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    Doesn’t See The Point Of No Return

    | Milwaukee, WI, USA |

    (The library has a return window which patrons can drive up to in order to return or check out materials. The patron in question has just placed their video in the return drawer.)

    Me: “Thank you, please have a nice day.”

    Patron: “Hey, what would happen if I put a hamburger in there?”

    Me: “We would prefer you didn’t, sir.”

    For Some, Reading Is Total Kabul

    | Dallas, TX, USA |

    Patron: “I need some books on Afghanistan.”

    Me: “Okay, I can show you where that section is in the non-fiction.”

    (I lead the patron over. There are several books on the subject.)

    Patron: “So are these, like, books you have to read? Because my school library had some of those, but it’s not what I wanted.”

    You’ll Find That In The Irony Section

    | BC, Canada |

    (A customer is looking through the non-fiction section of the library, and approaches me.)

    Customer: “I’m looking for a book by [author's name], and I can’t find it on the shelf.”

    Me: “Okay. The non-fiction section isn’t sorted by author. What’s the subject of the book you are looking for?”

    Customer: “It’s about the dewey decimal system.”

    In Urgent Need Of A Monolith

    | TX, USA |

    (A patron has called about extending her borrowing time on a DVD. She is renting “2001: A Space Odyssey”.)

    Caller: “I’d really like to get this for a little longer. I live far from the library, and won’t be able to get it back on time.”

    Me: “Well, the staff member that handles the loans is not in today. I can take your name and phone number, and have her get back to you.”

    Caller: “Oh, that would be just great. I really need to watch this movie because I’m going into space.”

    Past The Point Of No Return

    , | New Zealand | Top

    (We have both a bookshop and library. They are divided by a wall and accessible only from outside the building or through a staff only area. I am working in the bookstore section.)

    Customer: “Hey, I was looking for a book for my niece called The Tomorrow Code.”

    Me: “We definitely have a copy of that. I was shelving it this morning. Follow me.”

    Customer: “So, when is the due date?”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “You know, for the book.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can sell it to you right now.”

    Customer: “Yes, I know that. I want to know when I have to return it. My library card number for you guys is [number].”

    Me: “You don’t have to return it, ma’am. This is a bookstore, not a library. You keep the book once you’ve bought it.”

    Customer: “That’s great, but when do I return it?”

    Me: “I, uh, just need to check that on the system.”

    (I run to the actual library to check they have a copy of the tomorrow code. They do. I go back to the customer.)

    Me: “Ma’am, just to make this very clear, this is a shop not a library. You never return books.”

    Customer: “Of course I know that. Do you think I was born yesterday? Now, when do I have to return this book?”

    Me: “Actually, I just found out the copy of the book you’re holding is reserved. I can go get a copy of it from the storeroom if you want.”

    Customer: “Just hurry up. This place shouldn’t hire people as thick as you!”

    (I run back to the library and issue the book as ‘borrowed’ to her card number.)

    Customer: *speaking very slowly* “Thank you, girl. I’m sorry to have told you that you were thick. I should have realised you were special.”

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