patron: where's the book, my first share?
me: (looks in catalog by title): we don't have a book titled 'my first share'. do you want something on investing, or...
patron: no. my firsts, by sher. s-h-e-r.
me: hmm, not by that title. let me check by author. do you mean barbara sher? we have some books by her, but nothing by that title, we have -
patron, interjecting: NO! sher! i know you have the book, i've read it twice already! sher, from sonny and sher!
me: oh. cher. we have 'the first time' by cher, it's a biography.
patron: i'm looking for a book that was one of oprah's bookclub books.
me: okay, let me check the list.
patron: it's the newest one.
me: "a million little pieces"?
patron: no, the one after that.
me: that's the current book, the next one is being announced tomorrow.
patron: oh. it must be older then. it's "what i know about the world".
me: there's no book close to that title on oprah's bookclub list.
patron: oh. hmm. what is on the list?
me: here's the list. are you looking for "i know this much is true"?
patron: no, it's "what i know about the world."
me: that's not on the list, and we don't own a book by that title. "a map of the world'?
patron: no. (looking at computer screen, which has oprah.com's bookclub archive up.) is that the whole list?
patron: well it must be the next book then.
me: they are announcing the next book tomorrow. there's no information about it on the website yet.
patron: well i'll wait until they announce it. then you'll get copies of it.
(later, i look at the 'books mentioned on oprah' section and realize that he's talking about 'the known world', which is not on the bookclub list. however, the patron has disappeared.)
i'm pretty good at the 'i need that book about that guy...' kinds of questions, but when the patron insists that their information is right despite evidence to the contrary.... if you allow me to use my brain, i can help you. if you cling to your misinformation, i can't find the answer. gaaaaargh.