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To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, Part 5

, , , , | Right | May 13, 2022

A regular library patron comes up to the desk and waves a magazine at us.

Patron: “I need to copy four pages out of this.”

Me: “Okay, the public copier is right over there.”

Patron: “I have forty cents credit at this library. I owed sixty cents for printing last week, and I paid with a dollar, so now I have credit.”

I look at my coworker. Our money system for computer print-outs is literally run out of an Altoids tin, and the copier is coin-operated separately. We don’t track patrons’ payments once they’ve paid.

However, we both know that this particular patron is a bit difficult, so my coworker gives me a shrug to say, “Whatever.”

Me: “Okay, we don’t have a credit system, but I can help you with the copier this time.”

I take forty cents out of the Altoids tin, drop it in the photocopier coin slot, and then photocopy the pages the patron wants, though normally it’s supposed to be self-serve.

Me: “All right. Here you go. Also, for future reference, we have no way of tracking credit. If you want your change, you can just take it when we offer it.”

Patron: “Well, I paid with a dollar. It wasn’t even my dollar; some man just gave it to me downstairs. So, I paid with that, and I told the lady at the desk to keep the change for someone else who needs it. That’s my credit.”

Me: “Okay, well… we have no way to track that.”

Patron: “It’s my credit.”

Me: “I understand what you’re saying, but we don’t track credit. In the future, you can just take your change and keep it with you for next time.”

Patron: “Look, I have two nursing degrees, so I’m not stupid. You don’t have to keep repeating that. I’m not dumb!”

Me: “Okay.”

Patron: “You know what? I’m going to take my copies somewhere else next time since you can’t even treat grown-ups with respect! I’ll go to [Office Supply Chain] and give them my business!”

Me: “Okay.”

Patron: “No respect! I have two degrees!”

To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, Part 4
To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, Part 3
To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, Part 2
To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

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