A woman at the library needed some help printing a table of data. It was in the body of her email and when she’d tried printing it all she got were the first couple of columns and all the sidebar crap inherent in using webmail. Because it is the Sunday of the May Long weekend, it was pretty dead in the branch, so I had the time to go and help her. Eventually it resulted in me switching her to a different computer and copy-pasting the whole thing into Excel where I could set it all up. Basically it was me reformatting her table, sending her to stand aside while I took over. I always hate doing that, but I’ve dealt with this patron before and getting her to do it would have been very difficult.
When I’m done, she starts going on about me being a genius. She’s done this kind of thing before and I have problems with it. I mean, I’m telling her that it’s nothing special I’m doing, just figuring it out as I go. I told her she just needs practice, or to take a course, or maybe borrow a book. But she’s content to have a “genius” at the library to help her. And I’m sure she thinks her gushing is gratifying, but I have to tell her I like it a lot better when she comes in, uses the computer without any help, and lets me know she didn’t need any help as she leaves. Not because I didn’t have to do anything, but because it means the help I’ve given before has sunk in.