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Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1415900 times)

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MommyPenguin

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<snipped for length>...Alpha-Omega.  I remember assuming he was a patron until one of my kids said, "Mommy, there's that car!  You know he works at the library?"  And sure enough, I noticed him shelving books.  Not sure if he's a volunteer or an employee.

Are you sure he works/volunteers there?  Sometimes the less than normally coherent will do seemingly sane and helpful things like shelve library books - however, their shelving system may leave something to be desired.

Yes, or pretty sure, as he had a name tag and a cart and was kind of on the edge of a staff only area.  However, it's possible I was mistaken, as I didn't see the name tag super close so it could have been something else, and he wasn't technically behind the desk.  But on the surface he definitely looked to be working in some official capacity.
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Julian

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Cross between a Harry Potter request and things that drive me up a wall.

I'm doing a cost study for a health service.  It's a state-wide service, with one central and three area administrations, and clinics all over the state.  There are cost centres for the admin areas but not the clinics.  I need to come up with a way of devolving the total costs down to patient and service level, by provider type and clinic.

To do that I need to allocate area costs to clinics.  The best way to do this is staff levels - easy, got the data - and split out other costs depending on the work they do.  For this I need a unit of relativity.  Great, they have two I can use.  Time, or a derived unit from a payer.  Trouble is, both are artificial - the time is 'deemed', the derived unit is what they get funded on from a third party.  So they're not much use.  Then, they want it down to appointment.  Only an appointment can involve anything up to 20 individual services.  Which I can only do by grouping up the artificially costed service items, to create yet another artificial unit of relativity.

Then we get the clinics where they have no particular service provider on staff, yet have patients that received services from that type of service provider.  So unallocated providers paid from the admin area get reallocated to a clinic for the time/derived units required to perform the services. 

Virtual Tim Tams for anyone who's made it this far...

Now, I have been working on this for about 3 months.  One of my colleagues worked on it for nearly 2 years.  I have sent them 3 draft studies to look at.  Yes, three.  Each time they have comments and criticisms (fair enough) and want things done a different way.  I have obliged.  The last time, I had a comment that appointments with more service items cost more than appointments with fewer service items.  Well, yes, that's how the costs have been allocated.  But all the appointments take roughly the same time!  What??!?  Why in the Sam Hill didn't you tell me this months ago?  It could have saved me so much work and time and drama. 

Now, take into account that whilst we work for the same overall organisation, they are not part of my immediate organisation.  This is being done as a favour.  My colleague and I have spent an inordinate amount of time on something that will, in all honesty, never have a 'right' answer because it just isn't possible to do any more than what I've done with the data available.  They are slow responding to communications, providing feedback and data.  It has been a nightmare from day dot.  And the bottom line is, there are only so many ways to slice a pizza, and I've done them all and they're still not happy.  And now they want to tell me that all the appointments take roughly the same length of time?

Just shoot me now...

Out on the patio we'd sit,
And the humidity we'd breathe,
We'd watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.

Ganggajang - Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia)

iridaceae

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I had a woman call up looking for a hotel with a specific set up of our rooms. We do not have that and I told her so. She wanted to know if it was possible for us to make the rooms that way for her. In order for us to give her what she wanted we would have to build a new building ; we're talking major structural changes to the rooms- along the order of building second bathrooms onto rooms. I said sorry,  no. Now at this point most people say thank you and hang up or just slam the phone down. Not Impossible Patron! She kept rephrasing her request.  For 5 minutes she tried to get a yes from me.

Then she said she would call back and talk to "someone who knows the property" and hung up. Good luck there.
Nothing to see here.

FauxFoodist

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At best, highly entitled.

At worst, impossible.

Some patron today wanted the printers to accept Canadian coins.

When that could not happen, he wanted us to exchange his Canadian coins for US ones.

I told him that we did not provide currency exchange. There are several nearby banks that may do- as well as an immigration office. But he did not even pause to ask where he could get it exchanged- he just left.

I had something similar happen once 20+ years ago when I worked in a drugstore in LA (so very very far from the Canadian border).  I was young (18) so I wasn't quite sure how to handle it when a customer tried to pay with a traveler's check for Canadian dollars so I called a manager to approve it.  He did a cursory glance and approved it, which surprised me, so I said, "But it's Canadian dollars."  He then looked at it again, this time actually looking at it, and told the woman, "I'm sorry, but we can't accept this."  She protested and said, "But we accept your money all the time!"  I think he did point out that we were far from the border and that that might be the case in states close to the Canadian border but not in Los Angeles.  I think she huffed then left.  I really don't know why she thought it would be okay as I can't think of any place in LA (other than, maybe, a bank) that would take a traveler's check for foreign currency.

darling

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At best, highly entitled.

