Murphy's Law of Libraries

  • When I'm at the public service desk, patrons will be overly apologetic about "interrupting" me--even when I quickly look up and smile.
  • When I'm in my office with the door ever-so-slightly cracked, before the public service desk is staffed at 9am (while its lights are out), patrons will act snippy that no one's there to help them: will I help them find this book, or what?

Is it all about perception, or do rude people need help before 9am and polite people need help during our desk hours? (Or more likely, polite people also need help before 9am, but are too timid to knock at my office door. Sigh.)

I really do like working the public service desk, and I don't mind helping patrons when I'm in my office. I just fail to see the logic in this.

It also slightly irks me that people tend to clear their throats or say "excuse me" outside my office door to where I can't even see them, and then get huffy that I don't respond. The first two times this happened, I had no idea they were trying to get my attention, as 1) I was wrapped up in my work in my office, and 2) I didn't see anyone at or near my door. If they don't feel comfortable walking into my office, couldn't they at least stand in the doorway or knock, or something? They must suspect that I have superhuman abilities to determine that they are specifically requesting my help in the subtlest of ways.

I appreciate the vote for superhuman abilities and all, but the only superhuman quality I have is the ability to sniff out fellow geeks.

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