Thursday, August 16, 2007

Well, Yeah, As A Matter Of Fact, You DO Need YOUR CARD!

Truly, I am a bad, bad person: if one person told me today (I worked the window my entire shift) in response to "May I see your card?" that he/she didn't have his/her card, ten people did. I don't get it. I myself have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the....disorganized....among us, as I am the very definition of that term, but I myself was a library patron for many many years prior to becoming a library employee and I don't recall ever showing up at the library without my card and expecting to check out. One very nice lady in particular said that, well, when she'd placed the hold, all she'd had to do was tell the librarian her card number....over the phone. It was all I could do not to crack up: what, should the (no doubt long-suffering) librarian have asked her to fax in a photo of the actual card? I was tempted to ask for her card number then (even though, no, we don't allow people to check out simply by reciting a card number; we require a SOMETHING that verifies one is who one says one is) because I would've bet any amount of money that she had no idea what it was. She was definitely the most oblivious of the customers today (expected me to just....give her....her book) but not by much. I kept telling myself, as I try to remember to every working day, that they don't know________ (fill in blank with policies/procedures/rules/etc.) and I do. So when someone hands me an enormous bag of books and asks, "Are these late?" I can't snap, "How the hell would I know?!" because they....don't....know. I can't, when someone I've never seen before walks up to the desk and says "Are you holding a book for me? (Period. No "Here's my card." No "My name is_____") say, "Gee, let me get my magic wand and-" because they....don't....know. Theeeeeeyyyyyyy....dooooooooonnn'tttt....knnooooowwwwwww.....

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