Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dear Community College Student in Your Mid 40's... clueless, clueless thing, you.

Okay, so I genuinely feel sorry that you spent over an hour typing up a paper only to have our patron computer crash on you because it didn't like the cheap-ass Wal-Mart jump drive you inserted into it at the very end of the typing process. (A cheap-ass Wal-Mart jump drive which, I might add, also crashed every other computer in the building that we used to test it further.) That was unfortunate and could not have been predicted.

Fortunately for you, but disturbingly for us, the computer crash coincided with our computers collectively deciding that they all no longer wished to participate in the use of our usual patron-information-protection software, which is supposed to return each system to a blank slate and wipe out anything patrons foolishly saved to the hard drive each time the computer is logged off. Now we have to deal with people angry that their Hotmail logins come pre-filled-in for their convenience and having their complete Netflix queues available to be viewed by one and all. Happily, though, this meant that your paper was there waiting for you when we logged your computer back on for you, despite my assurances to you that it would not be.

Having warned you against the use of cheap-ass Wal-Mart jump drives in our computers, we then sold you a 3.5 diskette on which you could save your paper. We even held your little hand and showed you step by step how to save your paper to it. You claimed you already knew how and did not ask for further help at the time you eventually saved it.

Why, therefore, have you now returned, days later, and asked me why your paper is no longer on your disk?

I have no way of saying for sure why your paper is not there. If I was to hazard a guess, I'd say you didn't save it to your disk in the first place or somehow managed to delete it afterward. However, I won't suggest that, but will instead politely give you the benefit of the doubt that it was the fault of cosmic rays, big scary monsters, or, as you have now implied, that our disk was bad and ate your file. Stranger things have happened. Oh, sure, the test file we saved onto your disk while showing you how to save stuff is still there, but I'm sure it's our disk's fault—and, therefore, our fault—that your paper is no more.

Now, please listen very closely, for I'm only going to say this for the third time...


Failure to do so will result in having your disk painfully inserted into your A:Drive, if you know what I mean.

Every-so-Joyfully Yours,



Holley T said...

I honestly didn't realize this went on at other libraries...I don't feel so lonely now :)

the "are you kidding" remark has become one of my most dastardly pet peeves where the computers and their respective harddrives are concerned. Keep fighting the good fight Juice!

Anonymous said...

I know you like having as little to do as possible when it comes to the "innanet" but have you told these people that they could simply cut and paste their ~*~PrEcIoUs TeXt DoCuMeNtS~*~ in email and store them online? Some of these new-fangled electronic mail services have interfaces that are on par with Word or Word Perfect.

almost a librarian said...

"You claimed you already knew how and did not ask for further help..."
That's the clue that they really don't know how to save/attach a file/do whatever you patiently explained how to do in monosyllabic terms.

From past personal experience, you can't make too many back-ups. So if a patron is trying to save something they claim is very important, I tell them to save it on their storage medium of choice AND email it to as many email addresses as possible, in case servers all over the country spontaneously fail.

Monster Library Student said...

Argh..I hate when this kind of stuff happens, even though we have showed them the proper way to do something like this, somehow it is still our fault.


An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.