Friday, December 18, 2009
My favorite questions
A patron just came up to me and asked very seriously, "Do you know anything about words?"
I just stared and waited.
She stared back.
I could only stammer out, "Words?..."
I do know about words. I know lots of words, too. And about a lot of them. Definitions, spellings, and hey, whatever I don't know, I can look up right here on my computer.
I didn't say any of that, but we're staring each other down high-noon-style, willing the other to stop acting crazy and know what they're talking about.
She said, "Yeah, on the computer? Words?"
And I said, "Oh, yeah, I know about Microsoft Word?" That sentence ended as a question, because it felt more polite somehow. "Is that what you're working with?"
We changed her page from portrait to landscape and then the world went back to normal.
*Just as a note, in case you think I'm a bad librarian for dumbly repeating back questions to patrons instead of asking them for more information: I only do that if I'm really caught off guard.
Most of the time I can jump right into a quest for more information. For instance, when a patron called on the phone today and said to me, "I'd like to know the protein difference between a McDonald's hamburger and one from Burger King" I smoothly jumped right into a serious consideration of this crazy question while bringing up Google and hoping like crazy that the internets would know. Without missing a beat I said, "Oh, you know I bet that would have to do with the size of the patty," thinking that I could look up the weight of the hamburger patties somehow.
I was only a little nonplussed when I realized it was my brother-in-law, Doug, messing with me. But I do have to say I was proud of the way I just glossed right over the crazy and jumped right into trying to figure it out.
Don't any of you get any ideas! I don't want to keep getting crazy prank-calls from family members. I can only handle so much crazy every day and there is plenty of it to go around already. I have to deal with really hard questions about words n' stuff.