Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 612273 times)

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scotcat

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Me (after a moment or two with Books in Print) I'm sorry, but that book is no longer in print.
Girl: Can't you get it?
Me: Uh, nope.  It's no longer in print.  You might be able to find it at a used bookstore like--

In the days before Amazon and ebay, we used to get yearly calls to the library I work in from people who were on a nursing course, asking where could they obtain  a particular book on laboratory practice, which was one of their set texts.I would tell them that was out of print and had been for years. One lady said she had even contacted the author, and he could not tell her where to get a copy. Finally, when the nth person said that it was on the reading list, I told her to tell the lecturer setting it that it was out of print, and to please stop recommending it. She must have, because we got no more calls.

caranfin

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And for those of you who work in retail... I'm sorry, but many stores do keep merchandise in "the back." Customers don't know who does this and who doesn't. Don't call them stupid for asking you if you have one in "the back," because at the last store they visited, someone said "Let me know if you don't see your size, and I'll check in the back."

I should have been more clear - these were customers who refused to believe me when I said, politely, that we kept nothing in the back room. After getting a few of these intractable souls, I learned to recognize the signs, and lied to them. They were happy, I was - well, not as annoyed, at least - and I could get on to the next customer.

It's certainly not rude to ask, politely - but if the clerk says there is no "back", please believe them.

No argument here!
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

caranfin

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Have you ever read the customer reviews of The Princess Bride on Amazon? I think you'd appreciate them.


:::opens a new Internet window to Amazon:::  ;D

ETA: :::snigger::: W. Goldman has abridged this classic by omitting over 100 pages of the original. If anyone has an available copy of the original by S. Morgenstern or knows somewhere to get it please email me!!! I would be much abliged. Thank You Very Much!

Oh, dear.   ::)

Well....at least they're reading books?   8)

I'm now crying for the future of humanity.  :'(

I hope some of them are joking.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

Lady Snowdon

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Okay, time to make myself look slightly stupid here.  I saw the movie "The Princess Bride" first, and then read the book.  I didn't realize that the comments about editing out portions and leaving out chapters were part of the story at first, so I did spend about a year looking for a copy by S. Morgenstern.  Even after I found out what the reality was, I always wished there was an actual book written by an S. Morgenstern.  Some of the stuff that's alluded to in "The Princess Bride" sounds fascinating!

Yarnspinner

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After lurking for over a year, this thread demanded that I add my impossible patron request.


There also was the mother who demanded that I get the recording of Abraham Lincoln giving his Gettysburg Address.  She knew it exsisted because she had watched a program on PBS about Lincoln and they played that recording!!  I tried to tell her that what she heard was a recording of an actor reading the Gettysburg Address; there were no recordings of Lincoln presenting the address because there was NO recording equipment in the 19th century.  Finally I told her to call the local PBS station and ask them about it!!  The program manager of the station was not happy with me!

Oi! What is with these people?  I think it was at Stupid Patron Tricks that I read about people complaining to librarians that the library carried videos of John F. Kennedy giving his acceptance speech, but not of George Washington and why didn't we have George Washington on videotape? 

A few years back a coworker rolled her eyes in exasperation while recounting the following tale: 

A woman came into the children's library and demanded (demanded!) a book with pictures of dinosaurs.  Co worker (department head) picked up several, new books and brought them to her.

Woman had a fit.  "These are illustrations!  I need pictures."

Cowowker said "Illustrations ARE pictures, ma'am."

"No," replied woman.  "You don't understand.  My son has to do a presentation on dinosaurs and he MUST have photographs of live dinosaurs."

My coworker explained nine ways to sunday that "Jurassic Park" was a special effects movie and the "dinosaurs" at a recent local exhbit were animatronics, but it didn't matter to the patron.  She needed photos of LIVE dinosaurs and it was clearly our fault for not getting with the time.  Methinks someone really could clean up by inventing real time travel.

hjaye

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After lurking for over a year, this thread demanded that I add my impossible patron request.


There also was the mother who demanded that I get the recording of Abraham Lincoln giving his Gettysburg Address.  She knew it exsisted because she had watched a program on PBS about Lincoln and they played that recording!!  I tried to tell her that what she heard was a recording of an actor reading the Gettysburg Address; there were no recordings of Lincoln presenting the address because there was NO recording equipment in the 19th century.  Finally I told her to call the local PBS station and ask them about it!!  The program manager of the station was not happy with me!

Oi! What is with these people?  I think it was at Stupid Patron Tricks that I read about people complaining to librarians that the library carried videos of John F. Kennedy giving his acceptance speech, but not of George Washington and why didn't we have George Washington on videotape? 

A few years back a coworker rolled her eyes in exasperation while recounting the following tale: 

A woman came into the children's library and demanded (demanded!) a book with pictures of dinosaurs.  Co worker (department head) picked up several, new books and brought them to her.

Woman had a fit.  "These are illustrations!  I need pictures."

