Sunday, May 29, 2011

Those People We Call Stupid

Friday was my last day of work in the U.S. for the next year. Working at the library was fun, and I made good friends with my coworkers. We had potluck days and shared funny stories and mostly always worked really well together.

There was only one element of working in the public library that I sometimes disliked: the public.

Usually everything was fine, but nothing drove me up the wall like the patrons who needed their hand held for everything. It also seemed that I was the go-to guy, especially when it had to do with computer issues. I think they came to me for two and a half reasons.

1 - The other librarians often directed the patron to me.
2 - Because I'm young and wear glasses and own a Kindle and iPod (and look like a nerd, I guess), people assume that I have no social life and can do anything on a computer because the computer is my only friend. (While the computer isn't my only friend, the rest is mostly accurate.)
2.5 - I'm too nice to tell them to solve their own stupid problems, so they keep coming back to me.

There are far too many examples of patrons needing help for me to even get started, and I doubt I could express in writing the amount of eye-rolling that took place. Just remember, next time you go to your public library, be nice to the librarians, and do everything you can to solve your own problems. I loved helping people find books and information, but I never liked helping someone pay their bills online, help them fill out divorce papers, explaining email, helping them write a report, or cleaning up after the kids AND their parents because they didn't feel like taking care of themselves. I can sort of empathize with Agatha Trunchbull, headmistress of Crunchem Hall Elementary School, when she says "My idea of a perfect school [or in my case, library] is one in which there are no children at all." I am liking the Trunchbull more and more.

Though there were those people who were helpless and rude, there were also people who were so clueless that it was hard not to laugh out loud. One of the best examples took place just last week. A guy in his 20s came in wanting to use a computer over by the windows. I told him that he should pick a computer pass with a number above 30 then. He picked up a card with the number 3 on it. I thought maybe he just misheard me, so I politely repeated that he would need a different card, one above number 30. He seemed to understand, and set number 3 down. And then picked up number 24. I just grabbed number 31 and handed it to him and pointed him in the direction of the computer...I wonder if he ever found it.

I know we all have our own stupid moments, but I hope they are only just moments. I fear for the people who only have those moments, how do they function?

I had my own stupid moment on my way to Disneyland two weeks ago: I stopped at my grandparents house on the way, and we got on the subject of my car's oil. My oil wasn't quite topped off when I checked it, but it was close. Anyway, my grandpa asked if it was cold when I checked it, and I said "No, it was about as warm at home as it is here." I'm pretty sure everyone there thought I was dumber than a box of hair.

Let's hope that those we call stupid (myself included) provide laughter - with, not at - and fond memories when looking back, rather than annoyance and frustration. Funny things make us happy, and happy people just don't shoot their husbands. They just don't.

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