Occasionally I am Farmer Benign, this comes from an old poem that an old friend wrote probably 20 years ago about a farmer who couldn’t grow crops. I think that’s what it was about. 20 years is long.

Anyway, at work I get the supreme privilege of helping people, beit finding books, fixing a resumé, using a copier machine (you would think copiers were the most complex of machines the way people act around them.), and just all-around computer stuff. And most days, I RULE.
I fix the hell outta stuff. I upload resumés to Monster.com and other job sites for people LIKE A PRO, like I was born to do this.

But today.

Today is one of those Farmer Benign days. A day where I seem unable to help anyone, and not because I don’t know how, but because of weird “innernet things” or just weird people.

A man came in to use a computer to take practice tests he had on a CD-ROM, but I couldn’t get the CD to load and he wasn’t to swift on the tech, so making him understand that there was NOTHING I could do for him to use that CD was quite a feat. And he said, “Oh I get it. It’s like how I can’t bring my tax files here because Homeland Security has blocked that kind of thing.”

Holy shit. What?

I said, “No sir. It’s not… anything like that? It’s more like our software-”

“No, I know, the government does this kind of thing.”

“It’s really because we don’t have the software to read the type of files you have on that disc though. The government is uh, not interested in this uh, hm, this real estate practice exam.”

Sometimes their foil hats are invisible.


I had two resumés I couldn’t upload to two different sites, and yes, I tried different browsers, thank you. But try explaining that it’s the websites’ server problem and not mine and it’s like talking to a rock. A rock that has a bad attitude and thinks you’re stupid cos yesterday they “were able to upload it, and so how come it’s not working today? I did it from my e-mail yesterday. Did you break Yahoo, or something?”

Yes. Yes, I broke Yahoo. It was me.


A lady spilled Wite-Out on our carpet and I was like, “Ok, it’s not the end of the world.”
And she got mad at me cos I wasn’t getting upset about it.


Then I answered the phone and this lady yells, “FINALLY, SOMEONE ANSWERS.”

“Ma’am? May I help you?”

“Well, I was wondering if ANYbody at the city was working today!”

“Yes? The library is open today. Is that who you were trying to call?”

“NO. I’ve called ALL the numbers for the city and YOU are the only one who has answered.”

“I’m so sorry about that. Is there something the library can help you with?”

“Maybe. The city came out and dug up part of my driveway and they refilled it with chert. And now it’s a muddy mess! I want them to gravel it!”

“Right. Well. I’m really sorry. The library can’t help with that. I can give you the switchboard number for city hall, but that’s about all I can do on my end.”

“Well, fine.”

I give her the number. “I’m really sorry. Good luck.”


When people say to me, “Working at a library must be boring.”

I just shrug and say, “The public is never boring.”





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