Monday, April 20, 2015

Not saying

I like it when people at the front desk of the library are impressed:

"Uh, I'm looking for that book by that author. I forgot the author's name."

"Patty Janes House of Curl?" I inquire on a hunch.

"How did you know that!???!!!???" They exclaim.

But that's not usually how they respond.

"Patty Janes House of Curl? Yes, that's it. Do you have a copy?"

I thought it was a pretty good magic trick, but, okay, I can take neutral. I just don't like it when the expectations are too low, when the meaning of my knowledge is misread.

"I want to know if you have a book called Redshirts." A patron says to me as I sit at the front desk.

"By John Scalzi? Yeah, sure, I'll see if we have a copy checked in."

"You know John Scalzi? I guess he's a lot more popular than I thought."

"No, he isn't." I don't reply. "I just work at a library. I'm just reasonably knowledgeable about books!"

Or there's the man who came in tonight. "I'm looking for a couple documentaries by a man named KEN BURNS." He says the name slowly and carefully like he might say "DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?" And he might as well be saying exactly that.

"No." I don't say. "I have no idea who this exotic, unfamous person is you're talking about. Besides, we're a library. We only check out books."

For a talkative person sometimes I find I don't say much.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.