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    Do As I Shout, Not As I Do

    | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada |

    Supervisor: “Well, it says here that you have five books that are overdue. Would you like to renew them?”

    Patron: “What do you mean, overdue?”

    (The supervisor shows the patron the overdue titles on the monitor.)

    Patron: “We returned those books! I can’t believe this kind of stuff happens! What kind of library is this anyway?”

    Patron’s young child: “But Papa, I saw one of the books at home, remember? In the–”

    Patron: “Shut UP!”

    (Ironically, one of the books he claimed to have returned was, “Teaching Your Child Good Manners.”)

    Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

    | Fernie, British Columbia, Canada |

    (I was sitting behind the counter drinking coffee when a woman walked up to me.)

    Me: “Hello, miss! How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “Give me that!”

    Me: “Um, what?”

    Customer: *points to my coffee cup* “Give me that! You don’t deserve it. Only rich people like me deserve coffee and tea!”

    Me: *sighing and pointing towards the coffee machine* “Miss, if you want some coffee you just need to show me your library card, and you can get some from there.”

    Customer: *whips her card out and glares at me* “Here! Now give me your g**d**n coffee!”

    (I point to the machine again, then go back to my book and coffee. Out of the corner of my eye, I see her run to the coffee machine, grab the full coffee pot and run out the door.)

    Me: “HEY! Give that back!”

    Customer: *shouting behind her while running out the door* “You don’t deserve it, you poor little b****!”

    (Later on, another library patron who had seen it all came up to me. He told me how the same woman had stolen roses from his flower shop, and said that it was because no one else deserved them.)

    Books On Surveillance Tape

    | Allentown, PA, USA |

    Me: “**** Library, how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Yes, I have some books that are due tomorrow, but I need to keep them longer.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am. I’ll need your name so I can renew the books.”

    Caller: *scandalized* “You need my what?”

    Me: “Your name, ma’am. So I can call up your account on my computer.”

    Caller: “You have my account?! How did you get that? Do you have my Social Security number?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. I mean your library account. When you came in to get your library card, you filled out a form with your name, address, phone number, and email, so that we can contact you if you ever have overdue books. We don’t have your social security number.”

    Caller: “Well, I’m not giving out my name to a complete stranger over the phone!”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am. Perhaps you could give me the titles of the books?”

    Caller: “Why do you need to know what I’m reading?! The books are due tomorrow! Just renew them!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there’s no way I can look up books by the due date. Without your name or the titles of the books, I can’t help you.”

    Caller: “You’re trying to steal my identity! I’m calling the cops.”

    Me: *giving up* “You do that, ma’am.” *hangs up*

    Co-worker: “You should have told her we put cameras in the books.”

    High Altitude Expectations

    | Michigan, USA |

    (I overhead my coworker have this exchange while helping a patron.)

    Coworker: “What can I help you find?”

    Patron: “I need pictures from when they used to tie small cameras to birds to take aerial photos.”

    Coworker: “Well, I don’t think that we would have any books for that – let me look online.”

    Patron: “I kinda need this right away; my class starts in ten minutes.”

    Coworker: “I’m looking as fast as I can.”

    Patron: “Well, f***ing look faster! I am going to fail this class now, and it’s all because of you!”

    Coworker: “I found your photos. I’ll send them to the printer right now; it will be 50 cents for the print.”

    Patron: “What the f***? You expect me to PAY for the prints?”

    Coworker: “Yes, yes I do.”

    (The patron hands over the money while swearing under his breath.)

    Coworker: “Enjoy.”

    (She hands him the papers and he runs out, but not thirty seconds later he runs back in.)

    Patron: “I need pictures of the f***ing birds, not the pictures that they took!”

    Coworker: *as she turns off her computer* “Well, it looks like our system is down. You’ll have to come back at a later time.”

    Patron: *storms out*

    One Last Parting Shot, Part 3

    | Estonia |

    (An couple of US tourists come into our library and use the public computers for the Internet. When they start leaving, they come to me again and give me 2 Estonian Crowns.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t take this.”

    Customer: “What do you mean you can’t take this?! I got it from the bank just down the street. I know it’s not fake. And it says in the rules that it costs 2.”

    Me: “No, I mean–”

    (He cuts me off and starts ranting on how he never wanted to come to Europe anyway and how everything is better in the States. His wife and I manage to calm him down after a few minutes of loud ranting.)

    Me:“Sir, I can’t take your money because just using the computer is free. Only printing costs 2 Crowns.”

    Customer: “Oh. I thought… I mean, I always have to pay in… well… America is still better than Europe!” *hurries out with his wife*

    Related:
    One Last Parting Shot, Part 2
    One Last Parting Shot

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