SEKs To Be You

, , , | Right | February 7, 2021

I work at a big museum in Sweden at the information desk. We have tokens for our lockers, or you can use 10 SEK — about $1.20 — to lock them. A visitor approaches.

Visitor: “Hi, I dropped my coin for the lockers so I can’t lock them anymore.”

Me: “Oh, okay… You can borrow this token and then you can lock the locker again if you want. And ask the guard if he can help you retrieve your 10 SEK from under the locker.”

She walks away, and after about five minutes, she comes back.

Visitor: “So, yeah, the guard couldn’t help me retrieve it. Could you maybe give me compensation for 10 SEK? It is my friend’s coin.”

Me: “Ehm… nooo… you need to talk to the cashier to see if that is possible.”

So, this girl dropped 10 SEK, and now she wants the museum to pay her back because she is clumsy. I mean, really.

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A Crafty Grandmother

, , | Right | January 24, 2021

In the small public library where I work, we have free activities for children during school breaks. For autumn break this year, we have, among other things, an arts and crafts table. Kids can colour, construct toys out of empty toilet paper rolls, etc. We ask kids and their minders to pick up after themselves when they’re done. A grandmother and her kids come up to the information desk.

Grandmother: “Hi. I just wanted to let you know how great it is that you have all these activities. My grandkids are visiting over school break and I wouldn’t know what to do with them, otherwise.”

Me: “Thank you. Our young guests seem to appreciate it.”

Grandmother: “You’re going to have a lot of clean-up on your hands, though.”

They promptly left. Feeling suspicious, I went to the arts and crafts table and found it completely wrecked. Coloured paper was thrown everywhere, colouring pens and glue sticks without their caps were thrown on the floor, and the toilet paper roll toys my colleague had painstakingly constructed earlier in the week for inspiration were stolen.

I know the culprit, because we checked the table just before this family arrived and it looked fine. I know I’m not supposed to say this as a librarian, but I really hope those visitors won’t come back.

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You Have Become The Very Thing You Sought To Destroy!

, , , | Right | January 23, 2021

I’m waiting in line at a coffee shop. The line is only five people long, but it’s moving along very slowly due to the shop being short-staffed. Only one person is working behind the counter while the others are busy making sandwiches.

While I’m waiting, I check out the display. Since this is late in the day, they have run out of a lot of things. I decide on what I want from the options available and play around on my phone while I wait.

Meanwhile, a man in front of me is complaining loudly about having to wait such a long time, grumbling about how the staff is lazy and slow, and wondering why they don’t DO something about the long wait, etc.

Yeah, brilliant. I’m sure the staff would never have thought of working as fast as they could without that intelligent input. At one point, he even interrupts the woman working the cash register to complain to her directly, because stopping her from doing her job of handling the current customer’s payment will make the line move SO much faster.

The grumpy man finally reaches the first position in line.

Grumpy Customer: “I want a coffee and a slice of blueberry cake.”

Cashier: “Sorry, sir, we have run out of blueberry cake.”

The man stops dead in his tracks, looking as if someone has slapped him in the face.

Grumpy Customer: “Oh? OH! Ehm, wow, aha, ehm, what should I have instead then, ehm, let me think…”

It’s at this point that I burst out laughing at this man who had been wasting his waiting time complaining and being rude instead of actually checking the display to see if they had what he wanted, and was now holding up the line himself.

He decided on a cinnamon bun and hurriedly left the line with his head down, avoiding eye contact with everyone.

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Morning Sickness For Everyone!

, , , , , | Romantic | January 23, 2021

My fiancée and I both have a weird sense of humor. It’s what drew us to each other. One night, we’re both lying in bed, about to go to sleep, when she farts under the covers. I’m usually the one that has the most foul-smelling farts in this relationship, but since she got pregnant she’s been trying to take first place.

Fiancée: “Oh, wow, I’m so sorry!”

Me: “It’s fine. You know how mine usually are.”

She quickly lifts her covers.

Fiancée: “Oh, wow. No, babe, this one is terrible!”

I get a whiff of hers, and yeah, it’s pretty bad. So I let one go myself, and like normal, it’s pretty bad.

Me: “Oh, no, I got one that’s worse.”

Fiancée: “No, I win. You know why? It’s two versus one.”

I love this woman.

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The Biggest Spreader Is Selfishness

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2021

This is during the global health crisis and the government has just recommended that all public libraries should close down for a period of time. We are all very anxious to find out if that means that the municipality will decide that we’ll have to close down completely.

We have been closed for visitors for a month and a half, but patrons can still put books on hold and make an appointment to collect them outside. The appointments are to make sure we don’t get a huge crowd of people outside at the same time, and also to give us time for things like answering phone calls and emails, hunting down books, making sure we can arrange the hand-off in a way that won’t spread disease, etc. In between all this, we’re fielding calls from desperate patrons who are now unable to get essential computer and Internet access. 

Most regular patrons are very understanding and grateful for the very limited services we are still allowed to provide. Then, there are patrons like this lady on the phone.

Patron: “Hello, I want to pick up my books.”

Me: “Of course! If I can have your name and details, I’ll check if your reservations have come in.”

Patron: “My name is [Patron]. There should be a bag there for me.”

I go to check, and sure enough, there is a bag with the patron’s name on it with a note from a colleague that she’ll call and make an appointment to pick them up later. Apparently, this is “later.” Fair enough.

Me: “All right, I have your bag here ready for pickup. The first free slot today is 13:45; will that be convenient for you?”

It is now around noon, so that’s a pretty good slot.

Patron: “No, of course not. I’m heading into town right now; I’ll be there in ten minutes!”

Me: “I’m sorry, that time slot is already taken. It’s not really possible to make an appointment with that short a notice.”

Patron: “What? You can’t do this. Are you expecting me to plan my entire day around your scheduling? I’ll be there in ten minutes and I expect my books to be there when I am!” 

I want to say, “Oh, so you’re expecting us to reschedule our entire day around your poor planning?” However, I am a customer service veteran, so I know I am not allowed to say that.

Me: “It’s really important for us to keep to this scheduling because it’s the only way we can keep offering this service. We don’t want people to crowd each other outside and risk spreading the disease.”

Patron: “Oh, I promise I’ll keep my distance. Besides, you’re closed anyway; it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do.”

I’ve been on pickup duty for an hour already. I’m wearing latex gloves I’m allergic to and a visor I can’t hear through, I’ve been bathing in hand sanitizer since early morning, I’m warm, I’m stressed, and the phone has been ringing off the hook since I started my shift.

Let’s just say that I scheduled this woman’s unscheduled pickup while grinding my teeth with anger, because our policy is to try to extend our poor excuse for a library service as far as we can, but I have to say, there are people who definitely do not deserve it.

And yep, you guessed it. She definitely did not keep her distance when she came to pick up her books.

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