Monday, February 8, 2016
Sent by God
I know I occasionally make a fuss about being a prophet of the gods, but this pipeline to deities is not usually one I talk about in relation to my library work. So it may surprise you to hear that I have been sent by God to do library work for people. It was certainly a surprise to me, but a library patron told me so on the phone today. "You are a Godsend!" She said with gusto.
What interaction led to me being proclaimed as a sending from God, functionally an Angel?
She called the library and had some items that were a day late. "I just got back from the hospital from major surgery." She said. "I can't get into the library today and was hoping you could renew my materials."
Earlier in the day I had a call from a woman with late materials whose husband had collapsed and was now in the hospital on a respirator. I renewed her items. I waived her accumulated fines. I was sympathetic. But I do believe in checking. So I made sure that woman didn't have lots of past waives in her record for things like "Hospital emergency".
With this on my mind I was in a mood to be considerate and waive the fines from the current person's record. Though it may seem the simplest of decencies, waiving fines when no one is asking us to do so is incredibly rare. Here I was considering an astonishing two of these waives in one day. But I checked. I asked "Did you just get home from the hospital today?"
"No." She replied. "I've been home for a few days." And with that, my tiny thread of magnanimity broke. I wasn't not sympathetic, merely the high bar for an unsolicited waive was no longer quite met now that I knew she had been home for a day or two before her items were due. No big extras for her. I renewed her books, told her her late fine amount, and wished her a full and speedy recovery.
"You are a Godsend!" She proclaimed with genuine feeling.