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.
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.
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?"