Monday, April 30, 2012

Miss Information is annoyed by a teacher

A customer came in to pick up a DVD she'd put on hold. Miss Information scanned the card and discovered the DVD was not available yet and that the woman was number 4 on the waiting list. Sometimes people misunderstand the library website, so Miss Information showed the patron her account and explained that a hold is only available when it says "ready to pick up". Otherwise, it isn't, you know, "ready to pick up".

The patron was desperate, though. Would the movie be ready on Friday? She was a teacher and needed to show the movie to her grade 12 class. Miss Information noted that the teacher was number 4 on the waiting list and that Friday might be optimistic.

The woman went off to check the library catalogue. She asked if Miss Information could place another hold on the Leafy-Neighbourhood Branch copy of the movie. "It's due tomorrow!"

Miss Information repeated that there were 3 people ahead of the woman so even if that copy of the DVD was returned tomorrow, it would go to one of the other people because they'd been waiting longer.

The teacher accused Miss Information of being obstructive and pulled out her fancy phone to call the other branch where surely, they would help her.

The other branch basically said the same thing. The woman came back an reported that to Miss Information but mentioned that she didn't understand the waiting list thing. Why should people who needed the DVD have to wait for people who just wanted it? Sure those other people had been waiting longer but that didn't matter to the teacher.

Miss Information was just grateful the woman taught grade 12 and not kindergarten where waiting your turn is kind of a significant concept.

(NB: Miss Information is descended from a long line of teachers so she appreciates the awesomeness of most of them.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Still not a mind reader

A woman approached the information desk armed with a call number typed into her iPhone. Miss Information hates when people do that, she's probably just jealous of their fancy phones but whatever. Because the library is big and complicated sometimes people cannot figure out where to go for the books. It is even more complicated because sometimes the computer system just flat out refuses to give hints and says unhelpful things like "returned". Well, ok but when was it returned and which floor did it go to when it was returned?

So that was the problem. Fortunately the circulation system is more cooperative and will provide those details to Miss Information if she asks nicely. However, the circulation system always puts up a fuss when you need to use a call number so Miss Information asked the woman for the title of the book. The title is Biology. Was there a subtitle? No. Did the woman know the author's name? Nope. Does the woman have any idea how many books called Biology there are in the library? Clearly not.

At this point Miss Information looks at the iPhone and realizes that the call number isn't the usual one for biology but is more of a business number. Oh, yes says the patron. It's about marketing. Miss Information mentions that biology is an odd name for a book about marketing.

"Oh," the customer replies, "it's spelled BUYology."

And again, Miss Information is left wondering why her psychic skills are so useless.