My very first reference question as a working librarian was about Margaret Thatcher. Since Lady Thatcher recently passed away, it is worth mentioning.
A patron approached the reference desk and told me that Margaret Thatcher had crossed the chasm of death to speak to her in a dream. The patron requested that I interpret this dream and provide information about Mrs. Thatcher, who was just a name to her.
I informed the patron that Lady Thatcher was retired but still alive. In keeping with my training, I then said that I was not able to interpret her dream, but could provide biographical information about Thatcher, as well books about dream interpretation.
This response did not entirely satisfy the patron, but she promptly interpreted her own dream without assistance: Lady Thatcher had supernaturally appointed her the British ambassador to the United States.
It was not my place to dispute her claim.
And what is the street address of the British Embassy? With information I provided her, the patron left the library, heading for Washington, D.C. to inform Sir Christopher Meyer, then serving as Her Majesty's Ambassador, that he had been relieved of his post.
I offer my regrets to Mr. Meyer for any inconvenient unemployment I may have caused.
(Photo: Margaret Thatcher Foundation)