Trying To Corral The Answer Out Of Them

, , , | Right | June 19, 2017

(I am working the reference desk when I get a phone call from a patron.)

Patron: ” Hi, sorry about all the noise. We are watching a tv show. I wanted to put a book on hold so I can come pick it up tomorrow.”

Me: “Okay, What book are you looking for?”

Patron: “Oh, I don’t know the name… I put it on hold at [Other Branch] but I never got around to picking it up, and they said that you have a copy on your shelf, so I need you to pull it and hold it for me.”

Me: “Do you know what the book is about?”

(Reference librarians have fantastic deduction skills. We can normally figure out what you are looking for if you give us some clues…)

Patron: “Oh, um… it’s about Wyatt Earp’s wife. It’s for my book club.”

Me: “Are you looking for a biography about Josephine Earp, or a fictional story about her?”

Patron: “That’s not her name!”

(Uh… yes, it is.)

Me: “Okay, are you by chance looking for ‘Lady at the OK Corral’?” *biography about Josephine Earp*

Patron: “No. That’s not it. Can’t you look it up in my account? I had it on hold but I never picked it up.”

Me: “No, our system doesn’t keep expired hold requests; it’s a privacy issue.”

Patron: “Well, how am I supposed to know what book I want?! I have the name of the book in an email, but my Internet isn’t working, because [Cable Provider] is the worst company ever and they always turn off my Internet when I need it the most…”

(This goes on for about two minutes, with her complaining non-stop about how her Internet is out and how I am not being helpful. While she is complaining, I search our entire system, but ‘Lady at the OK Corral’ is the only book about Josephine Earp that is not at the main branch in the reference collection… I am at a loss of what to do next when…)

Patron: “…oh! The Internet is on! I’m pulling up my email. Do you have a pen? The name of the book is ‘The Lady at the OK Corral.’ Do you have that?”

Me: “Yup… I will put that on hold for you. You have until tomorrow close to pick it up.”

1 Thumbs
  • Mike

    This is just not OK.

  • Anamaria Bobic

    I would have rubbed it in her face a little.
    “Ma’am that is the book I said earlier and you insisted that’s not it”

    • NessaTameamea

      “no you didn’t! You said something completely different!”

    • Deadpool

      No! Definitely not. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s: “Do not mess with the crazy people!” Just smile and nod and let the next poor soul deal with them.

      • Jelaza

        And when Deadpool won’t mess with someone, that’s a warning for the rest of us.

        • Deadpool

          Well, to be honest, I’m usually the craziest person in any given situation… but there are exceptions.

    • John Mill

      I would have said,
      “Oh, I’m so sorry. It seems someone just checked it out since you said that wasn’t the book you were after.”

  • jonoave

    Yay, the old Disqus comment system is back !

  • Lord Circe

    Huh. So, on my phone, the comments are back to Disqus, but on my laptop, it is still showing that weird WordPress comment system.

    Anyway, as I posted on the other system. “How am I supposed to know what book I want?” Given that you are obviously lacking any form of intelligence, I am not sure of that myself. I’m honestly surprised you can actually read.

    • In what universe is Disqus less weird than WordPress?

      • Wendigone

        The broken wordpress form was unstyled and labelled the comment box ‘website’ on my end. Then again, it wasn’t uber-laggy like disqus is lately, so…

    • Leah

      I’m the reverse. On my phone it still gets me to comment with my facebook account but on my laptop it’s disqus.

    • Kitty

      Given that they are supposed to read it for a club, you’d think they’d recall the name.

  • danielle

    bet you if you paid your bill… your cable company wouldn’t turn off your internet… just sayin ….

    • Flami

      You know, there ARE such things as internet outages…

      • danielle

        “because [Cable Provider] is the worst company ever and they always turn off my Internet when I need it the most…”

        if they are “turning it off” there is a reason

        • But then it came back on while they were talking so this sounds more like an outage. I’m sure as far as Patron is concerned, though, Cable Provider is watching their every move and deliberately turning it off at the worst possible moment. Because cable companies can do that in her world.

          • danielle

            lol or she paid her bill right before she called 😜 idk … i work for an internet provider, i had to stick it to someone and this customer was it!

        • kittykat0714

          Not everyplace in the US has reliable service. My parents live in a place that only has DSL service, it’s out more than it’s on some months. So no there may not be a reason the are “turning it off”.

          • danielle

            having and outage and a company turning off service are 2 entirely different things. outage=not on purpose, turned off= deliberately shut off service due to a billing issue or per customer request

            maybe i am taking op’s story too literally. lol

          • Vulpis

            You’re not looking at it from the customer side of things.
            Outage==My internet’s not working!
            Service Cutoff==My internet’s not working!

            ….Mind you, you, the reasons are different, which the customer may be too stupid/crazy/entitled to comprehend..

        • Rebecca Charlton

          They probably aren’t turning it off. This lady seems to think the world is out to get her. It can’t just be out, someone is turning it off just to make things difficult for her….

        • Leah

          Just because someone as clueless as this says ‘turn it off’ doesn’t mean they are ACTUALLY turning it off. Chances are it just goes down a lot and she thinks it’s them turning it off because people like her don’t understand how technology works.

    • Deadpool

      But then it came back on while they were talking so this sounds more like a temporary outage.

      • danielle

        i still say she paid her bill before she called the bookstore 😝

  • arglebargle

    This person can read?

  • Christine Wood

    Someone please kick her shins.

  • Rebecca Charlton

    Patron: Well, how am I supposed to know what book I want?!
    Me: If you don’t, how am I supposed to?

  • Hahn Ackles

    “So you see, Mr. Judge, that was when the book leapt out of my hand and hurled itself at her face. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

    • jimfromtx

      And one more for Jenny and the wimp!

    • Ophelia

      Must be one of those haunted libraries!

  • Abigail Hermione Irwin

    Congratulations on not finishing your final comment with “You f*cking moron.”

  • AmoebaStampede

    This woman is straight out of that “Kids in the Hall” sketch.
    “I saw a great movie on TV last night… oh, what was it called… it’s about this newspaper tycoon, and Orson Welles stars in it…”
    “That’s ‘Citizen Kane.'”
    “No, that’s not it… he had a sled named ‘Rosebud’…”
    “It’s ‘Citizen Kane.'”
    “No… wait, I’ll think of it…”

    • Darth Hideous

      I had an argument like that over a Dean Koontz novel. Him: “What was the name of the first Odd Thomas book?” Me: “It was ‘Odd Thomas.'” Him: “Right, but what was the name of the first book?” Me: “It was ‘Odd Thomas.'” Him: “I know it’s Odd Thomas, but what was the title of the first book?” (For those not familiar with the Odd Thomas series the titles tend to be “Forever Odd,” “Brother Odd,” and other similar variations on the character’s name.)

  • Jackie Fauxe

    That’s a super short hold time; the libraries in my state hold things for a week.

  • Kitty

    Must be using some stupid gmail thing or so, because if she used Outlook or so, she could just open that and see her received emails.

  • AsaeAmpan

    We had it but in the time that passed since me giving the name and you finally getting the fact that was the name they have all been checked out. Good bye

  • Doom Shepherd

    Yeah, working in a public library will quickly destroy every positive belief you ever had about humanity.

  • Caerus

    As a librarian I unfortunately have to say that this is pretty much the norm. I find the correct book with very little information but patron denies and says it’s not it. Then the patron comes back later and ask for the exact same book I just offered to him/her few moments ago. If not daily, it happens at least weekly. So you have my symphaty, fellow librarian!