Tuesday, January 14, 2020
The good news
In the course of beginning a new decade my library system instituted an array of rare, and exclusively generous, circulation changes. We have lessened some of our late fines rates and have entirely eliminated the ones for youth materials. There are a couple other things as well, but the one I would like to discuss concerns how we now check out our DVDs for three weeks instead of one week. This is a big deal in libraryland! It requires a fair bit of discussion with the patrons, who were blindsided by it, but it is pretty much all good news for them. That's even more time to not get around to watching the DVDs they checked out from the library.
It's nice to give out good news. People call and want to renew their DVDs and find out how much they owe on them. A suppurating wound on their forefoot is preventing them from getting to the library and they are wondering just how late those DVDs are now.
"Not late at all." I get to tell them. "Little did you know they are now checked out for three weeks instead of one, and so your DVDs aren't even due for another 11 days!"
"Oh." They say, which is their equivalent for being super thrilled, except they have a suppurating wound on their forefoot and it dampens their happiness.
Most of the interactions around this are from people who are confused. "My DVD checked out for three weeks." They say. "Is this a glitch? I don't know what date to trust, the listed due date or everything I've ever known."
Then I explain the situation and they're pretty happy. "Three weeks?" They say. "That's a nice long time."
As much as I enjoy giving out good news I have started to tire of this identical discussion over and over. So I've begun to present it differently. "The check out period changed." I say a little sadly. "It used to be one week. Now you have the DVDs for three long weeks. That's a really, really long time."
"Yes it is." They reply.
"I suggest watching them in slow motion."