Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stupid questions are exhausting.

I'm sure everyone has had this conversation, but I've got to share it.

Me: You know your items are a day overdue.

Student: Really? When were they due?

Me: Uh...yesterday.
Whoever said there are no stupid questions has never worked a public service desk. I hate when I get a question so stupid that for a second, I don't know how to answer. I have to quickly review the conversation up to that point and make sure that yes, the question really is that stupid. Then I have to quickly vet my response in my head to make sure that it isn't sardonic, sarcastic, or just plain rude. I have to school my features into the blankest expression possible and refrain from rolling my eyes. I remind myself that I can't touch the student no matter how desperately he needs a Gibbs style smack to the head. And I have to maintain this composure until the student leaves the area or I do.

Stupid questions are exhausting.



Anonymous Edward said...

Vampire Librarian post and an NCIS reference. Day has been made!

1:10 AM, March 26, 2009  
Anonymous HoustonLibrarian said...

The variation I have of that is having to explain the difference between 'can't' and 'won't' to people

'I am sorry you printed the wrong thing and used up your money. But I have neither the means to add money to your card nor the cash to reimburse you. I'm not say I won't help you with this but that I *can't* help you."

Of course, I also find myself thinking "why should my institution have to pay for your mistakes, but that's another story altogether"

7:54 AM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger JamiSings said...

Ever see the movie Clerks? You know that scene where Dante and Randal talk about their stupid customers and it's all questions like "How much is this" or "Where are the new movies" and each time the price or movies are right behind them? That's very much what life at my library is like.

And I just "love" the people who think they shouldn't have to pay their fines because they returned the item. Yeah, a MONTH past the due date!

I sometimes think of quiting my job and having libraries hire me as a fake patron who'll yell at other patrons who are being stupid.

10:37 AM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Barb said...

My all time favorite: "Do you have any books?"

Asked, not at the entrance of the Library, but at a service desk that is reached by walking through the entire first floor down the stairs.

12:17 PM, March 26, 2009  
Anonymous Dances With Books said...

And unfortunately, in the words of Ron White, "You can't fix stupid!" So we are pretty much stuck with those folks.

12:48 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger JamiSings said...

All I can say is the website is a total God-send. Because it shows we're not the only ones dealing with idiots!

8:23 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. :-)

9:19 PM, March 26, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing I always think about with stupid people it that "these are the people who can FIND the Library and then CHOOSE to come on in" that part always makes me both sad and a little giggly.

4:33 PM, April 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I'm a primary school librarian from Singapore. I stumbled on it by accident whilst taking abreak at work. Your blog is hilarious.

your wry observations make me smile (smirk?). thanks!

Canberra Primary, Singapore

2:19 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...


Welcome to my little corner of the internets! Glad you're enjoying the site!

11:47 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Chrysalis said...


2:37 PM, July 17, 2009  

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