Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I'm no stranger to little kids having no patience for waiting and barging into someone else's High Quality Reference Interaction™. It's part of growing up, I guess, and with any luck the kid won't be scarred too much by the experience. Though I do hope the kid will actually learn the lesson, or else they might turn into the kind of patron I had today. I was in the middle of one of my HQRI™s trying to find a book for a very nice patron, and a man I had previously helped walked up to the desk. I probably should have ignored him, but I like to acknowledge everyone who wanders by. As soon as I looked at him he held up his Food Handler's Permit that I had helped him print a few minutes before. "You got scissors?" he demanded. So what do you do? Do you stop your little interview so that you can satisfy the line crasher? I told him that I'd be right with him and returned to the patron I had been helping and started in on her search again. "I need scissors," he said stridently, waving his permit sheet.
"Hang on," I said in a tone that I hoped was firm but not unkind. I really wanted to find the book the other patron was looking for. He said something like "I need scissors" every six or seven seconds until my concentration and willpower collapsed. In a sort of snippy compromise I fished around in the drawer without looking at the scissors or the lout, found them (the scissors, not the lout) and held them up in his general direction. He took them and I went back to the HQRI™, which was losing all of its H and probably some of its Q.
The kicker, of course, was having to go look for the scissors later and finding them and a piece of paper with two Oregon Food Handler's Permit-size holes in it at a table not far from the desk.

No comments: