Slip In A Book About Irony While You’re At It

, , , , , | Right | March 20, 2021

In the library where I work, you can renew your loan as long as there is not someone else waiting for that particular book. This is so patrons won’t have to wait longer than necessary for their books. However, not all patrons understand that library services mean you have to share.

For health reasons, we are offering phone and curbside service only.

Me: “Hello, and welcome to [Library]. You’re speaking to [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Patron: “I have a few overdue loans that I want to renew; I’m not finished with them.”

Me: “All right, let’s have a look and see if I can help you with that. May I have your details, please?”

The patron gives me the information I need to look them up in the system.

Me: “Thank you! All right, I can renew [Book #1] and [Book #2] for you, but unfortunately, someone else is waiting for [Book #3], so that one needs to be returned as soon as possible.”

Patron: “Aw, can’t you make an exception? There is a health crisis going on, you know.”

Me: “Yes, I’m aware, but that is a very popular book, and a lot of people want to read it right now. I’m afraid you need to return it, but I can put a new hold on it for you as soon as it’s been returned.”

Patron: “That’s horrible service! How am I supposed to return the book, huh? You’re not even open!”

Me: “There is a slot right outside our entrance where you can return your books twenty-four-seven. If you’re in isolation and no one can help you return your books, we can arrange for a safe pickup outside your home.”

Patron: “All right, all right, I’ll get my husband to drop it off when he gets a chance, but it probably won’t be until next week. I just want you to know that this is very inconvenient for me. Anyway, while I have you on the phone, can you check if any of my holds have come in? I was expecting a book last week.”

Me: “Ah, yes. I can see that one of the books you have on hold seems to be overdue. The patron who has it checked out hasn’t returned it yet.”

Patron: “What?! Why won’t they return their books in time? I’m waiting for that book! You need to call them and make them return it immediately! My husband will be in town tomorrow; he’ll pick it up for me then!”

At this point, I had just given up on humanity in general and mumbled something halfway polite before I ended the call as soon as I could.

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I Don’t Work There, No One Does!

, , | Right | March 17, 2021

I work at an electronics store in a mall. Unfortunately, the chain goes bankrupt and the store closes down. By some miracle, I manage to get a job in another store at the same mall just a few weeks after.

I’ve been at my new job for about two weeks when a customer walks up to me, holding a bag with my former store’s logo on it.

Customer: “I bought this item around two months ago and it stopped working. Could I exchange it for a new one? I have the receipt with me.”

I look at the item and the receipt. Both are from my former store, which I tell the customer.

Me: “Unfortunately, that chain went bankrupt and is no more. I can’t do anything as this is a completely different store.”

Customer: “But I recognise you; you used to work there.”

Me: “Yes, I did, but now I work here, and this place has nothing to do with the store you bought this from. I can only advise you to contact the manufacturer of the item for a warranty issue.”

Customer: “But you should help me! You used to work at [Former Store]. I can’t believe this! You were always so helpful. Why can’t you help me now?”

Me: “Because this is a completely different store. This store sells shoes! It has nothing to do with electronics of any kind and has no obligation to help you just because I used to work there. If you want help finding a pair of shoes, I’ll be more than willing to help you, but with this, I can’t. You have to turn to the manufacturer.”

Customer: “I can’t believe this! This is unacceptable!”

Me: “It is acceptable as it’s completely different. Now I have to continue working; unless I can help you find a pair of shoes, I’ll be going.”

The customer walked off, still muttering.

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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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