Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Rule Britannia!

Yesterday, I had the distinct displeasure of listening to a patron yell at a co-worker. We'll call my coworker Minivan Mom. The patron wanted to know how to make copies, and was directed by another employee to MM, as she was "in charge" of that area because of rotation. A few minutes later I heard the patron shouting "WHAT? WHY is your copier set up like this? We are not in England, this is America...when I copy something I expect to lay it THIS way, not THAT way."


Having had the luxury of living in England for an extended period of time, as well as having lived the rest of my life in these here states, I started to think of "what is different" there, versus here. For your reading pleasure I have compiled them here. But first I will note, photo copiers are exactly the same.

1. People drive on the opposite side of the road.
2. Underwear are called pants.
3. Pants are called trousers.
4. Extra letter "o's" get tucked in in unsuspecting places: i.e. colour, odour
5. Police officers do not carry guns.
6. Pharmacists are called chemists.
7. At the chemists, you have to ask for things like Pepto-Bismal, and Tums. They are kept behind the counter.
8. You can actually have an address without numbers: The Oaks, Bridals End, Berkshire.
9. The mail comes twice a day.
10. They have a Queen, and we have a President. We also have a president who doesn't like queens to get married.
11. Standard TV has 5 channels as of 1997.
12. The Brit's don't celebrate the 4th of July or Thanksgiving. (go figure).

I could go on for days, but you get the point. Mind you this man didn't look particularly English, and certainly didn't act or sound English. It was amusing because it was a nonsense thing to say. I've heard people say "What? This isn't a third world country" but never have I heard the person say "What? This isn't England" before.

It makes me wonder what this guy would have said if he was in London. "What? This isn't America!" I suppose he could have. In France, French dressing is called American Dressing. Camel cigarettes claim to be a "rich American blend" instead of a "rich Turkish blend". Perhaps he was just confused, which would explain a lot. Many confused people find their way into the library.

Some of them think we are a full service hotel, where they can bathe, and demand people around. Some people think that it is a school for the deaf, where shouting helps in the communication of certain points. Some people think that we are a picnic area, where they can peruse our stacks while eating goodies. And last, but not least, some people think the library is a play ground where there are no-holds barred.

Oh well. Here's to a better tomorrow.

moral of this blog: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Unfortunately, if you only THINK you are in Rome, it does complicate things.

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