Monday, August 15, 2011

I Don't Really Want This

Lady walks up to the desk and asks about getting a library card. I direct her to the computer where she can fill out the application, and she comes back momentarily. Except we look a little incompetent because we're telling her it didn't print and then discover the printer needed paper. (Mind you, 99% of the time, if it didn't print, it's operator error. But she doesn't know this, so we just look stupid. Sigh.) Then she proceeds to complain because she doesn't want to create a password and sign for computer access. "I'm sorry, but the application will not finalize unless I enter a PIN." Well, she's only doing this because her husband wants a book, and she doesn't need our computers. "I understand you don't need to use our computers. This does allow you to renew your items online from home, and to request items you want, too." She snatches back the app, fills in her password, signs her name and writes a dissertation on the app about how she was forced to do this under protest. "Ma'am, would you like the free card or the card for $1 today?" The free one is one more than she wants! O-kay. Now I'm having to work hard at not telling her that if this is such a burden on her, maybe she should've brought her husband's card to check the book out, OR if she's going to be nasty, go home and let him come get it himself. However, "I'm sorry you feel that way. I do hope your husband is happy with the book." Now get out and make sure he's the one who comes in next time! Grr! The thing is, I'm sure what will happen is he's going to forget to turn the book in on time or renew it, then she's going to get a letter that it's overdue and has fines, and then she's going to go from snidely unpleasant to downright vicious, because she never wanted it in the first place. The petty pleasure will come when we can tell her she is responsible for the things on the card in her name, she could have called any branch to renew it, and - oh, gee, look! You can check your account on line and renew it from the comfort of your own home! Wow! (Yes, I have a streak of that in me. Mwahahahaha!)

My partner immediately follows with a young woman who wants to use the computers? "Do you have a local library card?" "I had one in Texas when I was a little girl." It was all I could do to keep from bursting into laughter right then. After sending her over to the application computer, my partner turns to me and asks, "Does this look like Texas?!" I couldn't stop myself. "No, but didn't you know we're part of the national library system?" It's hard to look professional when the two of us are snorting and giggling over this. Oh well. For the rest of the day, any question was answered with "Does this look like Texas?" or "This ain't Texas!" The things we do to hang on to our sanity.

The latest bookmark: a 5 year old date due slip. Seriously, people can barely hang on to their new ones once they walk out the doors! This had no notes, or special markings. Just a plain printed slip. I'm rather impressed it was kept this long.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Not to Wear @ Your 'Berry

Yet another assault on common sense in fashion was made today. This woman came in wearing a bathing suit as a dress. Nope. Not joking. She's walking towards me in this floral print mini dress, or so I thought, and the garish Hawaiian floral print makes me look twice. Then the 'bodice' strikes me oddly. And as I look at her more closely, I realize it's one of those bathing suits with the strings you can pull to shorten the sides of the 'dress' that's supposed to help cover flaws in one's lower half. Something like this:
Underwear as outerwear. Pajamas. Now bathing suits as dresses. Lord help us.

And while thankfully this woman wasn't committing the crime of wearing talcum as a fashion accessory, I saw plenty of it caked across bosoms and back that were inadequately covered by tank tops or tube tops. Does nobody understand how to dust that on?!

In other news...
Today's bookmark was multiplication flash cards.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Annoying People (& Bookmarks)

Had a guy come to the computer desk and ask me if it was "humanly possible" to give him his library information so he could get on the computers. Um, sure, and here ya go. And then he came back and asked me if it was "humanly possible" to get his PIN. And then a few minutes later was it "humanly possible" to print? He must have come to the desk at least 5 times, and he prefaced EVERY question with "Is it humanly possible...?" WTHeck!?!? At some point this will be amusing, but right then, I reeeeally wanted to tell him it was humanly possible, but becoming less probable every time he said it

Then there was the woman in the children's area with her son. She's an obnoxiously loud, and kind of difficult, regular; we cringe when she walks in the door. She's reading an I Spy book to her 3yr old. "I spy a brown animal. Do you see the brown dog? I spy an animal with 8 legs. See the spider?" I SO wanted to tell her that an animal with 8 legs would be an octopus, not a spider. Two hours later, when her son is tired and hungry and letting the whole 'berry know at the top of his lungs, she's yelling over him, "Be quiet! I mean it! Be quiet right now! We're in the lieberry!" Yeah, you are, so, way to set an example, mom!
The guy from It Might Be Cheaper Pt. 2 was back. He checked out his dvds, and then wanted a rubber band to keep them together. Okay, fine. "Wait, give me another one to wrap the other direction." Sigh. Demand much? Give him another one. "Do you have an opaque bag I can put these in?" Excuse me? "An opaque bag. You know, not see through. Like a paper bag. I want to go to the grocery store, and I want to put these in an opaque bag to take in with me." Not sure why people think repeating words that way is helpful, but it's NOT. I do know what opaque means. And if I didn't, your saying it over and over wouldn't tell me. I don't care why you want it, either. None of my business. Besides, it's not like you checked out porn. Biting my cheek, I explain we sell plastic bags for 50 cents and the canvas bags for $2. "Don't you just have a bag around?" No. "Well, I'll figure out something." You do that, buddy. Like next time, bring those same rubber bands back with you to use again, and bring your own bag. Why do people think the 'berry is the place for free office supplies? While I appreciate thrift, that's just darn cheap!

