Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 678876 times)

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Amara

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I only occasionally visit there but whenever I do I look specifically for Argabarga's posts. He's a very good writer--and always has the greatest stories. If he ever publishes a book I'll buy it!

The follow-up comments are pretty tame, word wise, and they are certainly hilarious. I particularly loved this one:

Quote
The repair is really simple. Three steps.

1. Remove Gas cap
2. Replace car
3. Reinstall Gas cap

The last step is optional.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 01:54:30 PM by Amara »

Katana_Geldar

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Had a student ask me yesterday if I would help her smuggle closed reserve books to class. She wanted to know if she could take a closed reserve boom with her if she hid it in her bag.

I outright refused and still they why she asked me first. Why?

MissRose

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I had a customer call for support on his line for internet that was recently fixed.  He said "Can you guarantee it will not EVER go down again?", I said "I Cannot".

Snooks

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I had a customer call for support on his line for internet that was recently fixed.  He said "Can you guarantee it will not EVER go down again?", I said "I Cannot".

I hope you advised him to download it all just incase it went down again.

PeterM

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Not so much an impossible request, just a difficult patron. A woman complained to my coworker that the R rated movie she checked out turned out to have material in it that was inappropriate for her young daughter. It's not that we checked the movie out to the daughter without the mother's knowledge - though we would've done that if she'd brought it up - but that the movie the mother willingly checked out, which was clearly labeled as rated R and which had the usual description of why it received that rating, had content inappropriate for children. My coworker explained, as politely as possible, that that's why it was rated R.

Same coworker, same day, had a guy come in to explain that the reason he couldn't return two books we were charging him for was that he'd been in jail. Okay, we actually get that a lot. Now that he was out, though, he still couldn't return the books because they were at his grandmother's house and she had a restraining order against him for the same unnamed offense that had sent him to jail. He was sure he'd get it all cleared up in a jiffy, but in the meantime could we call his grandmother and ask her to return the books for him, since he wasn't allowed to contact her? No, we could not.

Same coworker, gods bless her, a few days ago helped a patron make an appointment for a help session I run to learn how to use our Library2Go service to download library e-books and audiobooks on her new Kindle. That part went fine, but then the patron asked to be shown the area where we keep the e-books. My coworker asked for clarification and the conversation went around and around for several minutes, but the gist of it was the patron essentially wanted to see the e-book shelves, the physical place where we kept all the e-books for the entire state. As a gentleman on a forum I used to frequent would say, that's not even wrong.

Yarnspinner

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Peter M., my head is hurting and my heart hurts for your coworker.

For the last few days we have had a visitor to our library for whom the word "No" is not only not a complete sentence, it is one that has to be repeated over and over by different people each and every day.

He appeared on Tuesday with his backpack, reached out and shook my hand before I could decide if I wanted to or not, told me his name followed by an epic story about how he has hiked here on a walking tour and was staying with his grandmother (I think that was it; I know that his grandmother came into the epic tale at some point) and the upshot was that his laptop had stopped working and would we be so good as to give him a private space and the tools we use to fix OUR computers so he could fix HIS???

I sympathized and told him I could give him space, but that our computer tools were the personal property of the guy who struggles to keep our computers working and no way was I handing over someone's personal property to a total stranger, grand ma or no.  "But, but, I NEED to fix my laptop."  "And I understand that.  But we do NOT keep tools at the main desk.  They belong to our computer techie and they are HIS personal property and he isn't about to lend them out."  Lather rinse repeat until he went away.

He was back today trying to convince another coworker who only works weekends to supply him with the tools.  I stood next to her and said "Sir, we went over this two days ago and I understand this was discussed yesterday as well.  We are NOT giving you someone's personal property to fix your computer."  My coworker suggested he go to one of the computer/electronics stores and buy a cheap set and he left looking unhappy. 

It's bad enough that so many people suffer from the notion that we are a free stationery store ("Give me an envelope...a folder...tape....staples...that black pen.....stamps.....") but now, apparently, we are also a DIY computer shop.

Luci

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It's bad enough that so many people suffer from the notion that we are a free stationery store ("Give me an envelope...a folder...tape....staples...that black pen.....stamps.....") but now, apparently, we are also a DIY computer shop.

Please let me know where you are. I really need all that stuff, especially the expertise to use the computer tools.

Thank you

Yarnspinner

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Oh, heck, might as well add in one that happened some years ago when I was still the children's librarian at our "Worst Neighborhood Branch Ever". 

During the summer we had crafts every wednesday.  First twenty kids in got the twenty available craft kits and the pleasure of spreading glue all over themselves and each other.

