Monday, March 9, 2009

No Stupid Questions? They're ALL Stupid Questions!

Why do librarians continue to claim that "there are no stupid questions?" (see recent addition here.)

Where is the librarian who says, "they are all stupid questions?"

No, he isn't me. I'm not that smart that I can say that all questions are stupid. Although we look alike, I'm not Dr. House. I might say seven-eights are stupid questions, but I'm not cocky enough to claim they all are.

But dammit, librarians answer a lot of stupid questions. One of the worst is the email or IM for a specific book: "Does the library have the book, **********?"

I want to answer, "Hey, idiot, you just bypassed the catalog when you contacted me. The same catalog that has been online for over 15 years. But no, you're so Net savvy that you can chat with me for twelve minutes on your Crackberry or iTurd or whatever new doodad you think will make you cooler, about something you could have answered yourself in less than half that time. Whoo, you're a freakin' Internet wizard!"

And on the opposite end, you Internet-deprived jerks, don't call me on the phone and tell me to Google something for you: "Can you Google me a meatloaf recipe that uses peanut butter?" No. No I can't.

If you don't have something, you aren't allowed to tell other people how to use it. If you don't have a car, don't tell me how to drive. If you don't have a kid, don't tell me how to raise mine. If you don't have a penis, don't tell me how to pee so I don't get it all over the floor. If you don't have a life, don't tell me how to live.

So yes, there are stupid questions. Because we are people, and most of us aren't very bright. But go ahead and ask your stupid questions; I'm here to help.

Just don't expect me to choke back my opinion because if you ask if I think your question is stupid, you can be sure I'm going to tell you the truth. "Yes, that's a stupid question. But it's not the stupidest one I've been asked today. So stop worrying. You're not the dumbest person out there. See that guy over there; you should hear what he asked. He's the dumbest."