A man approaches the librarian at the reference desk and hands her a letter.
Patron: Excuse me, but the library offers translation services, right?
Librarian: We do, when possible.
Patron: Would you translate this love letter into Russian for me? It’s for my mail-order bride.
Librarian: I’m sorry, sir. We only offer translation services on official documents.
The man says he understands and leaves. Five minutes later, he returns and approaches the other librarian at the desk, avoiding eye contact with the first librarian, who is sitting three feet away. He hands the second librarian the same letter.
Patron: The library offers translations services, right?
Librarian #2: …
A phone conversation between a reference librarian and a female patron. You expect mothers like this when you work with children. When you work reference, however…
Patron: (sounding distressed) My son received notification that he was being sent to collections for fines on his card. But he lost his card, so someone must be using it! The fines aren’t his!
Librarian: Okay, ma’am. It’s okay. We can change your son’s card status to “lost card” so no one can use it. But we will need you to bring your son in so we can have a manager talk to you about the fines.
Patron: (Practically in tears) Can’t you just cancel the fines?
Librarian: I’m sorry, ma’am. We will really need you to come in to work out the fines. We can’t cancel fines this high without meeting with your son.
Patron: (hysterical) Oh, this is terrible! What is he supposed to do? He can’t pay these fines! And I can’t pay them!
Librarian: Please calm down, ma’am. It will be really easy to fix if you just bring your child in.
Patron: But my son can’t come in! He’s moving!
Librarian: Sorry, ma’am, but can I ask—how old is your son?
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