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    Needs To Get His Fax Straight

    | WA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Technology

    (We are a small library without a public fax machine. We have a private business fax machine for office use only. We still get spam faxes because the number is publicly listed.)

    Me: “Well, I was going to send the weekly report to accounting but something is coming in on the fax.”

    Coworker: “Ooooh, is it another offer for a discount trip to Bermuda?”

    Me: “It’s some financial thing. Man, it’s eight pages long. Woah. This is someone’s debt consolidation paperwork.”

    Coworker: “What? Is it for someone who works here?”

    Me: “No… but they apparently live in town.”

    (I attempt to call the customer multiple times as a courtesy, but their voice-mail inbox is full. They show up the next day anyway.)

    Customer: “Hi. So, uh you should have some papers for me?”

    Me: “Did you have your financial institution use the library’s fax line?”

    Customer: “No, it was their idea. They say they do that for a lot of customers.”

    Me: “Ok. You need to explain to them that isn’t appropriate. Our fax machine is for library business only. I actually thought your fax was spam at first because we weren’t expecting anything. It could have been shredded. It’s also not very secure. We have volunteers and maintenance staff coming and going all the time and we don’t guard the fax machine because we don’t normally receive sensitive documents. We had to look over these papers just to figure out what they were and there is information on here that we did not need to know about you, like your social security number. We couldn’t reach you to warn you either. If you had contacted us first we could have told you not to use our fax.”

    Customer: “Oh… so, like, does that mean I can’t send my paperwork back through you guys?”

    Me: “You may not. There is a pay-fax machine at the copy shop across town. Please inform the company not to use our fax again. Any other paperwork that is sent will be shredded.”

    (The customer shrugged and left. I’m still not sure I got through to them. At the very least I know never do business with that debt consolidation company!)

    Damaged Beyond My Despair

    | IA, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (A library patron returns a DVD with the case so scraped and bent that it can’t be put through the unlocking machine.)

    Librarian: “And there’s a $6.75 fine on your card.”

    Patron: “What? Why?”

    Librarian: “Your DVD case was damaged and will have to be replaced.”

    Patron: “You people didn’t unlock it before we left. I gave it to my son, and he tried his best to get it loose. He only used a butter knife.”

    Librarian: “I’m sorry we didn’t unlock it. When that happens, you need to bring it back to us, not try to pry it open.”

    Patron: “We didn’t even get to watch it, so I don’t see why we should have to pay for it.”

    Librarian: “The case is so badly damaged that it’s no longer usable.”

    Patron: “How is that damage? It was only a butter knife!”

    Literally Scream For More Ice Cream

    | Canada | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (At the library I volunteer for, we have a “Reading Event” in the summer for the kids. My job is to hand out one ice cream to each child. Throughout the course of the day, one of the younger boys decides to hang around me to keep me “company.” Another kid comes up to me.)

    Me: *hands ice cream to kid* “Enjoy and have a great summer!”

    Child: *nods his head, then reaches to grab another ice cream from my cooler*

    Me: *I tug the cooler away from him* “Sorry, but it’s only one-per-person.”

    Child: “That’s not fair!” *the child begins to stomp his feet on the ground and basically throw a fit*

    (At this point a woman I can only assume is the boy’s mother rushes over.)

    Woman: “What on Earth do you think you’re doing to my son!”

    Me: *trying to stay calm* “Nothing, ma’am! I was just telling him he could only have one ice cream!”

    Woman: “Nonsense! He’s my baby and he deserves as many as he wants!”

    Me: “Miss, please, I can’t give him more than one ice cream; it’s one of the rules!”

    Woman: “But—”

    (At this point the younger boy hanging around me decides to pipe up:)


    (Both the woman, the child, and I all stared at the younger boy in shock. The lady began to look sheepish and dragged her son out of the library. And without saying anything, I handed the unopened ice cream the kid left behind in their haste to leave, to my favorite “little helper.”)

    This Customer Is A Time Bomb

    | IL, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (My patron is a young boy of about seven or eight. He is using the online card catalog and looks stumped.)

    Me: “Can I help you find something?”

    Patron: “I want a book on how to build a nuclear bomb.”

    Me: “Uh… I don’t think we’re going to have anything like that in our collection.”

    Patron: “Well, how can I learn to make one, then?”

    Me: “I would suggest a PhD in physics.”

    Patron: “Oh! Here’s one!” *shows me a catalog record for a book called “How to Build a Nuclear Bomb”*

    Me: “Oh, see, actually that book is about the global economics, politics, and resources that would…” *noticing patron’s blank stare* “You know what? Yeah, I can get you that book.”

    (A couple of weeks later, the young patron comes in to check out his reserve.)

    Patron: “Uh… I don’t think this is what I want. It doesn’t have any nuclear bomb plan in it, or anything.”

    Me: “Yes, well, like I said before, we won’t have anything like that here.”

    Patron: “Oh, well, I found a can of gas in the garage, and I have some matches. Do you think I could do something with that?”

    Me: “Uh… stay in school?”

    Harry Potter And The Amazon Woman

    | ID, USA | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (I work reference desk at a public library. My desk is right next to the “New Books” display, and among the new books is a copy of “The Secret History of Wonder Woman.” The dust jacket shows Wonder Woman in the process of changing from her alter ego to her superhero form, so she still has her glasses and jacket on, but is also wearing her iconic leotard and crown. A mom and her children are walking by the display when one spots the book.)

    Child: “Mom, look! It’s Harry Potter Wonder Woman!”

    (I’m also a geek in my off-time, so I’m tempted to cosplay that at my next convention now…)

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