At worst, impossible.

Some patron today wanted the printers to accept Canadian coins.

When that could not happen, he wanted us to exchange his Canadian coins for US ones.

I told him that we did not provide currency exchange. There are several nearby banks that may do- as well as an immigration office. But he did not even pause to ask where he could get it exchanged- he just left.

I had something similar happen once 20+ years ago when I worked in a drugstore in LA (so very very far from the Canadian border).  I was young (18) so I wasn't quite sure how to handle it when a customer tried to pay with a traveler's check for Canadian dollars so I called a manager to approve it.  He did a cursory glance and approved it, which surprised me, so I said, "But it's Canadian dollars."  He then looked at it again, this time actually looking at it, and told the woman, "I'm sorry, but we can't accept this."  She protested and said, "But we accept your money all the time!"  I think he did point out that we were far from the border and that that might be the case in states close to the Canadian border but not in Los Angeles.  I think she huffed then left.  I really don't know why she thought it would be okay as I can't think of any place in LA (other than, maybe, a bank) that would take a traveler's check for foreign currency.

That is so weird! I'm pretty sure she could find a bank to do an exchange, or, I dunno, have purchased the travelers' checks in the right currency for the country she was traveling to in the first place...  ::)

Yarnspinner

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Cross between a Harry Potter request and things that drive me up a wall.

I'm doing a cost study for a health service.  It's a state-wide service, with one central and three area administrations, and clinics all over the state.  There are cost centres for the admin areas but not the clinics.  I need to come up with a way of devolving the total costs down to patient and service level, by provider type and clinic.

To do that I need to allocate area costs to clinics.  The best way to do this is staff levels - easy, got the data - and split out other costs depending on the work they do.  For this I need a unit of relativity.  Great, they have two I can use.  Time, or a derived unit from a payer.  Trouble is, both are artificial - the time is 'deemed', the derived unit is what they get funded on from a third party.  So they're not much use.  Then, they want it down to appointment.  Only an appointment can involve anything up to 20 individual services.  Which I can only do by grouping up the artificially costed service items, to create yet another artificial unit of relativity.

Then we get the clinics where they have no particular service provider on staff, yet have patients that received services from that type of service provider.  So unallocated providers paid from the admin area get reallocated to a clinic for the time/derived units required to perform the services. 

Virtual Tim Tams for anyone who's made it this far...

Now, I have been working on this for about 3 months.  One of my colleagues worked on it for nearly 2 years.  I have sent them 3 draft studies to look at.  Yes, three.  Each time they have comments and criticisms (fair enough) and want things done a different way.  I have obliged.  The last time, I had a comment that appointments with more service items cost more than appointments with fewer service items.  Well, yes, that's how the costs have been allocated.  But all the appointments take roughly the same time!  What??!?  Why in the Sam Hill didn't you tell me this months ago?  It could have saved me so much work and time and drama. 

Now, take into account that whilst we work for the same overall organisation, they are not part of my immediate organisation.  This is being done as a favour.  My colleague and I have spent an inordinate amount of time on something that will, in all honesty, never have a 'right' answer because it just isn't possible to do any more than what I've done with the data available.  They are slow responding to communications, providing feedback and data.  It has been a nightmare from day dot.  And the bottom line is, there are only so many ways to slice a pizza, and I've done them all and they're still not happy.  And now they want to tell me that all the appointments take roughly the same length of time?

Just shoot me now...

Julian, Anything verging on math makes my eyes cross, however, I understand the part about slicing the pizza.  So I am sending YOU virtual Tim Tams, Gramma's Chocolate Chip Cookies and Supreme Meat Lover's Pizza, just 'cause it sounds like you need it.  Oh...and one big bottle of virtual wine.  Red or white--your choice.

Yarnspinner

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The Holocaust was a major event (I guess I can't say worldwide--while WWII was somewhat worldwide, the Holocaust was mostly Europe) that involved many countries, and yet there are Holocaust deniers.  Not just a couple, either.  Whole countries/regions of the world teach it as a hoax!  So there are apparently quite a few people who believe that millions of people can make something up and convince others with false evidence.

