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.