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Poking idiots in the eye since 2002
...it's mocktacular!
Tales of a Librarian 
2nd-Feb-2008 06:55 pm
I tell you, college librarians hear and see the stupidest stuff. Mostly it results from lazy people wanting to either get away with something, or get you to do everything for them. I've worked at three different university libraries, and here are some of my favorites:

Student from Anonymous Georgia University #1: So, how do I sit at a computer?

Student #1 from Anonymous Georgia University #2: I don't have my ID, can I get in the computer lab anyway?
Me: No Ma'am. You have to have an ID to gain entrance.
Student: Oh come on! Just this once?
Me: No Ma'am. It's university policy.
Student (who pulls ID card OUT OF HER BACK POCKET): I think it's so stupid that we have to do this.
(Employers, take note. This one graduates in a year, I think)

Student #2 from Anonymous Georgia University #2 walks past large sign that clearly states "NO FOOD OR DRINK" with open water bottle in tow.
Me: Sir, you are not allowed to have any drinks back there.
Student: But water isn't a drink.
(the future is coming folks...*sigh*)

Student from Anonymous Virginia University: How much does it cost to check out books?
Me: Unless you have a fine on your record, it doesn't cost a thing.
Student: So it's free?
(*headdesk*)
Comments 
10th-Feb-2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
I worked at a university library my freshman year. As my job was to sit at the reference desk and answer questions, my brain overloaded from stupidity on a weekly basis. I feel your pain.
10th-Feb-2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
Well, to be fair, a lot of places don't allow food/drink but do allow water, on the basis that it doesn't make anything sticky after it dries, unlike Coke/juice. But it does ruin electronics good, so I see that side too.

The first one was a special specimen.
11th-Feb-2008 11:19 am (UTC)
But books do not enjoy even water.
10th-Feb-2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Firstly, I am not attempting to defend, but merely theorize, the case of water not being a drink.

My school has signs on every room (except the cafeteria) that state "Absolutely No Food Or Drinks", but both faculty and admin give a wink at water being brought in, because it won't stain carpeting or woodwork. I understand that the cleanliness factor was the main reason why the signs were put up in the first place.

So, perhaps Student #2 from AGA #2 was just used to the double standard?
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10th-Feb-2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Ahaha. I can so relate to the second one. I'm an RA in freshman housing, and when we are writing people up (mostly for alcohol), we HAVE to get some kind of picture ID from them or we call the police. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a room, asked for everyone's IDs, and at least one or two have said, "Oh, I don't have mine." As soon as I say, "Okay, well, since it's Minnesota state law that you must carry photo ID at all times, I'm going to have to call the police..." and pull out my phone, it's amazing how fast they go, "OH! Oh, wait! Here it is! I thought I left it somewhere!"

...yeah. I'm not sure why freshmen think they're so clever.
10th-Feb-2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Is it actually a state law that you must carry photo ID at all times there or is that just a scare tactic? If so, that seems bizarre and unenforcable o_O I can understand being told at a specific private location that it's a requirement to have a photo ID (notably bars/age-restricted venues) or university ID (on the campus of a university, of course) but I can't imagine a state requiring citizens to always have their ID on them.
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11th-Feb-2008 04:22 am (UTC)
You're not getting used to it, your brain has just decided that idiocy will not register. It's a coping mechanism ;P.
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10th-Feb-2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
I was in the library (which has several computers on the first and second floors) at Anonymous Arizona College, talking to a tech support guy about why my flash drive wouldn't work, and right in the middle of a sentence he looks over, says "Why does she have coffee in my library?" and gets up to lecture her. It was amusing.
11th-Feb-2008 02:54 am (UTC)
heh that second one reminds me of my work. I am an usher at the Chicago theatre, i basically take tickets or show people to their seats, depending on where I'm stationed. But whenever I take tickets, people always ask to go outside and smoke. In order to do this, i have to re-scan their ticket so the box office knows they left, and they are able to come back in (to cut down on people re-selling tickets or trying to sneak in) I always have that one guy who comes up to me without a ticket and says, in a huge group of hundreds of people, "Can't you do it JUST THIS ONCE? for ME? Just REMEMBER MY FACE!"

a woman tried to pull that the other day and then, when i wouldn't let her go after five minutes, pulled her ticket out of her coat pocket.
11th-Feb-2008 03:51 am (UTC)
Student from Anonymous Virginia University: How much does it cost to check out books?

$5 each, please. Cash only.
11th-Feb-2008 04:20 am (UTC)
You have no idea how hard it was not to say that. He probably would have paid it, too.
11th-Feb-2008 10:20 am (UTC)
hah fantastic! it never ceases to amaze how idiotic students can be
11th-Feb-2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
I work in a computing lab in a university library, so I feel your pain.

I don't go looking for students with food & drink. We don't even tell them off for having water as long as they don't do anything really stupid with it. But I still catch an incredible number of students, either because they're munching away in plain sight of my desk, or because they make so much noise opening the wrappers that I can hear them from right across the lab. Common sense, people! If you're going to break the rules then at least try to be subtle about it.
12th-Feb-2008 01:12 am (UTC)
We had some that would try to be subtle, by bringing their drinks in inside their backpacks, but then they would sit the drink on top of the desk in plain sight. In a room that had three glass walls.

Real sneaky work, I tell you.
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13th-Feb-2008 01:59 am (UTC)
Maybe he was planning on using the water for something other thank drinking? :B

That ID one is just plain ridiculous, though. What possible reason could she have had for trying to dupe you like that? D:
13th-Feb-2008 04:49 am (UTC)
I think the idea of burning two calories to pull it out of her back pocket was just exhausting for her....
13th-Feb-2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
re: ID girl: our friendly angry neighborhood leftist student party handed out flyers a couple of weeks ago listing all the various things that were wrong with our university and our country. #1 on the list? Having to show ID to get into the university buildings. WTF. Do you not have MORE IMPORTANT THINGS to campaign against, like maybe rampant corruption in the government?
1st-Mar-2008 01:38 am (UTC)
On the subject of water: I dunno if it's exactly a law, but everywhere around the Inland Empire in Southern California, at least, don't count water bottles in the "no drinks" category for two reasons: One, the presence of a cap that thoroughly seals the liquid. Two, I've always heard it shiftily mentioned that people are "not allowed" to deny others the sustenance of water, due to the sheer number of health problems helped by it. That was the deal I was raised with throughout public school: The Administration Shall Not Deny Thee Water. I'm allowed to have bottled water at my pharmacy job because I tend to dehydrate easily. People who have a health problem requiring them to keep water handy tend to automatically read "No Food Or Drinks" signs with the addition of "Except Water Bottles." I know I do.
1st-Mar-2008 01:42 am (UTC)
I think I should probably add that the rumor at my old elementary school was that there was Big Trouble when a student passed out from dehydration.

Also, my sixth grade teacher noted that her students were generally more attentive later in the day after the rule allowing water bottles in the classroom was passed.
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