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Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1449284 times)

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PeterM

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2580 on: December 30, 2012, 11:46:33 AM »
We just  yesterday had an impossible request from a patron that he managed to grant himself, and I'm thinking it's not a good precedent.

My library does not get nearly as many whacked-out patrons as others do, but we have a few regulars. One is a guy who is just off in a way that no one can quite put a finger on. He's never done anything too out of bounds, but he makes everyone who interacts with him uncomfortable. He's not great with social graces, but that phrase describes at least half of our patrons so it's something else. He just strikes you as one of those people who will someday be described on the news as "He was a quiet man..." but since he's never actually done anything we treat him politely and as patiently as we can.

Part of the problem is he's very, very persistent. He doesn't want to wait his turn, though he will when you point the line out to him, and he seems not to understand the concept of delays or that some things cannot be done right now, this second. Yesterday our internet was down and we had no idea when it would come back up. We knew from talking to other libraries that it was a county-wide problem, but had no official estimate of how long it would take to fix. This guy did not want to hear that. He kept pestering the reference librarian about when it would be fixed, why can't he get online, when would it be fixed, and so on. She finally told him, "It doesn't work. We don't know when it will. You're welcome to try logging on, but the internet is down so it won't do anything." She was hoping him seeing the reservation computer not working right would get it through his head.

So he goes over and moves the Out Of Order sign and of course it turns out the internet has come back up in the literally two minutes since the librarian last checked. This is the perfect example of a guy we did NOT want to teach that persistence pays off, but I'm 100% sure that's the lesson he took away from this. Bah.

MissRose

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2581 on: January 12, 2013, 01:38:50 PM »
Just had a customer that fits this category:

Customer: This item is not working at all, I need it fixed.

Me: Just a moment, I need to review a few things and try a few fixes on my side then let customer I must send up a work ticket as my fixes I have access to did not fix the problem and those who do have access I must send an email to see if they will reply as it is the weekend.

Customer: Can I pay extra to get this item fixed today?

Me: I am sorry, you cannot as the extra payment does not cover the fix you need.

Customer: I need this done now!

Me: I understand, but I cannot get someone at this moment to do the advanced work fix needed.  I must submit the work ticket and then send an email, and await their response as that what we must do on weekends.

Customer: Are you sure I cannot pay extra for the fix now?

Me: I am sorry, no, the extra fee does not cover what you need done, it only allows for X, Y and Z to be done on weekends.

Customer: (realizes she is not going to get me to bend) All right, go ahead and do what you go to do, its important that the work be done soon.

Me: I understand.  (me opens the work ticket with details then gives her the ticket # which she takes)


Joeschmo

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2582 on: January 12, 2013, 02:13:10 PM »
Just had a customer that fits this category:

Customer: This item is not working at all, I need it fixed.

Me: Just a moment, I need to review a few things and try a few fixes on my side then let customer I must send up a work ticket as my fixes I have access to did not fix the problem and those who do have access I must send an email to see if they will reply as it is the weekend.

Customer: Can I pay extra to get this item fixed today?

Me: I am sorry, you cannot as the extra payment does not cover the fix you need.

Customer: I need this done now!

Me: I understand, but I cannot get someone at this moment to do the advanced work fix needed.  I must submit the work ticket and then send an email, and await their response as that what we must do on weekends.

Customer: Are you sure I cannot pay extra for the fix now?

Me: I am sorry, no, the extra fee does not cover what you need done, it only allows for X, Y and Z to be done on weekends.

Customer: (realizes she is not going to get me to bend) All right, go ahead and do what you go to do, its important that the work be done soon.

Me: I understand.  (me opens the work ticket with details then gives her the ticket # which she takes)
This is another scenario you've posted that merely sounds like a customer service request.  Have you ever considered other employment options than one so heavily customer service focused?

Elfmama

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2583 on: January 12, 2013, 02:56:35 PM »
I have to agree.  Even the customer asking if paying extra can get this fixed immediately doesn't sound like they were being an SS.  They didn't throw a hissy fit, demand if you knew who they were, or any other SS behavior.  They have a widget that may or may not be vital (we can't tell as you gave us so little detail) that needs to be fixed NOW.  I have one of those myself.  If my CPAP machine dies, I can't sleep.  Waking up a dozen times in an hour because your airway has collapsed and you can't breathe is not conducive to restful sleep.  I can't wait until someone can get around to me next week.
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VorFemme

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2584 on: January 12, 2013, 03:03:22 PM »
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".
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artk2002

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2585 on: January 12, 2013, 03:22:49 PM »
I have to agree.  Even the customer asking if paying extra can get this fixed immediately doesn't sound like they were being an SS.  They didn't throw a hissy fit, demand if you knew who they were, or any other SS behavior.  They have a widget that may or may not be vital (we can't tell as you gave us so little detail) that needs to be fixed NOW.  I have one of those myself.  If my CPAP machine dies, I can't sleep.  Waking up a dozen times in an hour because your airway has collapsed and you can't breathe is not conducive to restful sleep.  I can't wait until someone can get around to me next week.