And to top off annoying people at the 'berry, the guy who came in with the surgical/allergy mask on, whose girlfriend explained to us while he was using the water fountain, that he has the mumps. WHAT?! Keep that mess at home! And for crying out loud, if you have to wear the mask, ya think maybe you shouldn't be using the public water fountain?!! Good grief, people!

The bookmarks? The wrapper off a bottle of water, and a prepaid card for a local laundromat chain.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bookmarks Plus Personal Drama

Yesterday and today the bookmarks of note were-
The wrapper from a stick of gum
Paint chips (the kind from the hardware store)
Aaaand an honest to goodness mattress tag!

The personal drama?
I received a phone call at about 2:20 this morning. My son, on the first day of having his license and being able to drive alone, had gone out with a friend to an all night skate jam. He was on his way home and swerved to avoid a deer. Following the training he'd been given in driver ed, he overrode his 4+ years of experience on dirt bikes and 4 wheelers and let off the brake. Was already into a turn, slid out and went into a ditch, sideswiping a tree. Totaled the car. Thank the good Lord nobody was hurt! But, seriously, WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!!?!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

'Berry Patron of the Day 8/1

We have stolen the term "Entitlement Tuesday" (from the deskslave blog) at our 'berry. Entitlement Tuesday usually occurs after a holiday Monday when we are closed. People seem to have a pathological need to avenge themselves for having to do without the interwebs and free dvds for one day. The level of demanding behavior (ex: snap snap, "I need help with this!", butting in on another person's transaction with "I just have a question") , loud conversations on cellphones, wailing babies and kids allowed to run like packs of wild dogs is always about 4x worse than usual.
We had a random Entitlement Day this week. Nobody knows what set it off. But we all knew within the first 30 minutes the kind of day it would be. The fact that this woman actually used the word should have set off alarm bells all over the building!

My first patron of the day drops her books in the book drop. Notified by the clatter, I look up and greet her and her daughter. This is her cue to walk up to the desk, ignoring all directional signs.

() Things I'm not allowed to say out loud to the patrons
[] Things to give you a better idea of how it went down

Patron: I returned my books.
Me: Okaaay? (Want a cookie?)
P: I returned 2 books.
M: Yes. Were they late? [Trying to figure out why she's telling me this]
P: No. We want to get more.
M: [Brightly] Okay! [Smile so she knows she's good to go]
P: So what do we do?
[Okay. I'm not understanding why this is difficult.]
M:Umm, I'm sorry? (I dunno know. Maybe walk over and get some more?)
P: I returned 2 books.
M: [Nodding] Mmhmm. [Desperately trying to think of the right question to ask to unlock this situation.]
P: I returned 2 books and we want to get more.
[Now this insistence over 2 books is making me wonder. Our policy limits you if we can't confirm your addy when you apply for a card. You can only check out 2 things at once until we verify it.]
M: Okay. Do you have your card with you?
P: I already have a card. Do we just present it to you?
M: [Now we're getting somewhere!] When you've picked out the books you want.
P: Oh!
M: (Just how'd you get the ones you turned in?)
P: How many books am I entitled to?
M: Do you have your card with you, ma'am? I can check your account and see. [I am NOT going to tell her 50 and have her come back to check out and find we're still verifying her address!]
P: I have a card. How many books am I entitled to?
M: If you have your card, you can check out up to 50 items.
P: How many books are we entitled to check out?
M: (None. This conversation has negated any right you have to be trusted with materials!) May I please see your card? (And at this point, I am not answering your question until you've answered mine. Do you actually have a card in your possession?!)
P: My card?
M: (YES. Your CARD.)
P: It's in here. [Fumbling with her purse and digging] How many books can we borrow?
M: (Hallelujah. You stopped saying entitled.) I can tell you after I check your card.
P: Here. 
M: Thank you. [Slowly, so hopefully she'll understand] You can check out as many as 50 items. You can have 10 dvds at one time.
P: Wow. Really? 
M: Yes (really.)

She wanders off towards the children's books.

My partner at the desk had her head in her hands. She'd waited on 3 other people during this whole exchange. My supervisor over at the reference desk was mind boggled. 

All I could say was, "Am I entitled to a break yet?"

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Bookmarks

A lens wipe for glasses, thankfully still in its little wrapper, and a coupon for feminine products.