Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 679999 times)

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gingerzing

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My favorite story from my mother when she worked in the public library of my hometown. 

A woman walked in and approached Mother to help find a book.  Okay, that is what librarians do. 
"I want the complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe"
<Insert my mother sniggering a bit until she realized that the woman was serious and getting annoyed>  "You want what?"
"Like I said, the Complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe."

It took Mother about 10 minutes to explain why that wasn't going to work.  She could either get Shakespeare or Poe.  But otherwise - Wrong centuries, wrong styles, wrong sides of the ocean...  The woman kept getting angrier and demanded another librarian.  Then got angry when that librarian told her the same thing.  "Here is Shakespeare and here is Poe" 

That and the gal who came in to pick up a book from her high school English list.  "I need a book.  Don't know the title but it is by some dead Greek guy."   :o

There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

Unless Poe did some fancy time-travel and could swim really well.  LOL

kherbert05

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My favorite story from my mother when she worked in the public library of my hometown. 

A woman walked in and approached Mother to help find a book.  Okay, that is what librarians do. 
"I want the complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe"
<Insert my mother sniggering a bit until she realized that the woman was serious and getting annoyed>  "You want what?"
"Like I said, the Complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe."

It took Mother about 10 minutes to explain why that wasn't going to work.  She could either get Shakespeare or Poe.  But otherwise - Wrong centuries, wrong styles, wrong sides of the ocean...  The woman kept getting angrier and demanded another librarian.  Then got angry when that librarian told her the same thing.  "Here is Shakespeare and here is Poe" 

That and the gal who came in to pick up a book from her high school English list.  "I need a book.  Don't know the title but it is by some dead Greek guy."   :o
Similar but inverted. I was looking for an edition of I Robot with a forward by Harlen Elisson. The lady at the book store kept telling me I Robot was written by Isaac Asimov. So I would say, I kno Isaac Asimove wrote I Robot but I want the edition with the special forward by Harlen Ellison. Finally another employee heard and showed her the edition I wanted to order.


Another time I was in the book store and heard this poor girl arguing that Prince Edward Island was a real place. Her adult and the book store employee kept saying it was made up by L.M. Montgomery. So I picked up an atlas from the reference section found a map on the east coast of Canada and took it over to them. I said excuse me ladies but I think you should see this and showed them the map. I have to give them credit - they apologized to the girl. Then I took a snapshot of Sis, our cousins, and me on a red sand beach with the red clay cliffs behind us - and asked the girl if she wanted to see the red soil of PEI. (PEI has both red sand and white sand beaches. The water at the red sand beaches is warmer than the white sand).
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

PeterM

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There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.

thedudeabides

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There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.

*slow clap*

PastryGoddess

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There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.

You may have just won the internet for the week.

Elfmama

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There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.
But then who is buried up in Baltimore in Poe's grave?
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Black Delphinium

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There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.
But then who is buried up in Baltimore in Poe's grave?
Jack the Ripper's final victim. He is the Poe Toaster.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

Petticoats

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There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.
But then who is buried up in Baltimore in Poe's grave?

Jimmy Hoffa?

jedikaiti

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There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.
But then who is buried up in Baltimore in Poe's grave?

Jimmy Hoffa?

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What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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PastryGoddess

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There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.
But then who is buried up in Baltimore in Poe's grave?

Jimmy Hoffa?

Judge Crater
snerk!

Bluenomi

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A client today was told he couldn't have footage from 25 years ago because it doesn't exist. He thinks it should so wants me to get it for him. Apparently it not existing is not a good enough excuse to not provide it. Sadly this happens a lot.

eltf177

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Nice try, PeterM, but everyone knows Jack the Ripper was kidnapped by the Vorlons...

MariaE

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Nice try, PeterM, but everyone knows Jack the Ripper was kidnapped by the Vorlons...

.... For a minute there I thought you'd written "Vogons"...
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

poundcake

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My eyes are crossing.  I have written about this patron elsewhere, but I think I have to unload the whole tale here before I lose what little is left of my mind.

Bert is a nice guy, but he is obsessive to the point of madness.  He is very interested in the history of Our City and does a lot of research on it.  That's fine. He is also African American which isn't actually important, but does add a twist to this tale.

Unfortunately, he does not research his other obsession, which is proving that before Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office, Herbert Hoover had desegregated the army, Jim Crow did not exist, racism did not exist, everyone got on well in some sort of multicultural utopia, there was happy intermarriage, AND the Depression never happened (Roosevelt invented it to discredit Hoover), college was free to all as were hospitals.  No one went hungry, there were no food lines and....everyone lived in a paradise where no one had to work, etc., etc....

His "proof" are the speeches of Herbert Hoover.  Period.

At first we tried to engage the crazy and explain what real evidence is.  We tried to explain, light heartedly, that a speech given by someone seeking reelection is not evidence and, frankly, that the speeches of pretty much EVERY president since Washington sound an awful lot a like...everything is raining puppies and unicorns cavort about sneezing up rainbows. 

