Anne Frank Didn’t Write Her Diary For You To Lose It

, , , | Right | October 14, 2018

(I work at the information services desk at my local library. My tasks include answering reference questions — which are anything from phone numbers to things that actually require research — putting items on reserve, and assisting patrons with computers, printing, copying, microfilm, etc. This was my most interesting phone call yesterday.)

Me: “[Library,] information services. This is [My Name].”

Patron: “Hello, [My Name], I was wondering if you could pull and hold three items for me?”

Me: “Sure thing! What are you looking for, so I know if they’re here or elsewhere in the library system?”

Patron: “I need three copies of The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Me: “Yup, it looks like we have four available here, so I can definitely grab three for you. May I have your name for the hold?”

Patron: “The name is [Gender-Neutral First Name, Surname].”

Me: “That name actually doesn’t seem to be in my computer here.”

Patron: “That’s not right. That’s my husband, and I have his library card right here in front of me!”

Me: *mentally preparing for the worst* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m actually unable to charge them to someone else’s card. It’d need to be on yours.”

Patron: “Well, maybe his is expired. Can you hold them for him, anyway, and he can renew his card with the license?”

(I have to explain several times that I am unable to place something on hold for someone who is not in the system, and that I cannot hold something for her on someone else’s card.)

Patron: “Well, I don’t know if you can put it on my card. I have overdue books. I don’t know what the fine is, but my name is [Patron].”

Me: “Well, if the fine is under $5, you are still able to check things out. Let me check on that for you.” *sees the patron has $54.99 in fines for two lost items* “Uh… Yeah, ma’am, you have about $55 in fines on your account.”

Patron: *annoyed and snippy* “Well, then you’re going to put it on my daughter, [Daughter]’s card!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m still unable to charge your items on someone else’s card. You’ll have to pay the fines for your lost items in order to use your library card again.”

Patron:Well, this is bulls***! I guess I have to wait for forgiveness day so I don’t have to give you greedy people your $55 that’ll probably go toward your coffee, anyway!” *hangs up*

(I’m assuming she didn’t know that our library does not have an Amnesty or Forgiveness Day, and that you’re only exempt from fines on those days if you actually GIVE THE ITEMS BACK!)

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