Monday, November 21, 2011

Miss Information is annoyed by the dishonest

Miss Information doesn't always mind the patrons when they lie. Sometimes the things they make up are very entertaining. Other times she isn't so forgiving.

Recently a woman called the branch. She was wondering whether the book she requested had arrived. Miss Information checked her card. What a miracle! The book was here. She told the woman the good news. The library would hold the book until Friday. Did the woman think she could get here in time?

The woman turned hostile. Well this was a fine how-do-you-do. She was going out of town. She was on her way to the airport within the hour. If she had known the book was ready she would have taken it on her vacation. Why hadn't the library notified her?

That seems plausible. You're getting ready to go on vacation. You're packed and waiting for the cab. Obviously, you take a moment to phone the library and check on your holds...because that's what all rational people do. Miss Information isn't buying this "didn't get notification" business. She thinks that the woman probably was contacted and ran out of time to come in to the library.

It's really no big deal. Miss Information arranges an extension so that the woman can pick up her book in a week. The woman vents for awhile about the lack of a phone call. Miss Information does all the proper procedures--checks that the phone number on file is the correct one, etc. Oh, and by the way, mentions that the library keeps records and by golly, did actually notify the woman on X day. The woman denies it, of course.

Fortunately, she manages to swing past the library on her way to the airport. She is as annoying in person as she was on the phone.
She breezes in and announces that she's here to pick up her book.
Miss Information: Terrific. Now, do you have your library card? We file them by number.
Vacation Woman: I have a cab waiting!
Miss Information: Um...ok...we still need the library card, though.
Seriously, she was going to need the card to sign the book out. Could she not have gotten it ready while she was in the cab?

Now the woman has an enemy for life and it was all completely unnecessary. Miss Information would have been happy to change the pick up date on the hold if the woman had simply said she'd forgotten the book in all the pre-vacation chaos. If you aren't going to tell the truth, at least make up a better story. A bunch of aliens were holding you prisoner. They kept you chained up in your basement while they rearranged your furniture and played your CDs. Worst of all, they refused to give you your phone messages.


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