Listen to a conversation between a student and a clerk in the bookstore.
Hi, can you tell me where to find New Kind of Science by ah, by Steven Wolfram…
…I, ah, couldn’t find it.
OK, let me look it up on the computer for you. Who did you say the author was?
Um, it’s Steven Wolfram.
OK, let’s see… no, it’s not coming up… mh, I’m not seeing it…
This is for a class here at the university, right?
Yeah, it’s assigned reading for a class I’m, I’m taking.
It’s for this semester, right? You’re not buying it in advance for next year or anything…
No no, it’s for a class I’m taking now…
Oh, oh, you know what? It’s for a graduate class. Would that maybe make a difference? I mean, I’m an undergrad, but I’m just, I’m just taking this one class in the graduate department, so …
No, no, I don’t think that’s it. That shouldn’t make any difference, but, mh, let me see… maybe it’s just… it could be that whoever entered it misspelled the title or the author’s name, so I can’t find it on the computer, and I can’t tell if it’s sold out.
But if it is sold out, we would probably be getting a new shipment within about a week or so.
[disappointed]OK, well I was hoping to get it sooner, ’cause like we already have assignments and, you know. I mean I guess I could get it from the library…
Right, of course.… But I’m trying to check; if we’ve ordered more, then that backorder information should be in the computer too.
Let’s see…[typing] backorder-Wolfram-Steven… no… I’m still not seeing it.
I’m sorry, we just don’t seem to carry it.
This is odd though. What is… what’s your professor’s name? I could try searching for his or her classes in the database, that might help.
Um, OK, it’s Professor Kayne.
No, it’s Professor Kayne, K-A-Y-N-E. He’s in the computer science department.
[realizing]Oh! It’s for a computer science course, is it?
Ah-ha! That must be it. Computer science books are sold across the street in the computer store.
Ooh… are there signs up anywhere?
I don’t know.
May be they should put some up… could’ve saved us both some time[bemused annoyance, not directed at the woman].
Yeah, well anyway, I’ll bet that’s the problem. Check across the street.
I’ll bet they have it, but if not, come back and I’ll help you find it somewhere else; I can call around to see if other bookstores might have it. OK?
OK, thanks a lot! Bye.