Today we had a visit from a woman I refer to as “Snowflake.” I refer to her by this name because she is noticeably coked-up beyond all comprehension. She approached the Reference Desk with her husband who was sporting a bandanna, and promptly began firing off questions to my coworker like a machine gun. Snowflake talks in run-on sentences, in a very stream of consciousness way. The transaction went something like this:
Snowflake: Do you have any books on The World of Warcraft? My son plays that game all the time and I really need a book on Warcraft, it’s a popular game you probably have something on it I’m sure you do it’s popular.
Coworker [checking catalog]: I don’t see anything on Warcraft [Snowflake interrupts]
Snowflake: Really? You really don’t have anything on The World of Warcraft? It’s a popular game not just kids play it either it’s popular. I can’t even believe you don’t have anything on it, OK do you have anything on Italy I need information on Italy I want to show my son where his grandfather is from my husband is Italian (Snowflake’s husband signs into an Internet workstation). HONEY! Where is you father from?
Husband: I don’t know.
Snowflake: You don’t know where? Really? I though you knew where where is he from?
Husband [sitting at PC with back to us]: I don’t know. Don’t worry about it.
Snowflake: I would really like my son to know more about his family his heritage where the family is from can we research my surname and maybe find anything there? I think that would be good if we don’t know where in Italy my husband’s family is from we can at least get some information on the surname.
Coworker [checking catalog]: OK I think we can help you out with that. We have a few books on the subject of surnames. [Coworker leads Snowflake out into the stacks] They are gone for a while, when they return my coworker sits back down and begins a thorough Internet search for this surname that she can’t seem to find anywhere. Furthermore, any derivatives of it also seem to be French not Italian in origin… Snowflake is disappointed, but too coked-up to be upset. The search continues.
Husband tells Snowflake to leave my coworker alone already.
The search continues. I interject that there are some fine genealogical libraries nearby that might better facilitate this kind of research. I run a quick search to find these institutions and return four or five that would do the trick. All the while Snowflake keeps rambling on and on… I print the list and hand it to her, as I say, “Good luck with that.”
Snowflake smiles and thanks me. She turns to my coworker, and profusely thanks her for all the hard work she did, and says, “Other librarians sometimes aren’t so nice.”
… This is probably because most of the time librarians don’t have 30+ minutes to devote to any single person… And also because the best most librarians can muster is a cup of joe to keep up with the whirlwind that is Snowflake.
Snowflake and her husband walk away with Snowflake yammering on about whatever is on her frantically racing mind…