One woman usually arrived with her two kids promptly at two every wednesday.  But it was still first come, first served.

One Wednesday she didn't show up.  Happily, other kids who weren't hers got to do the crafts.

The crafts usually went from Two to Two forty five.  So, we were done and it was probably closer to three thirty when Our Heroine and her kids arrived.

Craft hour was over?  How horrible!  Why didn't we wait for her kids?  Because craft hour goes from two to three.  We aren't waiting for anyone as we have other things to do.  Oh well, that was all right.  Just give her two kits for her kids and she'd go home. 

Uh, we can't do that as there are twenty kits and therefore twenty kids get to do crafts.

She threw a screaming fit in the middle of a small library.  How DARE we give  away the kits that were rightfully for her kids?  Those other kids were never at the crafts program (no, because your kids always grabbed up most of the spaces and my boss wouldn't letme stop you).  This was unacceptable!  (I really hate that word.  I didn't like hearing it from her and it makes it impossible for me to listen to Super Nanny Jo Frost.)  She would NEVER come back to our HORRIBLE branch again!  (Promise?)  Andfinally she left.  Of course she was back next week with her kids and expected us to cough up kits for their cousins who were coming to visit that weekend or some such story....

Since I moved back to the main library, she continues to plague us.  She will hear about a book on the radio and wants us to buy it yesterday and put it on the shelf for her.  We have a shelf just devoted to HER requests...which she then doesn't pick up on time and get sent back to the shelves, then she shows up six weeks later and has a fit because the books are checked out. 

Once she does get the book, she renews it the allotted number of times (which should give her nine weeks)...then when it is checked in, surprise!--it's on hold for her oldest daughter who checks it out for her mother to continue reading...sometimes they passit back and forth.  They have successfully kept books out of the hands of other patrons with this ploy...the woman could drive a sane person crazy.

And does.  Nearly every day.

Yarnspinner

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It's bad enough that so many people suffer from the notion that we are a free stationery store ("Give me an envelope...a folder...tape....staples...that black pen.....stamps.....") but now, apparently, we are also a DIY computer shop.

Please let me know where you are. I really need all that stuff, especially the expertise to use the computer tools.

Thank you

Sorry, once you have wrestled the computer tools away from our tech's cold, dead hands, you are on your own!  ^_^   Thanks for making me giggle.

Sirius

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I've had a few customers that presented much the same as above - with a side order of the attitude of "you must do it NOW - while I stand on one foot because I need it now and I don't want to wait".  When what they want done is going to take three days.

Kind of like Leroy Jethro Gibbs (or name the TV character of your choice) asking Abby to do the 72 hour lab test and get results in six hours or less because "we need that information NOW"!  It can be done on tv because a writer changes the script - real life; however, is not reel life and it still takes 72 hours to do the 72 hour test.

Yes - I had a couple of people try something similar when I worked in car insurance.  Because they wanted the check to get a NEW car right now even if their car could be fixed for under $1K (and was going to be fixed) and they didn't want to wait for the car to be looked at, repairs to be done, or anything but a check for a NEW car RIGHT now.  Sometimes the words sound "normal" - but the attitude and body language let you know that they will not be happy unless they get their way in the next 60 seconds or less. 

Some customers don't want to hear about "company policy" or even "reality check".

I may have already told this, but it's a perfect example of what you're talking about.  Mr. Sirius was a lab technician, and one night a doctor (who should have known better) requested that a particular test be done.  Mr. Sirius set it up to run.  Keep in mind that this particular test would not get a useable result for 24 hours. 

An hour later the doctor called back and wanted the test results.  Mr. Sirius explained that the test would not be ready for another 24 hours.  The doctor called back several more times, each time getting more and more abusive, and finally demanded to speak to Mr. Sirius' commander (this was a military hospital, and all involved were military.)  Mr. Sirius transferred him to his boss, who outranked the doctor by a considerable margin, and Boss told the doctor a thing or two about lab tests and about how he would get the results when the test was finished running, and to never abuse the lab personnel again. 

Apparently this doctor thought he could speed time up by hollering at the technician. 

greencat

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Ah - I had a similar patron at the shop my friend owns, where I've been helping out.  He is, regrettably, a regular - the place is a combination retail store and hang-out/event spot, and he tends to hang-out more than shop.  He also tends to be rather erratic and a bit unstable.  We were running a weekly event series that started at a specific time and lasted two hours and which required participating for the whole event.  He had attended the previous week's event and enjoyed it and decided to come back for the next one.  He decided at random that he wanted to flex his cooking muscles and make food for everyone in the event.  He came in an hour and forty minutes late and nearly pitched a fit because we had started without him.

