An Example Of Why People Need To Pay Attention

, , , | Right | February 11, 2020

(It is quite busy and a patron comes to return a book. Since he’s late, he has a fine.)

Patron: “But I called you to renew it and you didn’t answer!”

Me: “Well, yes, sorry about that. It can get quite busy so we can’t always answer the phone as we prioritize patrons who are in front of us.”

(Right on cue, the phone starts ringing.)

Me: “See? I’m not going to answer it because I’m busy helping you. If it’s important, you can try calling back later or send us an email. Or better yet, you can renew your book yourself by logging into our online catalog.”

Patron: “That’s why I called; I did log in on the catalog and I didn’t see any renewal options. And there were three books on my account even though I only had one. The titles weren’t even the same!”

Me: “Maybe you looked at your loan history? We can check now if you want; just log in, please.” 

(I hand him the keyboard so he can type his username and password.)

Patron: “Oh, but I don’t know my username; my computer at home always logs me in automatically.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. I can check what your username is in our database. There you go: it’s [Username]. Just type in your password, please.”

Patron: “Obviously, I don’t know my password, either. I just told you that my computer logs me in automatically every time.”

Me: “Then I can’t see what the problem is. Once you get home, you can check and then just send us an email with details and screenshots and we’ll try to figure it out.”

(The patron grumbles but still pays his fine and leaves. He comes back one hour later.)

Patron: “I figured out why the books on my account weren’t mine; it’s because it was from your example on how to log in from the library website! You should make it clearer that it was an example. I thought it was my account!”

Me: “Oh, um… Well, I’m glad you figured it out.”

(I didn’t really know what else to say, as I really don’t know how he could have thought that the example was his account since the examples we put on our site are screenshots on a page clearly labelled “How to log into the catalog” and there’s text explaining how to renew books after the screenshots. Plus, it means he never actually logged in before.)

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