Hold It!

, , , | Right | June 17, 2017

(It’s a very busy day. While I’m in the middle of helping someone, another patron approaches me.)

Patron: “I was looking for my wife’s hold, but it’s not on the shelf. Could it still be in the back room?”

Me: “It might be. Once I’m finished helping this patron, I’ll go check for you.”

Patron: “Oh, don’t worry, then; I’ll go check.”

(I watch, incredulous, as the patron proceeds to wander into our staff area and start examining the shelves, none of which would have any holds.)

Me: “Umm… actually, this is the staff area. We need you to wait out here. I’ll be with you in just a second.”

Patron: “But it’s just back here!”

(He glared at me for a moment before storming out. Not a minute later, his wife came in and waited politely for me, something that was apparently too difficult for her husband.)

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  • Deadpool

    Allow me to be the first to suggest locking mechanisms for the doors.

    • Cathrope

      Reminds me of a British show called the “Young Ones” were a character put a bomb on the front door bell for he didn’t think it was loud enough.

    • Will Flynn

      I’d agree, but, Managers won’t trust/allow employees to do the most mundane things, can you imagine them giving *every* employee a key to the back room/employee area?

      • Daistis

        it’s also a huge pain to have to keep locking and opening the doors every time someone has to go in the back just because some people might do what most adults know is trespassing

    • Jami

      It took a mentally ill patron walking into our backroom and stealing paperwork on our teenage volunteers for Summer Reading for HQ to finally put a lock on our door. (Woman kept insisting the paperwork was her non-existent children’s homework.) Nevermind that someone had been going into the breakroom and stealing money from employees for months. We were just told “Oh, keep your purses with you.”

      Employees’ belongings and IDs in danger of being stolen, no big deal according to HQ.

      • Deadpool

        Of course not. Not unless it was the boss’s belonging being stolen.

        • Jami

          Oh even then HQ wouldn’t care. After all, “It’s just a Tier 3 library.”

      • You’re supposed to wear your purses while working?

        • Jami

          Keep them under the desk, really. Where they’re even MORE vulnerable because people wander behind the desks all the time despite being told not to.

          We have a lock now, though.

  • Hadriake

    I read the title. Then, I suddensly found myself asking for more testimony in court. I still don’t know how I got here.

    • Target

      Take that!

      • robindaybird

        OBJECTION!

  • Illogically

    Once, when I was working in the back, I had a customer just stroll through the doors clearly marked “Employees Only” and start looking around. When I tried to shepherd him out and ask what he needed, he said “Oh, the thing I want wasn’t on the shelf. I just thought I’d come back here and find where you’ve hidden it.”

    Turned out we were out of stock and he’d never even tried asking the other employees on the floor.

    • 白大福

      We have people wandering into our hotel and trying to use the restroom inside the rooms. Even trying to open the room doors when non are left open.

      • Illogically

        Unrelated, but your screen name is making me hungry.

        • 白大福

          (awkward seal

  • Gretchen

    I am so surprised every time I see a staff room with the door wide open, or just unlocked. Almost every place where I live gives every employee a card to scan to enter spaces for only employees, so no other people could enter, even by accident.

  • Sofie Sunde

    Here in Norway we have self check out computers at the library, and the books on hold are close to the the computers. When the book is ready, we get a SMS with a code (usually date and something) for where the book is on the hold shelf. No need to go into other areas or even talk to people at all.

    • The Vicar

      That’s how better-funded public libraries in the U.S. usually handle it these days, too. But in the U.S., libraries are usually funded as a separate taxing body which gets a percentage of local property taxes, with a relatively small amount of additional funding from the state — far less money from the state than would be necessary to maintain services. (Same with most schools below the college level.) Since that means every right-winger in the country sees libraries as an enemy — libraries mean more taxes, and nothing in the entire world is more important to the American right wing than lowering taxes, even if it’s a short-sighted cut which means higher costs overall — relatively few public libraries can afford to install the mechanics necessary to get this kind of system. (An RFID tag, for example, may cost pennies, but installing an RFID tag in every one of a library’s half-million or more items is a pretty huge cost to absorb, to say nothing of the outlay for the hardware to read RFID tags or send the messages to people’s phones.)

    • kimasa

      I’m in Australia and we have this too. Still doesn’t prevent people from being rude and/or overall stupid.

      My favourite scenario was when we had two copies of the same book on hold for two different customers, one picked up the other one, despite it having a slip with someone else’s name printed in very large letters, the system wouldn’t put it on her card because it wasn’t allocated to her, and her immediate response was a series of shrieks and accusations about stolen books.

  • IHadAMew

    I had a customer bang on the staff only door with his fists today, he almost broke it down because there were no colleagues at the auto desk… Mostly because he was the first customer for a couple of hours.

  • Rob Tonka

    “I was looking for my wife’s hold”

    WTF is a hold? If this was from some other country, I might guess a purse, but this is from Iowa

    • Susan Michele Lane

      It’s a book that you request to be reserved in a library. You place the book on hold until you can pick it up so someone else doesn’t check it out first.

      • Rob Tonka

        Well this dude is a moron. What, does he think they have big giant sign with his wife’s name? How the F would he know how things are organized or where holds are kept? Be like coming to my house and trying to figure out which drawer I keep my jogging pants, or maybe I keep them on the shelf in the closet, or maybe they are on a hanger. Lemme just go start looking for stuff he has no reason to know what it looks like or where to find it other than…its in that room.

      • Lisa Presley

        Oh! Thanks for that. I thought it was a weird translation error and the OP was talking about a “clutch” type bag/purse.

    • Jami

      A hold is a book, movie, etc that you put “on hold” in a library.

    • Maybeth80

      Also in some retail stores you can call ahead to place an item on hold for you to purchase at a later time. Most I’ve seen that do this limit the amount of items allowed to be held as well as the amount of time it can be held for before putting back on the sales floor.

  • Denton Young

    “Ma’am, you need to train your pet chimpanzee how to wait when people tell it to.”

  • At least his wife had it covered after Patron decided to book it.