I’m sorry to inform you of this cold, hard truth: The ubiquity of desktop computing in your educational process does not equate to being able to do everything you need to do all day long in the last 30 seconds before your class starts. Your failure to leave enough time for the computer to boot up and log you into all your campus accounts so that you can print an article for class does not mean the library’s computers are too slow; it means that the level of service you expect from campus computing takes a certain amount of time to implement, and by failing to take that into account, you planned badly. I’m also sorry that you were displeased to learn that I cannot wave my magical librarian wand** and make the computers “be faster”. Would that I could, but I cannot.
On another note, while I myself am capable of swearing like a proverbial trucker and feel no shame about it, telling me that you “don’t have time for this shit” does not, in fact, impress me, nor does it drive your point home as I suspect you hoped it would. I can be far more creative than that, and I also have a sense of appropriate time and place for my verbal creativity.
You may be interested to know that the bitter aftertaste of our encounter was wiped from my mind by the very pleasant young woman*** who approached the desk after you, equally pressed for time, who asked for help politely, thanked me sincerely, and didn’t swear at me as she left, instead pausing to wave and mouth “thank you again” across the lobby when we made eye contact. She and the others in our community who are more like her give me hope that you will perhaps outgrow your current attitude.
Please know that while I am saddened by your clear lack of respect for our library and our library’s staff, my colleagues and I will still be sitting here, with smiles on our faces, offering to help you with whatever problem you have, the next time you come in. But please also remember: We can’t provide you more time in the day. Only you can do that part.
*”Student” is a synthesis of several guests at the Reference Desk during this evening’s shift, so merged to provide anonymity with regards to their identities and behavior.
**Much like Buffy’s Slayer handbook, I did not actually receive a magical librarian wand.
***”pleasant young woman” was, in fact, one pleasant young woman.