We could never keep people happy with the really popular (racy) orange fiction, either.  People wanted it set aside on special shelves, which we tried to do.  But that was really difficult because the books weren't marked in any way, so we'd pull out a selection of stuff, but people would get upset that not *all* of it was on the special shelves, or that it could be in two places.  And the theft rates were incredible, something like 90% every few months.  You really had to feel bad for the regular readers of such books, because they basically had to have a hold on a book when it was still on order if they wanted to get a chance to read it.

I remember some of the rather strange patrons we had, like this very nice, normal-looking mother and son who needed a search on various ghost/alien books that became stranger and stranger until it led to a search on how to make working tinfoil hats...

And there was this one very nice older woman who was constantly coming in with assignments from her church.  She was very sweet and polite, but those searches that the pastor asked them to do for Bible study were crazy!  She had this one assignment to look up information about Matthias, who was the apostle who replaced Judas.  There seems to be less available on him than on just about any other apostle, but she needed an incredible amount of detail.  If I remember correctly, there were two differing accounts of how he may have died, both by different methods and some difference in years, but she was so upset because she was sure she needed to know for *sure*.  I really, really wished I knew what church (no idea how mainstream it was) she went to so I could call her pastor for her and talk to him about the level of research he was requiring.

Slightly off-topic, but our current library (I'm not working there, just using it as a patron) has a guy who has "Alpha-Omega" (the letters, but I don't know how to make them here) written or tattooed on his forehead, and his car is *covered* with signs and rantings.   Papers in all the windows and on the sides of the car, and then some sort of giant mast attached to the back of his car and sticking up about 4 feet over the top of the car, with a sign attached to the top that also says something about Alpha-Omega.  I remember assuming he was a patron until one of my kids said, "Mommy, there's that car!  You know he works at the library?"  And sure enough, I noticed him shelving books.  Not sure if he's a volunteer or an employee.

**sigh** Holocaust deniers. **sigh**

One of the problems I am having with urban lit (might as well call it by its rightful name) is that a lot of certain authors get stolen within weeks of purchase...just as you say.  I do all the special orders which means it always falls to me to replace the urban lit every three or four months.  Unfortunately, according to our vendor, a LOT of the most popular authors are no longer in print and their various small publishing houses are out of business and stock permanently.  I've had to hit the Amazon market place to replace a lot of them, but I'll be darned if I am going to pay $130 for a paperback book! 

And what really really makes me crazy is that a lot of those titles are fast, fun and often well written reads that could--and should--be enjoyed by everyone, but, like bodice rippers of yesteryear, they have been pigeonholed.  And because of the demand, there is a proliferation of badly written books (complete with many, many  very badly played scrabble games)  that make you wonder how the author graduated elementary school, let alone became a best seller.

BabyMama

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I had a woman call up looking for a hotel with a specific set up of our rooms. We do not have that and I told her so. She wanted to know if it was possible for us to make the rooms that way for her. In order for us to give her what she wanted we would have to build a new building ; we're talking major structural changes to the rooms- along the order of building second bathrooms onto rooms. I said sorry,  no. Now at this point most people say thank you and hang up or just slam the phone down. Not Impossible Patron! She kept rephrasing her request.  For 5 minutes she tried to get a yes from me.

Then she said she would call back and talk to "someone who knows the property" and hung up. Good luck there.

Something like this happened in my hometown. A VIP sheikh was coming for a long-term stay, and apparently did not like that there was a large pole (tower? cylinder? Something) in front of his hotel room window. He paid to have it removed.

2littlemonkeys

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Julian's story reminded me of an HP Request from many years ago.

I used to work in market research and most of my job was writing up questionnaires and arranging focus groups or larger quantitative studies (done by phone or in malls).

One such study we did was for an amusement park and it was designed to be a tracking study.  Tracking studies are basically a series of studies that use basically the same questionnaire.  Over time, the results are compared with each other.  As such, if you (the client) add a new question, you can't track it through the whole study.  You can only start tracking it at the time it was added.  I always thought that was just common sense but we all know how that goes.

This particular study was done every six months or so.  So we're on the third or fourth cycle when the client added a new question to the study.  When she got the report for that cycle, she was upset that we only had one data point for that question (because she just added it) and wanted us to go back and get responses for the other cycles.

1)  We do not have a time machine.
2)  We aren't planning on getting one either.