Cowowker said "Illustrations ARE pictures, ma'am."

"No," replied woman.  "You don't understand.  My son has to do a presentation on dinosaurs and he MUST have photographs of live dinosaurs."

My coworker explained nine ways to sunday that "Jurassic Park" was a special effects movie and the "dinosaurs" at a recent local exhbit were animatronics, but it didn't matter to the patron.  She needed photos of LIVE dinosaurs and it was clearly our fault for not getting with the time.  Methinks someone really could clean up by inventing real time travel.

A few years ago, one of our local radio stations was giving away passess to a dinosaur exhibit.  One of the winners called to complain.  She was upset that they did not have real dinosaurs at the exhibit and therefore the whole exhibit was a ripoff.  And yes, she was dead serious.

Haltermare

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My favourite customer last spring was a lady who wanted her mare to become covered by a certain stallion. I told her it wouldn't be possible because he died last year, but offered her to look for one of his sons or - perhaps even more suiting for her mare - one of his nephews.

I know exactly what you mean... I am a breeding manager and I love phone calls where people want shipped semen and just expect you to send it.  Or breed their mare, in January, when she hasn't been under lights, and breeding season doesn't start until Feb.15th.  She also hasn't been palpated and they have no idea if she's even cycling.
It is just basic biology- if she isn't ovulating, she WILL NOT settle. ::)
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2littlemonkeys

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I work in advertising.  I'm a mere administrative assisant.    :D

I think I was on the job for about 5 minutes when the client left me a VM with this request:

"Hi!  You must be 2LM.  Nice to meet you!  Anyway, I was watching some show last night and our company was mentioned as kind of a riff.  Can you find it for me, put it on a DVD and send it for first overnight?  I need it ASAP.  That would be great.  Thanks!"

I would LOVE to but I need a few minor details.  Like the name of the show.  And what time it aired.  (the service we use for such requests charges for the amount of time spent looking for the program, so if you know when it aired, it's much cheaper.)  Otherwise, I got nothing.

Then I used to work for a supervisor who thought I was in charge of the FAA.  She would ask me to arrange flights for her that simply didn't exist and when I informed her of this fact, she'd say "Well, I really don't know what to tell you."  In the end, she'd pick a flight that actually existed but she made it very difficult and stressful.

Twik

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Woman had a fit.  "These are illustrations!  I need pictures."

Cowowker said "Illustrations ARE pictures, ma'am."

"No," replied woman.  "You don't understand.  My son has to do a presentation on dinosaurs and he MUST have photographs of live dinosaurs."


Now, there IS a dinosaur illustrator, I believe his name is John Gurche, who specializes in "photorealistic" pictures of dinosaurs. Maybe you could have passed off one of his as a "caught live in the field" photo?
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

magiccat26

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The most frustrating one for me was at my old company.  For a little background, understand that our CEO was my boss and that the man was used to everyone catering to him.

So, the date is 9/11/01.  CEO was at a Meeting IN THE MIAMI AIRPORT Miami when the towers fell with a meeting in Atlanta the next day.

CEO:  Magiccat, I need you to find out what's going on with my flight.  This lady at the counter says all the flights are cancelled.
Me:  Sir, terrorists have attacked the United States and flown planes into buildings.  They have grounded all flights until further notice.
CEO:  Well, I have a very important meeting in Atlanta.  I need to get a flight.  See if you can find another one for me.
Me:  Sir, with all due respect...no planes are flying in the near future.
CEO:  You're not listening.  I have to be in Atlanta.  Find me a flight.
Me:  Sir, have you been watching the news?  Due to terrorists attacking our country using airplanes as their weapon, all flights have been grounded.  No one is getting on an airplane today.
CEO:  Well, that's unaccpectable.  We can't just grind to a halt, I have a business to run.
Me:  ( ::))  Sir, how about I try to get you a rental car and you can drive...it might be a challenge as I bet everyone else is renting cars too.
CEO:  You get on that!  I need to be at that meeting tomorrow!

Needless to say, he did NOT get a flight that day...he didn't even get a rental car, because they were all gone.  We ended up having one of our employees in Miami DRIVE him to Atlanta and paid her for milage.

Some things and people are just impossible.
“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” — Catherine Aird

caranfin

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CEO:  Well, I have a very important meeting in Atlanta.  I need to get a flight.  See if you can find another one for me.
Me:  Sir, with all due respect...no planes are flying in the near future.
CEO:  You're not listening.  I have to be in Atlanta.  Find me a flight.

EvilCaranfin would have called him back and said "Sir, I was able to get you on a flight, but due to extra security, you're going to have to use a code word to get on. When you get to the airport, find a security officer and say "Praise Bin Laden. Death to America."

But then, EvilCaranfin is always updating her resume...
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

MyFamily

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The most frustrating one for me was at my old company.  For a little background, understand that our CEO was my boss and that the man was used to everyone catering to him.