We might as well talk to ourselves as he comes back day after day demanding more and more proof about his belief of the 1930s utopia.  He will stand at our desk and read from the speeches to back up whatever point he is making.  Interesting fact:  both his parents grew up during the Depression, but apparently they are part of the conspiracy to suppress this information.

I said one day "So, my Grandmother was lying about having to take in washing to make ends meet?" and "Medical care was free?  Boy, Gramma got taken for a ride since she and Grampa had to PAY the hospital and the doctor with real cash money when my Uncle was born."  And "Bert, are you calling my Grandmother a liar?"  And he just chuckles and keeps arguing his point.

It has reached a place where we cannot make him go away as he is determined to "open our eyes" to the truth of our current situation.  No matter what information we are able to find for him, he dismisses it, no matter the slant is right left or center...it's all a conspiracy and we have to produce information to prove this consipiracy.

I finally told him that I wanted to stay friends and that he was frustrating that aim and that if he wanted to ask me for help on any other topic, I would help, but if he mentioned Hoover and Roosevelt, I would walk away.  He's been good about not asking me for proof of his theories, but it's still a drain on our time and energy.  Today my colleagues and I were calling each other in order to free up whoever Bert was holding hostage at the time.

I've asked my supervisor if we may start instituting a five minute rule for chatting and slightly delusional people. 

I'm sure this sounds silly and not that big a deal, but this has been going on for six months and daily it becomes more oppressive, especially since we have to deal with multiple versions of Bert embodied in other patrons.

I wonder if this guy read a little something about Reconstruction, pre-Jim Crow? That's not to say he's not incorrect, and probably off his rocker, too. But there was a time in history after the Civil War and before the KKK and lynchings where things were surprisingly progressive in America for blacks.

Hmmmmm

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My eyes are crossing.  I have written about this patron elsewhere, but I think I have to unload the whole tale here before I lose what little is left of my mind.

Bert is a nice guy, but he is obsessive to the point of madness.  He is very interested in the history of Our City and does a lot of research on it.  That's fine. He is also African American which isn't actually important, but does add a twist to this tale.

Unfortunately, he does not research his other obsession, which is proving that before Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office, Herbert Hoover had desegregated the army, Jim Crow did not exist, racism did not exist, everyone got on well in some sort of multicultural utopia, there was happy intermarriage, AND the Depression never happened (Roosevelt invented it to discredit Hoover), college was free to all as were hospitals.  No one went hungry, there were no food lines and....everyone lived in a paradise where no one had to work, etc., etc....

His "proof" are the speeches of Herbert Hoover.  Period.

At first we tried to engage the crazy and explain what real evidence is.  We tried to explain, light heartedly, that a speech given by someone seeking reelection is not evidence and, frankly, that the speeches of pretty much EVERY president since Washington sound an awful lot a like...everything is raining puppies and unicorns cavort about sneezing up rainbows. 

We might as well talk to ourselves as he comes back day after day demanding more and more proof about his belief of the 1930s utopia.  He will stand at our desk and read from the speeches to back up whatever point he is making.  Interesting fact:  both his parents grew up during the Depression, but apparently they are part of the conspiracy to suppress this information.

I said one day "So, my Grandmother was lying about having to take in washing to make ends meet?" and "Medical care was free?  Boy, Gramma got taken for a ride since she and Grampa had to PAY the hospital and the doctor with real cash money when my Uncle was born."  And "Bert, are you calling my Grandmother a liar?"  And he just chuckles and keeps arguing his point.

It has reached a place where we cannot make him go away as he is determined to "open our eyes" to the truth of our current situation.  No matter what information we are able to find for him, he dismisses it, no matter the slant is right left or center...it's all a conspiracy and we have to produce information to prove this consipiracy.

I finally told him that I wanted to stay friends and that he was frustrating that aim and that if he wanted to ask me for help on any other topic, I would help, but if he mentioned Hoover and Roosevelt, I would walk away.  He's been good about not asking me for proof of his theories, but it's still a drain on our time and energy.  Today my colleagues and I were calling each other in order to free up whoever Bert was holding hostage at the time.

I've asked my supervisor if we may start instituting a five minute rule for chatting and slightly delusional people. 

I'm sure this sounds silly and not that big a deal, but this has been going on for six months and daily it becomes more oppressive, especially since we have to deal with multiple versions of Bert embodied in other patrons.

I've honestly never used a librarian to do research for me. I've asked for assistance in locating specific books or recommending books on specific topics but not to actually find information to validate my point. So I'm asking this question as a novice.

Can you just not say "We have no data that supports that theory. Sorry. Next." and if he goes into a rant about his point, keep a blank look, wait for him to take a breath and say "I don't follow your theory. May I help the next person?" I can't imagine trying to reason with this person and trying to convince them they are wrong.