The patron approached the reference desk with an open road atlas in hand. He was looking at the state of Oregon. He said, "I want to know the distance from Seattle to Cannon Beach in Oregon. I don't know how to read maps."
I ask, "What is it that you want me to do."
Patron: "I want to know the distance in miles."
I start the online search. In the middle of the search, the patron says, "I want the driving directions from Seattle to Cannon Beach. Can you print that out for me?"
I did just as he asked. Then........Patron, "I want to search one more item."
I respond, "No, I asked what was it you wanted me to do and I did just that. If you want to locate anything else, consult the road atlas that you have in front of you."
The patron exclaims, "I CAN'T SEE TOO WELL, I CAN'T FIND OLYMPIA."
I told the patron: "You are looking at the state of Oregon, you need to look at the state of Washington."
The patron began to argue with me: "No, it is in Oregon. I know what I am talking about!"
I didn't say anything. I then went to wake up a patron who was sleeping at one of the reference tables.
When I returned to the desk, the patron said, "You are right, I need to look at the state of Washington."
This patron comes in here everyday and goes from librarian to librarian to see how
many online searches each of us will do for him.
Finally, he said to me, "I can't breathe in here, it is something going on with the air in here."
I said, " Maybe you should go outside."
Patron, "Can you breathe in here?"
He finally walked away.