Half A Mind To Watch What You Say

| Veron, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Language & Words

(A father and son check out books and DVDs.)

Me: “That’s it. Books are due in two weeks and the DVDs are due in one. But you can return the books at the same time as the DVDs are due, if you have a mind to. Thank you.”

(A few minutes later, as they go in the children’s room:)

Son: “What did she mean by that, Daddy?”

Father: “Well, I think she’s from down South and it’s just a saying…”

(I’m watching what “down South” expressions I use now…)

Heed The Words Of Wisdom

| WA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

(Our libraries offer self-checkout stations in addition to staff-assisted checkout. The self-check consists of a touch-screen monitor and barcode scanner. Using the scanner can take some practice. If it doesn’t get the entire item barcode an error message appears on the monitor. There are also several other error messages a customer can get regarding late fees, exceeding the checkout limit, etc. Because the monitors face customers and not the staff, we don’t know what error someone has unless we run around the counter to look. Some customers aren’t great at articulating which error message they’ve received or for asking for assistance at all.)

Customer: *scans an item* “There. Are. Words.”

Me: “I’m sorry? Did you get an err—”

Customer: “THERE ARE WORDS ON THE SCREEN!”

Me: “Let’s take a look. It’s asking you to tap the ‘OK’ button and scan the item again because it misread the barcode.”

Customer: *she jabs at the screen and re-scans the item aggressively*

Me: “Yay, it worked!”

Customer: *grunts and walks away*

Coworker: “If she couldn’t handle reading the screen, how will she manage with the book she’s checked out?”

An Attention Deficit Disorder

| PA, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal

(A patron grabs a pair of our headphones, puts them in her purse, and starts walking away.)

Me: “Ma’am, you can’t take our headphones away from the computer area.”

Patron: “Oh. I didn’t think you were paying attention, so I just took them. Is that okay?”

Me: “…no. No, it isn’t.”