Sunday, October 30, 2016


An emotionless voice reaches me over the phone where I'm working at my library.

"I'm calling in order to process a renewal and require your automated renewal system." The voice says.

"Do you want to renew a book?" I ask.

"I'm seeking the renewal system and request to be connected or informed of its location if you could on behalf of a necessary book processing issue."

"Well," I say, trying to form up a way to be helpful "I can renew your book here if you'll give me your library card number. You can do it yourself online. And we have a system where you can do it by punching a lot of numbers into the phone. Which of these would you like?"

"I'd like access to your renewal system for the purpose of an extension process I have been requested to enact. If you would give me the required access information."

"775-0275." I give them our outdated and cumbersome phone renewal system number, and I bluntly hang up.

I strive in all ways at my job to be non discriminatory. I allow no preference as regards race or country of origin or sexual orientation or disability. I endeavor to treat confused people with patience, angry people with kindness, loquacious people with swift efficiency, and broken people with a hint of love. Whether a patron speaks Spanish or Somali or Hmong I try to do what I can to understand them and help them according to their wishes.

All that being said there is one exception: if a person speaks Corporate I consider all my responsibilities to them to be revoked, and I am free to do whatever is most convenient to myself.


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