Your Story Can’t Hold Water (Damage)

, , , , , , | Right | November 9, 2017

(A water-damaged junior book has been returned via the overnight returns. I call the customer to let them know about the charges, but they wish to come in the next day to inspect the book. The book is still wet and smells strongly of chlorine. The next day the father comes in with the daughter and asks to see the book. I go and get it and he looks it over. The book is still damp.)

Father: “I just cannot see her doing this to a book. She must have borrowed it like this.”

Me: “It is extremely unlikely that we had a book on our shelves that was wet. In addition, for it to stay wet for the whole four weeks that you had it out would be very strange.”

Father: “She gets A’s; she’s a good student. Sweetheart, tell the librarian about your spelling tests.”

Girl: “I always get 100%.”

Me: “That’s really great; however, the book was returned water-damaged—”

Father: “Sweetheart, you tell the librarian that you didn’t do this.”

Girl: “I didn’t do it on purpose.”

Me: “Did it happen by accident?”

Girl: “It was in my swimming bag and I kind of put my wet bathers on top, but I forgot it was in there.”

Me: “Sometimes accidents like this happen.”

Father: “No, you didn’t, sweetheart; you wouldn’t do that.”

Girl: “I did, though.”

Father: “Well, what is the charge?”

Me: “$12.50.”

Father: “That’s outrageous; I could get this book for $1!”

Me: “If you can source a brand new copy of this book for $1, then by all means, we can accept that instead of payment.”

Father: “You just wait. $1!”

(That was a month ago. I’m still waiting.)

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