5.15.2016

things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #21

Visibly anxious and upset customer: Can you please help me? Something is wrong with this computer!

I go over to take a look. The public computer is still starting up, and Internet Explorer (sadly, the default browser) is slowly opening.

Me (pointing to the Chrome icon on the taskbar): Let's try this browser instead. You'll find it's better than Internet Explorer.

Visibly anxious customer: No! I can't! I have to use the internet!

Me: I understand. This is also the internet. It's a different browser - a different tool for accessing the internet. Most people find it works better.

I help her open Chrome, and show her where to start, and return to the information desk. A few minutes later...

VAC: I can't use this computer! It's broken! I can't use this computer!

Me: All right, you're free to use any available computer. Why don't you log in to this one?

I stick around while she gets started, then return to the information desk. Fortunately, she is only steps away.

VAC: Can you help me?! Something is wrong! This isn't working! Can you help me?!

Me: What are you trying to do?

VAC: I always go to Sears.ca and I see my paystub. It's not working!

Me: Right now you're at Sears.ca, which is a public website, where people can buy products from Sears. The site where you see your paystub must have more to it. Perhaps Sears.ca slash... something?

VAC: No! No! Sears.ca! I go to Sears.ca and see my paystub! I do it all the time! It is Sears.ca!

Me: Here we are at Sears.ca. It's a website for shopping at Sears. There must be more to the address than that.

VAC: No! Look! Here it is on this paper! Look! My-dot-Sears-dot-CA.

Me: So what you need is my.Sears.ca. Let's do that.

We do. The site she is expecting loads.

Me: Do you know how to log in here?

VAC: Yes, of course I do! I do it all the time! Go away! Go away!

Me: Uh... ok. I'm at the desk if you need me.

11 comments:

Stephanie said...

I am not making excuses for VAC, but I see myself there...I have caught myself being agitated and self absorbed. Luckily I usually catch myself being a self absorbed and agitated asshole before the injuries to others can fester. To be self-absorbed, it is so disease-like but unfortunately the afflicted tend to inflict themselves on others (generally good-spirited.

THANK YOU!

West End Bob said...

Ha! Thanx for my morning guffaw, laurak!

Reminds me of the old Technical Support joke where the techie advises the caller to carefully re-pack the computer in the original packaging and return it to where she purchased it. She asks how that will help. He calmly tells her that it actually won't help at all, but she has no business operating a computer and for the sake of tech support personnel worldwide it has to be done . . . .

M@ said...

Laura, I'm surprised at you. How could you not know what she wanted before she told you?

(I agree with Stephanie, we all have those days... it's nice that some people make those days better, even if we don't realize it.)

Amy said...

And here I thought all Canadians were unfailingly polite...or was she perhaps from the US?? How rude!!

laura k said...

Reminds me of the old Technical Support joke

Yup, the one that ends with "...because you're too stupid to own a computer."

laura k said...

or was she perhaps from the US??

LOL

laura k said...

In all honesty, I don't think she was rude. I think she is disturbed, a mental health issue. She was SO agitated. I think there was something else going on.

laura k said...

(I agree with Stephanie, we all have those days... it's nice that some people make those days better, even if we don't realize it.)

My attitude exactly. I hope I helped.

impudent strumpet said...

I agree - poor lady, there must have been something going on with her. It's always difficult when you can't see the demons other people are fighting.

deang said...

I love helping people like that, and I hope I handled my "difficult" people as well as you did. I remember what it was like to be totally bewildered by computers and am usually sympathetic with people who seem lost with them, or at least I try to be.

laura k said...

It's always difficult when you can't see the demons other people are fighting.

Well put!

I love helping people like that, and I hope I handled my "difficult" people as well as you did.

I wish all library workers shared your attitude. Nice.