Blackout: The Movie

, , , , | Right | August 1, 2018

(I work as a library page at a few different libraries around the county. The power is out throughout the city; fortunately, we are able to remain open as some of the staff have been trained to do “paper checkouts” for the books. Unfortunately, we can’t check out DVDs, as they are kept in an electronic sorting tower. We put signs up everywhere explaining this, but some patrons refuse to comprehend the problem. One man fills his basket up with DVD cases — you scan the case and the machine spits out the discs — then spends ten minutes staring at the machine.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t check out DVDs because the power is out and the machine isn’t working.”

Patron: “Can’t you just turn it back on?”

Me: “Sorry, no. The power is out.”

Patron: “Just turn on the machine and get my DVDs.”

Me: “I can’t do that, sir. The power is–“

Patron: “This is ridiculous! You should be able to get my movies! You people are way too dependent on technology these days. These things wouldn’t happen if you just had books like the old libraries did!”

Me: “Well, fortunately, we can check out books for you. The people at the front desk would be happy to help–“

Patron: “Oh, so, you have books, but no movies?”

Me: “Well, our staff is trained to check out books using a paper system. Unfortunately, the movies can’t be checked out, because they are stored in the machine, which isn’t working because the power is out.”

Patron: “Then turn it back on!”

Me: “The power is out for the whole town, sir. I’m sorry, but I can’t just turn it on.”

Patron: “You don’t have to get smart with me! I think I should talk to your supervisor.”

Me: “All right, but I’m sure she’ll tell you the same thing.”

(I get her. She reiterates what I’ve just told him.)

Patron: *angrily throwing down his basket of DVD cases* “Ridiculous! I’ll take my business somewhere else. I’m never coming back here again.” *storms out*

(I don’t think he understood that he’d have a tough time finding FREE movies anywhere else. Oh, well. His taxes still pay to keep the library in business, anyway.)

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