Friday, April 13, 2012

Still not a mind reader

A woman approached the information desk armed with a call number typed into her iPhone. Miss Information hates when people do that, she's probably just jealous of their fancy phones but whatever. Because the library is big and complicated sometimes people cannot figure out where to go for the books. It is even more complicated because sometimes the computer system just flat out refuses to give hints and says unhelpful things like "returned". Well, ok but when was it returned and which floor did it go to when it was returned?

So that was the problem. Fortunately the circulation system is more cooperative and will provide those details to Miss Information if she asks nicely. However, the circulation system always puts up a fuss when you need to use a call number so Miss Information asked the woman for the title of the book. The title is Biology. Was there a subtitle? No. Did the woman know the author's name? Nope. Does the woman have any idea how many books called Biology there are in the library? Clearly not.

At this point Miss Information looks at the iPhone and realizes that the call number isn't the usual one for biology but is more of a business number. Oh, yes says the patron. It's about marketing. Miss Information mentions that biology is an odd name for a book about marketing.

"Oh," the customer replies, "it's spelled BUYology."

And again, Miss Information is left wondering why her psychic skills are so useless.


At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Soos said...

I'm not a mind reader, either. Had the same prob with "lion dancing" which I heard as "line dancing". Another one that comes to mind is bee sting. I'll leave it to your imagination.
The call # - yeah, in our library it could be in any of 3 areas. SIX if you include closed stacks. And is it too much to expect them to have the entire call #? Yesss

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your client falls into a category that we see all too often here in our library. They canNOT apparently grasp that the catalog can't tell that when they said The Journal of Mumbojumbo, they actually meant The Intergalactic Journal of Mumbojumbo. When politely (I swear) informed of this, one would think, self-evident fact their eyes glaze over in complete, and infuriating, incomprehension.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Bezt Software said...

nice info

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My two favourite ones were - "Can you help me find a book about the Sixteen Chapel?" and "I need books about drownding"

At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remeber the time a patron called and asked if we had a book with the call number 428 and 3 letters I forget which exactly, maybe IEL or TOE. I was working at a large District branch and, without looking, could guarantee at least 10 books fitting that information. So I asked if she knew the title of the book she wanted. She started getting annoyed and said "No. Can't you just tell me if you have it?" I explained about having many books with a similar call number, which annoyed her more, and asked if she knew the author. Even more annoyed she said "Barron." I looked it up just to be sure, eventhough I knew it was a publisher, hesitantly and very politely I informed her that it was likely the publsher not the author. To which she replied "Semantics!" Yes the meaning IS different. If she thought she understood the word "semantics", why did she need the ESL book? None of which I actually said to her, I simply told her again that there were many books that fit her information and I couldn't guarantee that the one she wanted was here without more specific information. Which of course caused her to hang up angrily and rudely.

At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry "remember" in the first sentence.


Post a Comment

<< Home