I have a spine of steel and I am management and can't really get fired anyway, so I just looked at him and told him that he was an hour and forty minutes late and if he wanted to participate he needed to show up on time.  He started to complain that it was unfair, and I told him that it would have been unfair to all the other people that showed up on time to hold the event for nearly two hours while we waited on him, someone that just started participating the week before.   He kept complaining and I kept reiterating how very unreasonable his expectations were.  He made a few comments over the following week while discussing the event series about how we needed to wait for him, and I reminded him every time of the start time and that he needed to show up on time if he wanted to participate.  He has actually been somewhat early to subsequent events, so I guess he learned something.

Onyx_TKD

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Oh, heck, might as well add in one that happened some years ago when I was still the children's librarian at our "Worst Neighborhood Branch Ever". 

During the summer we had crafts every wednesday.  First twenty kids in got the twenty available craft kits and the pleasure of spreading glue all over themselves and each other.

One woman usually arrived with her two kids promptly at two every wednesday.  But it was still first come, first served.

One Wednesday she didn't show up.  Happily, other kids who weren't hers got to do the crafts.

The crafts usually went from Two to Two forty five.  So, we were done and it was probably closer to three thirty when Our Heroine and her kids arrived.

Craft hour was over?  How horrible!  Why didn't we wait for her kids?  Because craft hour goes from two to three.  We aren't waiting for anyone as we have other things to do.  Oh well, that was all right.  Just give her two kits for her kids and she'd go home. 

Uh, we can't do that as there are twenty kits and therefore twenty kids get to do crafts.

She threw a screaming fit in the middle of a small library.  How DARE we give  away the kits that were rightfully for her kids?  Those other kids were never at the crafts program (no, because your kids always grabbed up most of the spaces and my boss wouldn't letme stop you).  This was unacceptable!  (I really hate that word.  I didn't like hearing it from her and it makes it impossible for me to listen to Super Nanny Jo Frost.)  She would NEVER come back to our HORRIBLE branch again!  (Promise?)  Andfinally she left.  Of course she was back next week with her kids and expected us to cough up kits for their cousins who were coming to visit that weekend or some such story....

Since I moved back to the main library, she continues to plague us.  She will hear about a book on the radio and wants us to buy it yesterday and put it on the shelf for her.  We have a shelf just devoted to HER requests...which she then doesn't pick up on time and get sent back to the shelves, then she shows up six weeks later and has a fit because the books are checked out. 

Once she does get the book, she renews it the allotted number of times (which should give her nine weeks)...then when it is checked in, surprise!--it's on hold for her oldest daughter who checks it out for her mother to continue reading...sometimes they passit back and forth.  They have successfully kept books out of the hands of other patrons with this ploy...the woman could drive a sane person crazy.

And does.  Nearly every day.

OK, I get that this woman was an annoying SS. But if the craft hour was first come, first serve, then what was the problem with her kids consistently showing up early enough to participate?  ??? Why were her kids considered to be unfairly "snapping up" craft kits (to the point that you wanted to put a stop to it) when they showed up on time so that they'd be sure to get a spot? Isn't that exactly how first come, first serve is supposed to work? I'm not sure what the problem with the cousins was, either. If the craft hour was only supposed to be for kids who had library cards at that library (for example), then the cousins should have been turned away. However, if the craft hour was for any kids on a first come, first serve basis, then why was it a problem?

Library Dragon

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If I understand correctly, the cousins were not there, but coming that weekend. 

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hjaye

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I had a customer call for support on his line for internet that was recently fixed.  He said "Can you guarantee it will not EVER go down again?", I said "I Cannot".

I had something similar happen when I worked for a small IT consulting firm.  I was helping a client with their email since they had switched over to a Microsoft email system.  The client was a small company that had an senior IT person and a help desk person.  The senior engineer was not familiar with Microsoft's software so I was helping him as he learned the program. 

He did something one day that shutdown the entire email infrastructure, as he realized he had the system shutting down, he tried to abort the procedure.  This is not a smart thing to do, and sure enough, he corrupted the database.

I spent about three days getting things back up the way they were before he messed up the database.  I restored it, cleaned things up and all was good.

When I presented him with his fixed database and all corruption gone, his only response to me was, "Can you guarantee this will never happen again?"

I told him no I can't guarantee that.  All I can guarantee is that I followed Microsoft's documented best practices for restoring the database, and for cleaning up the database.

He never took responsibility for corrupting the database.  According to him, it was Microsoft's fault for allowing him to shut down the system without warning him the procedure he was about to perform would shut down the system.