Remember the gentle brontosaurus article from way back? I just had a teen try it on me, I think, though I am sure he didn't KNOW that was what he was doing.
We sell earbuds for a dollar for patrons to use on the computers so their love of the loud and shriek will not disturb others around them. (Mostly that's just us librarians who can't hear ourselves think otherwise.) Keep in mind, these are cheap-o ear buds. One dollar. If I understood my supervisor correctly, we don't even sell these at cost, we sell them below. These also go in your ears. Once you have used them, I am pretty sure no one else wants them. I know *I* don't.
And yet.....a young man wanted us to let him borrow headphones. I smiled gently and said we don't loan headphones, we sell earbuds. No, he said, I want the headphones. Sorry, I said, we don't have headphones. We sell earbuds.
I just want to borrow them.
You can't just borrow them, they cost a dollar and you get to keep them forever.
I want to borrow headphones.
We. Don't. Have. Headphones.
And then....he stood at my desk. And continued to stare at me. And stare.\
Because, you know, that will magically cause headphones to grow in the drawer and I will open the drawer and---whoosh!--they will shoot out just like a beanstalk.
Except that didn't happen, of course and he finally walked away calling me a name under his breath. Because, you know, I'm a mean hater.
And while I am feeling crabby.....to access the computer, you type your library card number in where the screen says "patron". Why does each and every patron point to their library card number (a series of twelve numbers) and ask me "Which one of these numbers do I type in?" OR they point to the front of the card, where the library's street address is indicated and as if the street number is what they type in.
I realize not everyone understands the concept, that if you are from another country, you are going to have trouble, but we are talking about literate adults who were raised speaking English.