Save It On A Flesh Drive

| WA, USA | Books & Reading, Language & Words, Technology

(Our library offers several touch-screen computers that customers can use to check out items themselves. The customer is a friendly regular, but a little shy because English is not her first language.)

Customer: “Why does this machine require flesh?”

Me: “W-what?”

Customer: “This machine. I am touching it, but it does not work. Is because…?”

(She shows that she is wearing gloves.)

Me: “Oh! I’m sorry; yes I suppose the screens don’t work if you have gloves on. I had never really thought about that.”

Customer: “Ah. Okay, sorry to be bother.”

Me: “No, no! That is the best thing I’ve heard all week.”

(Now whenever the computers have problems, the staff joke that they ‘require flesh’ to function, and someone must be sacrificed to appease them.)

Needs To See The Parenting Section

| NY, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Top

(Two brothers start fighting over a toy in the Children’s Room. They aren’t listening to their mother, who is trying to select books to take home.)

Me: “If you boys can’t share nicely with that toy, I’ll have to put it away so neither of you can play.”

Boys: “Okay, miss [my name].”

Mother: “Thank you. They never listen to me.”

(The boys start fighting again. I go in and take the toy away, putting it up out of reach. The boys start crying in unison.)

Boys: “Mommy!”

Mother: *to me* “I can’t believe you really took it away! That’s so mean!”

(She grabs the boys and they leave. I am speechless, but now I know why they never listen to their mother!)

Checking In On Checking Out

| Australia | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid

(A customer has been using a self-checking machine. Half way through, she decides she doesn’t want a certain book and takes it back to the shelves. I’ve been watching her, so I know that she has actually checked the book out to herself before putting it back on the shelf.)

Me: “Excuse me! Can I just get that book from you, and I’ll check it back in? Don’t worry about shelving it; I’ll take care of that.”

Customer: “No, no. I don’t want this.”

Me: “I understand, but I just need to check it back in. Otherwise, it still appears as being out on your card.”

Customer: “But I don’t want it.”

Me: “I know. I understand. I’m not asking you to take it. I just want to check it in.”

Customer: “Are you daft? I. Don’t. Want. This. Book.”

Me: “Right. Look. If you don’t let me check this book in now, in four weeks time you are going to receive a letter informing you that this book is overdue.”

Customer: “No, I won’t. I haven’t borrowed it.”

Me: “Yes you have!”

Customer: “I don’t understand how someone as stupid as you got a job here. See those?” *points to security gates*Those are what check the books out to me. If I don’t carry the book through there, they aren’t on my card. Get it?!”

Me: *giving up* “You’re too right, ma’am. Sorry to have bothered you.”

(She leaves with a smug look on her face. Then I pick up the book and carry it out to my desk.)

Coworker: “You aren’t going to check that in, are you?”

Me: “H*** no.”

(Sure enough, five weeks later the customer comes in ranting and raving about ‘never having borrowed that book’. I bring it out from my desk and put it in front of her.)

Me: *shrugs* “Is this the book?”

Customer: “F***ing b****.”