten an error message when trying to log on. Miss Information clears that up but it’s a bad sign. Logging on is the easy part.

As she feared, the man returns in another minute. He really does believe that his new gmail messages should have appeared on his diskette automatically, even though the disk has not left his pocket all that time. Miss Information helps him open gmail, you know, the website. Success! There are new messages. From the government. Miss Information realizes it’s probably unethical but she peeks at the contents. Nothing too exciting, just an acknowledgement that the man’s letter had been received. Since the man’s original letter is attached, she peeks at that too. It’s pretty damned terrifying. It seems that Older French Guy believes that the government is spending too much money on humans and overlooking the needs of angels. Who have needs, apparently. That the government is ignoring. Oh, that can’t be good. Miss Information imagines that angels can get pretty pissy when they’re feeling undervalued. But what angelic requirements could the government supply? Tax deductible halo cleanser and harp lessons? And where’s all that money the government is supposedly spending on people? Clearly it isn’t going to mental health services.

Until now, Miss Information honestly believed that Old French Guy was more or less normal. Turns out he’s way less normal. She is such a lousy judge of normal.


At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a guy who needed help with his e-mail because he set up an account with a German e-mail provider and doesn't speak the language. I don't either, so he's now with Yahoo. In English.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Don Guitar said...

Ok, I was just googling "miss information" because it seemed like a combination of words that would produce interesting results and I was totally right.

Sorry, my blog isn't so interesting as yours so I can't offer much in the way of reciprocity but I'm glad I visited you anyway.

Don-guitar AKA eldergeek AKA papadon (yes, it's multiple choice)

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous public librarian said...

I'm 45 minutes into my reference desk shift today, and I just helped a very nice woman who wanted biographies of "real angels" (Michael was her example). Luckily, we have some angel encyclopedia-type books. Maybe she wants to learn more about their needs.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Television commercials would have us believe that all angels need is Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Canadian Girl said...

I helped a lady find a John Grisham book CD. She was looking in non-fiction and was surprised when I directed her to the fiction book CDs. She said "Oh, but they're non-fiction, aren't they?" Oh boy ...

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous bookish1 said...

I am just completing my library "science" degree. I love these stories about patrons. What a hoot! Who knew there were so many loonies running around looking fairly normal?


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