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    An Unlikely Story

    | WA, Australia | Books & Reading, Liars & Scammers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I have been checking books back in that have been left on our returns desk and come across a new book that has been badly damaged by what looks to be coffee. When the patron comes back to the circulation desk, I show her the book.)

    Me: “Good morning! I’ll check those out for you in just a moment. Unfortunately because this book has been damaged quite badly, we won’t be able to have it in our collection any more. The replacement cost will be [dollar amount]; are you able to pay now or should I send an invoice out?”

    Patron: “Oh, it was like that when I took it out!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we’d never loan something in that condition, and as it was on your membership, you are liable for the damage done to it while on loan.”

    Patron: “I didn’t do it! You can’t prove I did it! It must have been the person before me! I won’t pay! It’s been like that for ages.”

    Me: “Ma’am, this is a new book. We only got it last month and the only person to have it before you was I. And I can assure you, I didn’t spill coffee on this book.”

    (There is a long pause.)

    Patron: “Um, how much was it?”