Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yes, you will be charged for this

It has been a long day. I am working on the big check in machine. It's busy and there's the usual stuff the machine cannot, or refuses to handle, going off into the exception bin. Every few minutes I am taking those books and media out of the exception bin and putting them on a little cart so I can feed it all through the machine again. I have stuff on the cart and I am leaning over it, probably reading something because I am always reading something. Or maybe I am jotting down a blog note or two. Something smells...bad. Did something get on these cookbooks? I lean closer for a tentative whiff and the smell ferociously accelerates from bad to wretched, hideous, foul. It is not a general smell any longer, but specific. I pick up the offending book. There is an unmistakable large smear, with thickness and body, of excrement on part of the spine and turning onto the back cover of the book. Excrement. As in, well, shit.

I do not use that word lightly but I want to be able to say: I am pretty accommodating. I try to give the benefit of the doubt to patrons. I mean, what I am trying to say is I will do my very best to work with the metaphorical shit on returned items, but when it all turns all literal I walk to the big dumpster in the garage and throw the book away. I weed the book and put a replacement cost charge on the patron's record. I include an explanation. I believe that fine should be paid humbly, and with little fuss, but one never knows.

Other than that everything seems okay here tonight.


  1. Thanks for the graphic description. The next time I'm wiping some inoffensive stickiness off a returned book, I will recall your words and think just how fortunate I am.

  2. Literal shit makes the best blog fodder, eh?


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