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He’s Not Fine With It

| Zion, IL, USA | Books & Reading, Money

(A few weeks earlier, we had a massive power outage in the area. Even after we got power back, the system was down for a time, and patron accounts were not accessible. Because of this, if anybody wanted to use the public computers, we had to print out a guest pass. The system is now working again.)

Patron: “I’d like a guest pass to use the computer, please.”

Me: “Actually, the system is back up. You should be able to sign in with your card.”

Patron: “The fines on my card are too high; it won’t let me on.”

Me: “Oh. I’m sorry. In that case, you can’t use the computer.”

Patron: “I don’t understand. Somebody printed a guest pass for me last week.”

Me: “That’s because the system was down. Nobody was able to use their cards then. But now that they’re back up, we have to go by the rules.”

Patron: “Tell me something: if somebody came in from a different library district and had to use the computer, what would you do?”

Me: “I’d give them a guest pass.”

Patron: “So how is this any different?”

Me: “If a patron came in from a different library district, then they wouldn’t owe us money.”