Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 610189 times)

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NutMeg

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Our librarian encountered what I can only hope was a once in a career request yesterday.

She was asked to provide a book that proves the world is round. Seems the patron thought the Shuttle disaster was a cover-up to keep the mission from discovering it's really flat. Why the patron waited ten (or twenty-seven?) years to look into this, or what she thought all the other hundred-plus shuttle missions were up to, were not part of the reference interview. Pity.

Needless to say, this was not actually an impossible request, but it also wasn't as simple as you might think. Leaving aside the patron's skepticism, my library doesn't stock Basic Knowledge For Basic Nitwits. The vast majority of books assume a certain minimum level of knowledge. The librarian managed to satisfy the patron, though, at least for the moment.

Seriously, though, a Flat-Earther. In Oregon. In 2013. I am simultaneously proud and ashamed to be an American.

They have their own webpage and forum.  There are actually a few entertaining reads in there in terms of ridiculously convoluted conspiracy theories and utterly daffy "science".

I LOVE that forum. However I am relatively sure a substantial portion of them are just trolls. Still entertaining though.
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PastryGoddess

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Our librarian encountered what I can only hope was a once in a career request yesterday.

She was asked to provide a book that proves the world is round. Seems the patron thought the Shuttle disaster was a cover-up to keep the mission from discovering it's really flat. Why the patron waited ten (or twenty-seven?) years to look into this, or what she thought all the other hundred-plus shuttle missions were up to, were not part of the reference interview. Pity.

Needless to say, this was not actually an impossible request, but it also wasn't as simple as you might think. Leaving aside the patron's skepticism, my library doesn't stock Basic Knowledge For Basic Nitwits. The vast majority of books assume a certain minimum level of knowledge. The librarian managed to satisfy the patron, though, at least for the moment.

Seriously, though, a Flat-Earther. In Oregon. In 2013. I am simultaneously proud and ashamed to be an American.

Google is both wonderful and terrifying all at the same time.  I believe this needs to go into the brain hurty thread for sure.
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mbbored

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In the class I'm TAing, the students have been assigned to do a critique of a recent scientific journal article.

One student emailed me to say that she didn't feel she could adequately critique the paper's statistical section since they only cited one textbook. Could I email the authors, ask them to do further literature research and pass any additional information they provide me on to her by tomorrow morning?

bloo

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In the class I'm TAing, the students have been assigned to do a critique of a recent scientific journal article.

One student emailed me to say that she didn't feel she could adequately critique the paper's statistical section since they only cited one textbook. Could I email the authors, ask them to do further literature research and pass any additional information they provide me on to her by tomorrow morning?

I'm dying to know how you replied to Her Royal Highness?

mbbored

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In the class I'm TAing, the students have been assigned to do a critique of a recent scientific journal article.

One student emailed me to say that she didn't feel she could adequately critique the paper's statistical section since they only cited one textbook. Could I email the authors, ask them to do further literature research and pass any additional information they provide me on to her by tomorrow morning?

I'm dying to know how you replied to Her Royal Highness?

I didn't. I set a policy that I can't guarantee an answer to an email sent after 5 o'clock and any email response on the weekend would be hit or miss.

Jocelyn

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That's another thing- I'm always amazed by students emailing me in the middle of the night, or on weekends, wanting a response before the next working day. Just because you're up at 1 am doesn't mean I am!

Carotte

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That's another thing- I'm always amazed by students emailing me in the middle of the night, or on weekends, wanting a response before the next working day. Just because you're up at 1 am doesn't mean I am!

when I was in school (for a master degree) that was what the staff and teachers used to do. Tell us about a 'field trip' or assignment/thing to bring less than 24h (I should say 8h!) in advance... The best was sending the info (time/location) of say the museum visit at 10am for the afternoon. You know, when students have been in class since 9am and unless they have a smartphone or a laptop and use them in class there's no way they'll know about it untill the end of the day...  (and when you weren't even sure there was a visit or where).  >:(

darling

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That's another thing- I'm always amazed by students emailing me in the middle of the night, or on weekends, wanting a response before the next working day. Just because you're up at 1 am doesn't mean I am!

