Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Lawyers . . .

An older woman, not quite ancient, but definitely a “senior” member of our fair community, comes up to the Information Desk and asks for a “living will.”

“They told me I could get the form for a living will here.”

I’m not sure who this “they” is, but “they” must think the public library is nothing but a warehouse for storing miscellaneous forms. If we really had as many forms as “they” say we do, there would not be any room for books, computers, staff personnel, air, etc.

So I give her the book of personal legal forms. This, of course, is a reference book. I explain this.

“You won’t be able to check this out. It is a reference book. You’ll have to Xerox the form you want.”

Then my partner in crime chimes in, “Then you’ll have to type it up. It’s no good unless you type it up. You can’t just fill in the blanks.”

It’s just proof that ALL reference librarians have a sadistic streak.

“I have to type it?”

“Well, you have to Xerox it first. You can’t take it home.”

“Well,” she says holding up the book, “what’s the point of this?”

I guess she was under the impression that the books only value was that it saved her from having to type her living will. I know I never have any problem creating a legal document from my very own superior librarian memory . . . (WHAT?)

She continues to ask more questions about the document, to which my partner dances in and out of as gracefully as she can behind a computer and a desk, until finally I say,

“We can’t answer those questions.”

“Why not?”

Hmmmmmm . . . There are so many great answers to this question. That’s another blog entirely.

“Because I’m not a lawyer. You’re welcome to sit there and look at it, and use it in the library.”

So she sits, and sits, and sits. She’s there so long that the urge to talk about her to my partner in crime starts to dissipate before she’s gone. Damn her!

After leafing through the book for almost 20 minutes, she replies,

“You almost need a lawyer to read all this.”

I never will get tired of this job.


At 3:47 PM, Blogger Angel, librarian and educator said...

So, in other words, this "senior" was hoping you would fill out the form for her? No wait. She actually figured you would somehow hand her a form already filled out, since "they" said you had the forms. Am I close? Anyhow, I am always glad when I can say, "I can't answer that because I am not a (Insert lawyer, doctor, CPA, IRS agent, etc.)."

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Idun said...

I really hate "them" and if I ever figure out who "they" are, we're going to have to battle it out sharks/jets style (= dancing, snapping, and hair grease). I just wish "they" would stop all this misinformation madness!


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