It’s Time To Borrow A New Excuse

, , , , | Right | June 21, 2017

(Our library policy is that you must either provide your library card or a form of photo ID to check out items or use a computer. A patron comes in, selects a few DVDs, and comes up to the front counter.)

Patron: “And I don’t have my library card or my ID, so just look me up by my last name.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re going to need either your library card or your photo ID to check out your items.”

Patron: “You know who I am! I’m in every day! Why can’t you just check me out?”

Me: “I’m sorry; it’s our policy.”

Patron: *points at a new coworker who has only been working a few weeks at this point* “Well, SHE checks me out all the time without my card! Isn’t that right?”

Coworker: *deer-in-headlights look* “Uh…”

Me: “I’m afraid it’s against our policy. Would you like me to hold your DVDs for you, and you can check them out the next time you come in with your card?”

Patron: *angrily throws the DVDs across the counter at me* “Never mind!” *storms out*

(The coworker was apologetic, saying she’d never seen this woman before and had no idea what she’s talking about. Sadly, this isn’t the first time someone has used the “but so-and-so lets me check out without a card” excuse, and it’s unlikely to be the last…)

Trying To Corral The Answer Out Of Them

, , , | Right | June 19, 2017

(I am working the reference desk when I get a phone call from a patron.)

Patron: ” Hi, sorry about all the noise. We are watching a tv show. I wanted to put a book on hold so I can come pick it up tomorrow.”

Me: “Okay, What book are you looking for?”

Patron: “Oh, I don’t know the name… I put it on hold at [Other Branch] but I never got around to picking it up, and they said that you have a copy on your shelf, so I need you to pull it and hold it for me.”

Me: “Do you know what the book is about?”

(Reference librarians have fantastic deduction skills. We can normally figure out what you are looking for if you give us some clues…)

Patron: “Oh, um… it’s about Wyatt Earp’s wife. It’s for my book club.”

Me: “Are you looking for a biography about Josephine Earp, or a fictional story about her?”

Patron: “That’s not her name!”

(Uh… yes, it is.)

Me: “Okay, are you by chance looking for ‘Lady at the OK Corral’?” *biography about Josephine Earp*

Patron: “No. That’s not it. Can’t you look it up in my account? I had it on hold but I never picked it up.”

Me: “No, our system doesn’t keep expired hold requests; it’s a privacy issue.”

Patron: “Well, how am I supposed to know what book I want?! I have the name of the book in an email, but my Internet isn’t working, because [Cable Provider] is the worst company ever and they always turn off my Internet when I need it the most…”

(This goes on for about two minutes, with her complaining non-stop about how her Internet is out and how I am not being helpful. While she is complaining, I search our entire system, but ‘Lady at the OK Corral’ is the only book about Josephine Earp that is not at the main branch in the reference collection… I am at a loss of what to do next when…)

Patron: “…oh! The Internet is on! I’m pulling up my email. Do you have a pen? The name of the book is ‘The Lady at the OK Corral.’ Do you have that?”

Me: “Yup… I will put that on hold for you. You have until tomorrow close to pick it up.”

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.)

Needs To Be Tutored In The Art Of Giving A D*mn

, , , , , | Learning | June 12, 2017

(I work as a freelance math tutor. One day, I meet my client for an appointment and have the following exchange:)

Me: “I see you’re going to [Local Community College]. Which class are you taking?”

Student: “I don’t know.”

Me: *assuming maybe he forgot the name of the class* “Ok, do you have the book?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Well then, do you happen to have the syllabus?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Then why did you set up this appointment?”

Student: “No, that was my uncle.”

(I just left at that point.)

The Mother Of All Bad Customers

, , , | Related | June 7, 2017

(I’m a college student who still lives at home and works part-time as a book-shelver. I keep my work and personal lives separate. One day, my mom appears at my library, and I’m totally immersed in work-mode and caught off-guard by her surprise visit.)

Mom: “Hi!”

Me: “O-oh, hi.”

Mom: *angry* “What?! Aren’t you happy to see me?”

Me: “That’s not it. It’s just that I don’t have time to talk right now, and I already took my break—“

Mom: “You can’t talk to your own mother?”

Me: “We can always talk later, but I’m working right now.”

Mom: “Fine. If you’re going to be like that, then help me find [Book].”

Me: “Okay. So if you go to the reference desk—“

Mom: “Why are you passing me off?! You don’t want to help me?!”

Me: “I don’t know the call number… y’know, the label on the spine? But they can look it up at the reference desk, and then I can help you find it.”

Mom: “Look it up there!” *she points to the patron computers*

Me: “Um… I’m really not allowed to do that. It’s outside of my job description and could get me in trouble.”

Mom: “Ugh, forget it! I don’t know WHY you’re treating me like this!”

(While the bad work experience was partly my own fault, the worst part is that it followed me home! I had to deal with my mom’s passive-aggressive comments about this incident for a long time.)

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