Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Unsolvable problems


A library patron came to me at the front desk of my library and told me "The lights at the end of the fiction section seating kept turning off on us."

I set aside my first thought, which was to wonder why the person had walked by the main reference desk and traveled the greatest distance of our entire library in order to inform me of this. Then I immediately began to run down the lighting system in my library. "In an act of technological hubris," I began "We installed a complex array of smart lighting, which has created lights that turn off and on according to a fantastical set of circumstances that exist purely in the minuscule imagination of a series of uncontrollable, entirely autonomous lightbulbs."

The patron looked at me blankly.

So I added, "I will talk to the property management people about this annoying problem." 

They were reluctantly mollified.

So I did not add, "And they will be even less helpful to me than I have just been to you."


  1. You do know why the patron walked past the librarians to find you, don't you?

    1. I hardly wanted to presume... I thought it would be more delicate if I let you infer.

      Nevertheless, I have some theories...


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