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    What Goes Around Comes Around

    | New Jersey, USA |

    Me: “Reference Desk, how may I help you?”

    Caller: “I have been waiting for a book for months, and it’s overdue.”

    Me: “Okay, I can put it on hold for you and that will trigger our system to call the person who has it out.”

    Caller: “I can’t believe that you let people do this.¬†It’s so rude! Don’t people understand that maybe someone else might be waiting to read that book?”

    Me: “Ma’am, I understand. Could you please tell me your name and the title of the book?”

    Caller: *tells me her name and the book title*

    (I type in her name, click “Place Hold” and enter the title. An error message pops up: “Cannot place hold. This title is already checked out to this patron.”)

    Me: “Ma’am… there seems to be a problem.¬†I can’t place the book on hold for you because you are the one who has it checked out.”

    Caller: “What? WHAT?! That is impossible! How could that be? I never checked that book out!”

    Me: “Well, it’s out on your card, and it’s quite overdue. I’m going to have to ask you to return it, because there are people waiting to read it.”

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