Yep, I get that a lot. Bonus points if they email you on a Sunday, during a snowstorm, wanting you to come to campus to fix something, then freak out when you don't!

mmswm

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That's another thing- I'm always amazed by students emailing me in the middle of the night, or on weekends, wanting a response before the next working day. Just because you're up at 1 am doesn't mean I am!

Yep, I get that a lot. Bonus points if they email you on a Sunday, during a snowstorm, wanting you to come to campus to fix something, then freak out when you don't!

Bonus points also awarded when they freak out because you refuse to meet them in the dorm lobby during a hurricane, when they really should have been in the designated storm shelters and the police have issued a no travel advisory and are getting really cranky with non-emergency-vehicle traffic on the roads.

Yarnspinner

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And again, let me just go break out my Elder Wand.....

"I need to print out a plane ticket for myself from my wife's email, but I don't know her email or what her password is."

Haddock Magnet

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I work for my county's school library service - a large library whose only clients are the local schools.

At the end of every school term, we run a topic request service, where teachers will email us requests for a box of books to support the subjects they will be teaching during the next term. We probably get around a thousand requests a time.

Typically, 'topic boxes' contain about 20 or so books on any particular aspect of the national curriculum, such as various aspects of history (WW2, Egyptians, Romans, etc), though some of the things requested can get pretty... unusual, and there are one or two that could well qualify here.

Today, however, one of my colleagues found this gem at the end of what had been a perfectly reasonable request;
"... and that book with the title we forgot"
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kherbert05

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I work for my county's school library service - a large library whose only clients are the local schools.

At the end of every school term, we run a topic request service, where teachers will email us requests for a box of books to support the subjects they will be teaching during the next term. We probably get around a thousand requests a time.

Typically, 'topic boxes' contain about 20 or so books on any particular aspect of the national curriculum, such as various aspects of history (WW2, Egyptians, Romans, etc), though some of the things requested can get pretty... unusual, and there are one or two that could well qualify here.

Today, however, one of my colleagues found this gem at the end of what had been a perfectly reasonable request;
"... and that book with the title we forgot"
I would assume that the list was drawn up by a group of teachers. The note at the bottom was for them to try and find the title of the book and they forgot about it being there when they sent the list in.
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Frog24

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My favorite impossible request -

Them: 'Hi, I need you to walk me through task on the computer.'
Me: 'Okay, do ____ and tell me what you see on the screen'
Them: 'Oh, I'm not at my computer/home/etc....'
Me: :::headdesk:::

LOL!  Yes, I used to have that client too, when I worked phone support.

Me: Hi, Company Name, Frog speaking.
Client: Hi, Frog, this is client.... my computer's not working again. I can't get into my database.
(I knew the client by her voice, and knew this would be good.)
Me: Okay, let's walk through this.  Are you at the computer now?
(With this client I knew to ALWAYS ask this question)
Client: No, I'm in the bath tub. But here's the problem. (She explains the problem.)  And it didn't do any of that before my electrician worked on my computer.
Me: You let your electrician work on your computer?!!
Client: Yes, he saw the movie "Pay it Forward" and now troubleshoots my computer for me for free.
Me: *face palm*  *headdesk*

Katana_Geldar

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Had a SS student trying to convince me to make an exception for her, because she had homework, and let her take a closed reserve textbook home. Some of them still think they can take them to class, and I have to watch them as they walk away as the alarm doesn't always go off.

nutraxfornerves

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From Customers Suck Hot Quiz, Pop Shot!

The OP has no language issues that I can see, but I can't vouch for subsequent posts.

Argabarga, the poster, works for a garage/towing company. A search for posts by him will yield a treasure trove of SS, brain hurts, and just plain not firing on all cylinders.

Nutrax
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