Mentally Checked Out, Part 2

| Working | January 25, 2013

(I work at a university library where the majority of the books are stored elsewhere due to a lack of space in the current library. I recently trained a new employee how to handle patrons that want a book kept in our storage facility. He picks up the idea quickly and I leave him to work, but later I overhear this.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry, we can’t get the book for you. We don’t have it anymore.”

Patron: “What do you mean you don’t have it anymore? I’ve checked it out before without any problems.”

Coworker: “You see, we moved all of our useless books so now we can’t check them out.”

Patron: “Look, you must be new. I have the slip you need filled out and everything. Can you just type it into the computer and place the order in the Head Librarian’s box for me?”

Coworker: “Nope, sorry. We don’t check books out anymore.”

Me: “Hi! Is there something I can help you with?”

Patron: “Oh, thank god! Could you get this item checked out for me please?”

Me: “Of course, sir!”

(I put in the request as usual, making sure my coworker watches every step of the process again.)

Me: “Okay, sir, sorry about the trouble. Your book will be ready for pick up tomorrow at 8 am.”

Patron: “Thank you!”

Me: *to coworker* “Why did you tell him we don’t check out books anymore?”

Coworker: “It’s too hard and I didn’t feel like doing it. I’m tired from being up all night, so I just tell people we don’t check out books anymore and they go away.”

Me: “You can’t do that! Our patrons need these books for their classes. What would you do if the Head of the English Department came down here with a list of books that needed to be checked out? Would you tell her we don’t have them anymore?”

Coworker: “Well yeah, if I didn’t feel like working.”

(I reported him to the Head Librarian the next morning but it was already taken care of. Several teachers has already reported him for refusing to help them, and he was fired.)

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