Sunday, November 29, 2009

I should write this one thousand times


Longhand. In blood. My blood. From a self-inflicted wound.

A patron, armed with laptop, enlisted me in the quixotic quest to find the document she had just spent an hour (or maybe it was two, yes definitely two--or three) typing. I should have said that I could not help her, but it seemed like it would be, if not a no-brainer, then maybe a half-brainer. Pop into Word, look at the Recent Documents, life is fine. It was a no-brainer alright, but only in the sense that I wanted to blow my brains out at the end. By now I should know this: as soon as you touch somebody's computer, any problem, even ones that were already there, are a) your fault, b) done deliberately out of a feeling of malice and hatred, and c) your obligation to remedy to the owner's satisfaction even if the remedy takes vast amounts of time and violates various laws (civil, criminal, physical). I never find myself thinking "I need a drink," but the thought did occur this time.


shushie said...

It is things like this that make me glad my library has a built in "no touchy" policy for us staff when it comes to the public's own laptops.

Dances With Keyboards said...

I've given up on this one. A few years back, a woman called to let me know that her computer had been working JUST FINE until she went to the library to download a copy of AOL 9.0. When she took it home and installed it, she could no longer go online. She argued that this was the library's problem because that's where she downloaded the file. "Why don't you call AOL?" "Because they might charge me for the help."