Thursday, July 02, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by the stingy

Miss Information is what some might call frugal. Her friends call her cheap but tomato/tomahto. So the pennypinchers are her peeps. Usually. However, Miss Information is also a fanatic about debt repayment so people trying to get out of paying library fines really get on her nerves.

The recent offenders:
The woman on the phone began the conversation by asking why the man at the call centre had transferred her to Miss Information’s branch instead of the branch she wanted. Miss Information has a couple of ideas. First she thinks it is entirely possible that Call Centre Man made a mistake. A second possibility is that Miss Information has unknowingly done something to irritate Call Centre Man and he is going to transfer all the really annoying people to her in order to slowly drive her mad. Great plan, buddy. What the woman truly wanted to know was whether if she returned a book at a branch that wasn’t open on Mondays did she have to pay fines for Monday or just the other 6 days of the week because the woman was willing to drive all over the city in order to take advantage of this .30 windfall. This behaviour is too cheap even for Miss Information to consider. Miss Information said she didn’t think it worked that way and the woman spent 10 minutes making her case. Doesn’t it make sense? Doesn’t Miss Information agree? Since the woman asked, Miss Information expressed her opinion that if an item is due on a certain date, then it should be returned or the person should pay fines regardless of whether the branch on Hooterville Drive is open Mondays or not.

Wet Pants Woman has finally stopped trying to get people fired over the library’s poor plumbing and is scheming for ways to avoid paying fines. Miss Information mentioned that the only sure way to avoid fines is to return materials on time. Or get a job here. Since Miss Information does not relish the thought of working side by side with this loony, she recommends the former option. Wet Pants Woman spends several hours each day in the library; this should be no particular hardship. She persists in her belief that the current city workers’ strike should result in her library fines being waived. That the library is not affected by the strike is of no particular interest to WPW.

A third woman wanted Miss Information to waive the fines she accumulated when the library’s web catalogue was dysfunctional. She would have returned her books but she couldn’t check her account online and see the due dates, so she doesn’t really owe that money because it was the library’s fault. Miss Information suggested that next time she actually take a look at that little slip of paper the circ desk people hand out along with the books. It is actually a printed record of what you took, when it’s due and how you might be able to extend the loan period. Amazing. And yours to keep. So if you ever lose track or the library catalogue goes kablooey, you can still return your materials on time. Wowee. What an amazing world we live in.

Miss Information gets that people are trying to economize but seriously, the rules aren’t complicated. Return your materials on time—no charge. Return your materials late—pay fines. Libraries have worked like this for years so stop pretending you didn’t know.


At 2:09 PM, Blogger Susan said...

I work for a library system that doesn't waive staff overdues - phooey!

Years ago I had a customer throw a fit over a ten cent fine. And then she accused ME of making a big deal "over nothing". Yeah, my point exactly...

At 4:25 AM, Blogger xine said...

i worked where it seemed to be a badge of honour to never pay a fine. whether the book was returned on time or not didn't seem to matter. we're talking 25 cents a day, and i got tears. all the freaking time. eventually i decided that i wasn't paid enough and just automatically waived one day fines. sigh.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Cathy D. said...

Unbelievably boring. No wonder you hang out on Bai Ling's blog harassing people for kicks.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Cathy D. said...

LOL@ "phooey".

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Alexmonster, The said...

I routinely get people insisting they shouldn't pay their fines because they "didn't know" there'd be a fine. These are university students. Methinks York's standards have rather gone down the toilet.

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in a med school library. One student argued she shouldn't have to pay overdue fees because she was graduating. Not so fast, sez I, with more than a little satisfaction. Not if you don't pay the fees you ain't. The very notion that I could hold up her graduation was shocking to her...and motivating.


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