Tales From the Library

As I’ve said before there are many, many patrons of the library who are kind and respectful and courteous and pleasant. But a story about somehow who comes up to the desk and offers to donate some books or settle up their 20 cent fine because “they don’t want us thinking badly about them” really don’t make for sensational stories. The stories I enjoy telling are the ones that are so ludicrous that you can’t help but laugh.

Here’s a recent favorite:

A man walks up to the circulation desk and asks that I personally check in his DVDs while he is standing there so he can make sure they are off his account. Fine. I understand that the library can make mistakes and if I have the time to acquiesce I have no problem doing so. Now, this patron always has a pile of new DVDs to be checked in which means that they will inevitably be on hold for another patron. This means that every time I check an item in it takes longer because I then have to fill out a slip of paper and send it on to the next patron. Also not a big deal, it just takes more time.

The one day that he asks me to do this however is a day that we were slammed with work. I mean lines of patrons, holds to be processed, heaps of books waiting to be checked in, etc. So I politely ask this gentleman if I could check them after I was finished helping the line of patrons so they wouldn’t have to wait as long. No, that was not okay, he said. So rather than dealing with a tirade, which he was brewing up to have, and wasting more time I checked in his items.

Once that was finished he gave me his wife’s library card to pick up her holds. I grabbed them from the hold shelf and returned to the front desk. He sorted through them and asked where such and such DVD was because it had said “In Transit” this morning and really should be there by now. I told him, still cool, calm and collected, that items “In Transit” don’t necessarily get in that same day. He said, well I just returned one that you checked in and it wasn’t due yet so can I have that back? I replied, the same DVD your wife is waiting for is one you just returned? Yes, he said, she likes to have her own copy to watch.

!!!!!!!!!

After I told the man that because he wanted me to check his items in, they were now promised to whatever patron is next on the list and no, he couldn’t have the DVD back. He wasn’t happy but my boss had my back and he left (somewhat) quietly.

At least it keeps life interesting! 🙂 Until next time…

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  1. See, I would keep a Netflix flier on hand for just such an occasion, but probably it’s a good thing I no longer work with the public.

  2. I hate being stuck behind someone like this. Whether it’s at a library, store or elsewhere, they hold everyone up with their rants and requests.

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