I'm not sure how my boss managed to convince her of her folly but she was on the phone behind closed doors for a LONG time.

Onyx_TKD

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Edited to remove evolution/creation discussion. Apologies to the mods.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 02:43:50 PM by Onyx_TKD »

cass2591

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Your post is gone because it never should have been there in the first place. This is not the place to debate evolution v creationism, and I would think that you would know that.
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kherbert05

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I had something similar happen once 20+ years ago when I worked in a drugstore in LA (so very very far from the Canadian border).  I was young (18) so I wasn't quite sure how to handle it when a customer tried to pay with a traveler's check for Canadian dollars so I called a manager to approve it.  He did a cursory glance and approved it, which surprised me, so I said, "But it's Canadian dollars."  He then looked at it again, this time actually looking at it, and told the woman, "I'm sorry, but we can't accept this."  She protested and said, "But we accept your money all the time!"  I think he did point out that we were far from the border and that that might be the case in states close to the Canadian border but not in Los Angeles.  I think she huffed then left.  I really don't know why she thought it would be okay as I can't think of any place in LA (other than, maybe, a bank) that would take a traveler's check for foreign currency.
I once had a bank in Canada refuse my traveler's checks. Apparently there had been some counterfeit Amer Express travelers checks. This was in a small town, on PEI that didn't have much in the way of tourist trade. The people cashing the counterfeit checks were hitting the non-tourist community. So they told me I would have to go into Charlottetown, Cavendish, Summerside, or Brudenell (all common destinations for tourists) to cash the checks.

Then they asked my 10 yo cousin if she was on an errand for her parents or Nanna. Michelle told them she had just walked over with her cousin and nodded at me. The manager asked me why hadn't I told her I was Nanna's granddaughter that was completely different, I wasn't a stranger. They cashed my checks with no problem then. I think they were suspicious at first because they really don't get tourists in town except may the small museum, when the church advertises a lobster boil, and maybe stopping for gas or at Tom Hortons. Most tourists just speed down main street and never stop.

Then they asked my cousin who was behind me in line, if she needed something for Mom or Dad. When Michelle told them I was her cousin things changed.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Outdoor Girl

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...Then they asked my 10 yo cousin if she was on an errand for her parents or Nanna. Michelle told them she had just walked over with her cousin and nodded at me. The manager asked me why hadn't I told her I was Nanna's granddaughter that was completely different, I wasn't a stranger. They cashed my checks with no problem then. I think they were suspicious at first because they really don't get tourists in town except may the small museum, when the church advertises a lobster boil, and maybe stopping for gas or at Tom Hortons. Most tourists just speed down main street and never stop.

Ummmm...  kherbert05? It's Tim Horton's.  We get a little crazy about our Timmy's up here.  ;D
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

kherbert05

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...Then they asked my 10 yo cousin if she was on an errand for her parents or Nanna. Michelle told them she had just walked over with her cousin and nodded at me. The manager asked me why hadn't I told her I was Nanna's granddaughter that was completely different, I wasn't a stranger. They cashed my checks with no problem then. I think they were suspicious at first because they really don't get tourists in town except may the small museum, when the church advertises a lobster boil, and maybe stopping for gas or at Tom Hortons. Most tourists just speed down main street and never stop.

Ummmm...  kherbert05? It's Tim Horton's.  We get a little crazy about our Timmy's up here.  ;D
I know better. There is a Tom character on the TV show I'm watching. Sorry.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Julian

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Julian, Anything verging on math makes my eyes cross, however, I understand the part about slicing the pizza.  So I am sending YOU virtual Tim Tams, Gramma's Chocolate Chip Cookies and Supreme Meat Lover's Pizza, just 'cause it sounds like you need it.  Oh...and one big bottle of virtual wine.  Red or white--your choice.

Thanks Yarnspinner, I'll have that bottle of red please...

I was having a vent to a friend the other day, and we figured out it was like making cake pops.  Only the long way round.  You make multiple cakes, then cut them down to crumbs because that's what the customer wants.  Then they tell you  they want cake pops actually, did they not mention this? so you then mold the crumbs into round cake pops.  Then after doing all this they decide the cake pops should be cubes - which you could have cut in the first place. 

Now, where did I leave my cork screw...?

Out on the patio we'd sit,
And the humidity we'd breathe,
We'd watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.

Ganggajang - Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia)