He’s Not Fine With It

| Zion, IL, USA | Books & Reading, Money

(A few weeks earlier, we had a massive power outage in the area. Even after we got power back, the system was down for a time, and patron accounts were not accessible. Because of this, if anybody wanted to use the public computers, we had to print out a guest pass. The system is now working again.)

Patron: “I’d like a guest pass to use the computer, please.”

Me: “Actually, the system is back up. You should be able to sign in with your card.”

Patron: “The fines on my card are too high; it won’t let me on.”

Me: “Oh. I’m sorry. In that case, you can’t use the computer.”

Patron: “I don’t understand. Somebody printed a guest pass for me last week.”

Me: “That’s because the system was down. Nobody was able to use their cards then. But now that they’re back up, we have to go by the rules.”

Patron: “Tell me something: if somebody came in from a different library district and had to use the computer, what would you do?”

Me: “I’d give them a guest pass.”

Patron: “So how is this any different?”

Me: “If a patron came in from a different library district, then they wouldn’t owe us money.”

Her Point Has No Weight

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bigotry, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

(I am working the reference desk. I have a great rapport with our patrons, and am often complimented for my positive attitude.)

Me: “This is the reference desk. How can I help you?”

Patron: “Can you tell me why fat people are so defensive?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Patron: “Can you tell me why fat people are so defensive?”

Me: “I can find you some materials on obesity, or prejudice faced by obese people perhaps—”

Patron: “I just want to know why fat people are always so angry.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am; I don’t think I can answer your question.”

Patron: “See! You’re angry!”

Me: “I’m sorry; do I know you?”

Patron: “No, but I’ve been in your library before, and I recognize your voice. You’re fat. Why are you so angry?”

Me: “Ma’am, I consider your question offensive and bigoted. Would you ask that same question about a particular ethnic group?”

Patron: “You’re a f******* fat b****!”

(I’d like to say this conversation didn’t shake me, but I felt ashamed of my appearance for the rest of the day.)

Past The Point Of No Return, Part 2

| Tampa, FL, USA | Books & Reading, Technology

(I have reserved an audio-book at the library and have come in to get it. I am looking at other books, when another customer runs up to me and grabs my reserved books—which still have my name on it—out of my hands.)

Customer: “Oh, my goodness! I have been looking everywhere for this one!”

(She starts to walk away from me with the audio-book in her hand.)

Me: “Um, ma’am. That’s my audio-book. I reserved it.”

Customer: “Why do you have to be so greedy! I want this book! It’s not yours; it doesn’t have your name on it!”

Me: *pointing to the large sticker with my name on it* “Actually, it is!”

(The customer scoffs, and tears the sticker off.)

Customer: “There! Now it’s not! Thanks for the book!”

(She storms off to the self check-out counter, and then starts screaming when it won’t let her check the book out. A librarian comes over to find out what the screaming is all about. I stand just behind her.)

Librarian: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “There is something wrong with this machine! It won’t let me check this audio-book out!”

Me: “Actually there is nothing wrong with the machine. That’s my book that she stole out of my hands. I reserved it over a week ago!”

(The librarian turns to me, obviously not paying attention to what I was saying.)

Librarian: “Ma’am, please wait your turn.”

Customer: “I want this book! This girl tried to take it from me! She’s too young to be reading a book like this! It’s too big for her!”

(The librarian takes the audio-book from the lady and asks to see her library card. After trying to check the book out and it giving her a fail message a few times, she ‘deems’ the book broken, and therefore not able to check out. She starts to walk away with the audio-book, when I stop her.)

Me: “May I try something real quick?”

(The librarian shrugs and hands me the audio-book.)

Customer: “It won’t work! Are you stupid, little girl? She just said that it was broken.”

(Within seconds, I scan my library card and the audio-book. It checks out with no issues.)

Librarian: “Well that was interesting! Why didn’t it have your name on the side?”

Customer: “Oh! I thought she did that herself. She looked like a greedy little girl that felt the need to put her name on everything!”

Me: “Well ma’am, like I told you, I reserved the book. And by the way, I am almost 30. I am in no way a little girl, and even when I was a little girl I loved to read ‘big books’.”

(I turn to the librarian.)

Me: “It did have my name on it, but she tore it off and threw it at me.”

Customer: “So… can I have that book now?”

Librarian and Me: *at the same time* “NO!”

Related:
Past The Point Of No Return