So, the date is 9/11/01.  CEO was at a Meeting IN THE MIAMI AIRPORT Miami when the towers fell with a meeting in Atlanta the next day.

CEO:  Magiccat, I need you to find out what's going on with my flight.  This lady at the counter says all the flights are cancelled.
Me:  Sir, terrorists have attacked the United States and flown planes into buildings.  They have grounded all flights until further notice.
CEO:  Well, I have a very important meeting in Atlanta.  I need to get a flight.  See if you can find another one for me.
Me:  Sir, with all due respect...no planes are flying in the near future.
CEO:  You're not listening.  I have to be in Atlanta.  Find me a flight.
Me:  Sir, have you been watching the news?  Due to terrorists attacking our country using airplanes as their weapon, all flights have been grounded.  No one is getting on an airplane today.
CEO:  Well, that's unaccpectable.  We can't just grind to a halt, I have a business to run.
Me:  ( ::))  Sir, how about I try to get you a rental car and you can drive...it might be a challenge as I bet everyone else is renting cars too.
CEO:  You get on that!  I need to be at that meeting tomorrow!

Needless to say, he did NOT get a flight that day...he didn't even get a rental car, because they were all gone.  We ended up having one of our employees in Miami DRIVE him to Atlanta and paid her for milage.

Some things and people are just impossible.

Wow! And I thought some of these stories were bad, but this is just an example of pure, simple self-centered stupidity.


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

Yvaine

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One of my jobs is as an administrative assistant in an academic department. A few years ago, we had a power outage in my building during a rainstorm. I was sitting at my desk in the semidark sorting the mail, when lo and behold, along come a small group of students. Convo went something like this:

Students: Can we use the copier?
Me: Sorry, our power is out, so it's not working.
Students: When is the power coming back on?
Me: .......I guess when the city fixes whatever got messed up?
Students: But we need to make cooooooopies!
Me: Sorry, but without the power on...Actually, now that I think of it, I was just over at OtherBuilding, and their power was on. You could go over there.
Students: But that copier costs money, and besides, class starts in five minutes!
 ::) ::) ::)


purplemuse

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I used to work for Colonel Sanders in a store in Canada.  We did not sell mashed potatoes.

Customer interactions generally went one of two ways:

#1
Customer:  I'd like blah, blah, a large mashed potatoes...
Me:  I'm sorry, we don't sell mashed potatoes here.
C:  You don't sell mashed potatoes?
M:  No.
C:  No mashed potatoes at all?
M:  No.
C:  You really don't have any mashed potatoes?
Repeat ad nauseum

#2
Customer:  I'd like blah, blah, a large mashed potatoes...
Me:  I'm sorry, we don't sell mashed potatoes here.
C:  Why don't you have any mashed potatoes?
M:  I guess they don't sell well here, so we don't have them.
C:  Well, what am I supposed to do now?  I expected you would have mashed potatoes!
M:  We have fries, coleslaw, macaroni salad, and potato salad for sides.
C:  I wanted mashed potatoes!
M:  I'm sorry, we don't have them here.
C:  I can't believe you don't have mashed potatoes!

I never actually said this to a customer, but evilmuse often lobbied for me to respond with:  "Well, I suppose I could smush up some french fries for you..."
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 12:45:27 PM by purplemuse »

elephantschild

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I work at a morning newspaper. The pages are sent to the press about 2 a.m. in the morning and the paper is shipped out several hours later. Yet we still get calls like this:

This is about 10 a.m.
Person: Hi, I need to get a brief in the paper about X event.
Co-worker: OK, you can fax or e-mail it to us, or give me the details now. When is it?
Person: 6 p.m. tonight
Co-worker: ??? Um, we can't get it in the paper, the paper is done already.
Person: You can't just wedge it in someplace? It doesn't matter where it is.
Co-worker: No, the paper is done and printed. It's on the stands and being delivered to homes already.
Person: You can't call it back and just get this in for me?
Co-worker: !!??

And then there are the conversations I've had with otherwise intelligent editors who just don't understand basic space issues.

Editor: OK, we need to put the XYZ story on 6A.
Me (checking since that reporter is notorious for writing epics): Um, well, it looks like that story is about 40 inches and there's art, right? There are a ton of ads on 6A and I'd say there's about 20 inches, tops.
(The editors do have the print-outs that show the spacing.)
Editor: Well, it needs to go there, there's nowhere else to put it.
Me: OK, then it's going to need to be cut quite a bit, and we can't run the art.
Editor: No, it's a really good story and the art's great.
Me: OK, but it won't fit there if it's not cut.
Editor: Can't you just squeeze it in?
Me: ?!? No. (Not if you want it to be legible, anyway ...  ::))

I've had experience on both sides, so I probably understand this better than most .. but really ...
"But there was one Elephant -- a new Elephant -- an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions."
-- "Just So Stories," Rudyard Kipling