my first two patrons of the evening have already irked me, both are university students but not law students. The first one (mofo #1) wanted to get a Supreme Court "friend of the court" brief for a specific case. Which of the six briefs did she want? "The shortest one." Okay, no problem; we've all been there.
Meanwhile the second patron (mofo #2) comes in and starts to ask me a question, even though mofo #1 is standing and I'm talking to her. I tell mofo #2 I'll be back in a minute.
So I take her into the main reading room and show her how to get the brief on a computer. I talk quietly. All the students at nearby tables are quiet. After waiting hopefully for her to get the hint and lower her loud, annoying voice, I finally have to ask mofo #1 to keep her voice down because "people are trying to study." She looks at me like I'm from Mars, but does lower her voice. For one question. --then it's back to top volume. (She had no trouble hearing me when I spoke quietly, so I'm sure she doesn't have a hearing disability.)
I return to the ref desk and say to mofo #2, "Sorry to make you wait. What's up?"
mofo #2: That's okay... though it was a really quick question." [classic midwestern passive-aggressiveness]
me: Okay, what do you need?
[boring long ref interview where he gradually reveals what he wants--omitted]
me: Okay, for the recent cases you can get them on LexisNexis Academic. For some of the other ones, you'll need to use the books.
mofo #2: Can't I get them on LexisNexis?
me: Not all of them.
mofo #2: Are they on Westlaw?
me: Yes, but our subscription to Westlaw is only for law students and faculty.
mofo #2: This is for a constitutional law professor.
me: at the law school?
mofo #2: at the university.
me: Then, sorry, no.
mofo #2: You mean I have to find the cases in the books and, what, *photocopy* them?
me: Yup. It's not hard to find them with the information you have.
mofo #2: But--photocopying them will take a long time.
me: [thinking: you better start now instead of whining, then, eh?] Well, you only have two cases there--it won't be too bad.
mofo #2: it would be easier to get them on Westlaw.
me: mmm-hmmm [translation: go away and don't ever come back].
Current Location: ref desk hell
Current Mood: cranky