Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 692591 times)

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Yarnspinner

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What is really odd:  this man is in his sixties, he is an African American, his parents were share croppers who lived through the Depression....did THEY lie to him?  According to him, there was no such thing as segregation or Jim Crow, either and racism is a concept dreamed up by the other side starting in the 1930s. 

I pointed out that both my grandparents and my father lived during the Depression and told me a number of tales...so I asked him if he was calling my family liars and he just laughed and shook his head.

It has been going on for two years.  We don't know what set it off--he's clearly had some sort of "event" that triggered this obsession.  He was never like this before...and he's absolutely rabid about it.

The whole thing is utterly surreal...like he's one melting clock short a Dali painting.

Yarnspinner

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Dear Patron:

You can be upset all you want about us not having books and magazine articles that prove your wiggy theories, but here's the thing:  you MADE UP this idea out of whole cloth.  I cannot get you information that proves something that doesn't exist exists.

We encountered this all the time in the library. 

One of the classics was a lady who came in with a chip the size of the Titanic on her shoulder.
She was sure we keeping information from her because I was a grape person and she was an orange person. After all, doesn't everyone know that grape people are irredemiabley prejudiced? 

The lady was gently asked where she found information on her theory.  Her response made me want to find the jaw-drop emoticons.

'I had a dream about it.  Of course as a grape person,  you couldn't possibly understand but the dreams of orange people always tell the truth'.   

We get that side of things, too.  Sometimes I want to throw my hands up in the air and say "You got me!  No flies on you!"

Had a patron yelling and screaming because all of the books by Orange authors were mixed in with the Grape, Chocolate and Mauve authors.  He wanted a room created JUST for Orange Authors.  Eventually, we did something like that with some of the Orange authors.  But only the racy ones.  Because, sadly, those seem to be the only ones that count anymore.

(And not surprisingly, there have been a couple of complaints that the Orange authors were separated out while everyone else was mixed together....you cannot win with the fanatics!)

Lorelei_Evil

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What is really odd:  this man is in his sixties, he is an African American, his parents were share croppers who lived through the Depression....did THEY lie to him?  According to him, there was no such thing as segregation or Jim Crow, either and racism is a concept dreamed up by the other side starting in the 1930s. 

I pointed out that both my grandparents and my father lived during the Depression and told me a number of tales...so I asked him if he was calling my family liars and he just laughed and shook his head.

It has been going on for two years.  We don't know what set it off--he's clearly had some sort of "event" that triggered this obsession.  He was never like this before...and he's absolutely rabid about it.

The whole thing is utterly surreal...like he's one melting clock short a Dali painting.

Lovely analogy.

MommyPenguin

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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.

Katana_Geldar

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Honestly, some people have no idea about history. Did you try explaining to her about differing accounts and how lucky we are to have anything handed down?

I guess people think history is a cohesive narrative, it's not. It's like a jigsaw where you don't have all the pieces as well as some that don't fit and some from other jigsaws that are very similar.

whiterose

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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 have pet mice!

greencat

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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.

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.

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...

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.

SoCalVal

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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.
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