Thursday, August 09, 2012

Miss Information has never been good with numbers herself.

When Miss Information was on the desk this morning she got a call from a woman who couldn't access her library account information online. She'd never had a problem before and she does this all the time. The library website has been playing tricks lately, logging customers in but acting like it hasn't so Miss Information assumes that this is the problem. She asks for the customer's card number, please note that all library cards start with a 2.

Customer: 5980...

Miss Information: Wait, do you mean 25980?

Customer: Oh, there's a 2 here at the beginning of the number but I never use it. Do I need to use it?

Miss Information: Um, yeah. What you need to do is input the entire number on your library card and not just starting in the middle of the number and entering random digits as you feel like it.

Customer: well, I've never needed the 2 before. Is this something new?

Miss Information: Nope. Numbers have worked this way forever. You start at the left side and read all the way to the right side. In the entire history of the world no one has ever asked for a number except for the first digit. That just would never happen. Why don't you try accessing your account again, including the 2 this time?

Customer: That worked. Why did that work? I've never needed the 2 before. You've obviously changed something.

Miss Information: Sigh.


At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our public library patrons use their phone numbers to set up their library account, yet when they need to enter the account later, they only need use the last four digits of their phone number. Same for my checking account number - ignore the first three digits. So, yes, sometimes the number code does start in the middle.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Philip Koro said...

A library system I used to work for had the same starting 5 digits for all accounts, so entering them was optional. When patrons would whine about having to enter such a long number, I would inform them of this shortcut.

Nevertheless, funny post and great blog!


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