Friday, February 22, 2019

Complaint quota

I don't like complaining about our wonderful library patrons, but sometimes they're simply so infuriating, so inexplicable, and so exasperating! So I try to keep it down to just a few such complaining posts each year.

What did they do this time?

Thank you for asking.

Did they yell at you and call you names? 


Did they steal things?


Did they physically attack the librarians?

No no no.

It's much worse than that.

They created pointless work for me.

"Huh." You might say, quickly losing interest. 

But don't you see? That's exactly it! There we are, me and the library patron. We're on the phone together and we're having a fine time. She is pretty sure she returned that Jude Devereux book, but when she called one of our other branch libraries they looked for it and they didn't have it!

"So why are you calling me?" I ask, though I put it more gently than that, though I can't think of how, so maybe I didn't.

The other branch suggested I call you.

Then I ask for the patron's library card number.

It never occurred to them that they might need such a thing because they naturally think I am magic.

I am totally magic but I want their library card number.

"I have to go to the local Kwik-E-Mart to get that." They say with a touch of irritation that they modify with a quick consideration of how if they have to go to the Kwik-E-Mart they might as well pick up some barbecued corn chips while they're there.

So they set the phone down and head to the Kwik-E-Mart while I, waiting on the line, watch the entire second half of the Atletico Madrid V. Juventus soccer match, which, even though it wasn't a Barcelona game, was pretty good. Then she came back to the phone and I fixed all her problems in the way that my colleague at the branch library should have done in her first call.

"So I don't understand." You say. "What is your complaint about the patron? It sounds like it all worked out okay for you."

To which I can only say, then this doesn't count against my designated yearly quota of complaints about library patrons.

I am, however, complaining about my idiot co-worker at the other branch. But don't worry, I'm allowed to do that as much as I like.

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