06 November 2008

Maybe You Can Figure Out What He Was Talking About

Oh, the library patrons have been particularly trying lately. For a number of reasons--including one of my co-workers traveling to South America for three weeks with a group that had a run in with police dogs who sniffed out the craisins some members of their tour brought into the country and now have police records in Chile--I've been on the reference desk more than normal the last few weeks. Earlier this week I was on the desk with one of my favorite co-workers. She's really nice to patrons. Always. She's one of the few librarians my sister will ask for help, and my sister always points out that this particular co-worker is way nicer than I am. So the Good Librarian and I were on the reference desk and I heard GL having the following conversation with a patron. The conversation took place over the phone, so I only heard one side of it, but GL told me about it afterwards and this is pretty much how it went down:

Phone Man: I need you to look up a word for me.

The Good Librarian: Sure, I can help you with that.

Phone Man: It's a word with some letters at the beginning and then an A and a consonant after the A. Or there might be two As and then the consonant. So could you look for that word on your computer?

The Good Librarian: Well, you know, there's not really a way for me to look up a word that way. The computer would return too many results. It would be impossible to find what you want.

Phone Man: Well, just use your computer and try searching dot dot dot AA dot dot dot (. . . AA . . .) . [Here's a tip: NEVER tell a librarian how to go about finding information. You'll usually end up sounding like this.]

The Good Librarian is so nice that she actually went to Google and typed in . . . aa . . . to appease the guy on the phone. Here's what you get when you search that: Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Good Librarian finally got off the phone after apologizing profusely that she couldn't find the mystery word (and she probably actually felt bad that she couldn't find the word, because she's nice like that, whereas I only cared that it would make a good blog story), but not before the Phone Man asked her to give him a call if she found the word later.


E said...

I tried to find a word that matches this fellow's very cryptic request by using an online crossword puzzle helper. The only thing I got was "CIAagent," which isn't an actual word, but is apparently found in many crosswords.

Rebekah said...


nailed it.

MBC said...

The A[Consonant] have to be at the very end of the word, and it might just be one A. Rattan? Sedan? Disseat? Elegiacal? The Free Dictionary will actually let you search by word endings, but we don't know what the consonant is. And he couldn't remember the definition of the word. Eesh.

Moo said...

My mom thinks he was working on a crossword. Could be true. Whatever it was, he's a moron

Lori said...


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