Asking once isn't SS.  Asking again, and again when you've been told "No, it won't cover that" is SS.
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Ceallach

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2586 on: January 12, 2013, 03:25:05 PM »
Just had a customer that fits this category:

Customer: This item is not working at all, I need it fixed.

Me: Just a moment, I need to review a few things and try a few fixes on my side then let customer I must send up a work ticket as my fixes I have access to did not fix the problem and those who do have access I must send an email to see if they will reply as it is the weekend.

Customer: Can I pay extra to get this item fixed today?

Me: I am sorry, you cannot as the extra payment does not cover the fix you need.

Customer: I need this done now!

Me: I understand, but I cannot get someone at this moment to do the advanced work fix needed.  I must submit the work ticket and then send an email, and await their response as that what we must do on weekends.

Customer: Are you sure I cannot pay extra for the fix now?

Me: I am sorry, no, the extra fee does not cover what you need done, it only allows for X, Y and Z to be done on weekends.

Customer: (realizes she is not going to get me to bend) All right, go ahead and do what you go to do, its important that the work be done soon.

Me: I understand.  (me opens the work ticket with details then gives her the ticket # which she takes)
This is another scenario you've posted that merely sounds like a customer service request.  Have you ever considered other employment options than one so heavily customer service focused?

Not only that, I think MissRose has posted a nearly identical situation before - customer requesting work done on the weekend when the necessary staff are not available.   I'm glad the pattern is so noticeable to other posters too - MissRose, no offense to you intended, but there have been a few times when Ive thought that I'm reading an old post by mistake!   "That post by the customer service rep who finds her customers really annoying because they don't know her company's procedures or make her job easy".   I hope for your own peace of mind that you find a different career at some point!
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


magician5

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2587 on: January 12, 2013, 03:41:47 PM »
I have to agree.  Even the customer asking if paying extra can get this fixed immediately doesn't sound like they were being an SS.  They didn't throw a hissy fit, demand if you knew who they were, or any other SS behavior.  They have a widget that may or may not be vital (we can't tell as you gave us so little detail) that needs to be fixed NOW.  I have one of those myself.  If my CPAP machine dies, I can't sleep.  Waking up a dozen times in an hour because your airway has collapsed and you can't breathe is not conducive to restful sleep.  I can't wait until someone can get around to me next week.

I often read about customers who abandon reason and pitch a fit when they can't get something done right away.

However, the world of technology holds a few surprises the "average Joe" doesn't think of trying.

I used to be incredibly frustrated when encountering the "consumer Big Box store repair squad", when they'd take my machine in and say "there's lots of work ahead of you ... it'll be two weeks to get it to the bench, then we'll see." I learned a lot the day I took it back immediately and sought out an indie repair company ... two days at the most to diagnose and repair, a bit more if they needed an obscure part. I figured there had to be a solution like this. Also, a call to the local independent "hire-a-geek" resulted in a same-day home visit that did the job. The costs were no more than the Big Box Store solution.

Same with phone-line problems: an independent professional put in some new wiring and fixed old problems in a couple of days, cost less than  going through the Big Name Telephone Company bureaucracy.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 03:43:46 PM by magician5 »
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sunnygirl

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2588 on: January 12, 2013, 04:47:57 PM »
To be fair this isn't the SS thread, and the poster didn't imply the caller was an SS - it's the Impossible Requests thread. It might not be as entertaining as 'I need an actual photo of a dinosaur!" or whatever, but if her company has no way to allow that particular thing, it is still an impossible request. A customer doesn't need to be an SS to make an impossible request.

Bexx27

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2589 on: January 12, 2013, 08:03:40 PM »
To be fair this isn't the SS thread, and the poster didn't imply the caller was an SS - it's the Impossible Requests thread. It might not be as entertaining as 'I need an actual photo of a dinosaur!" or whatever, but if her company has no way to allow that particular thing, it is still an impossible request. A customer doesn't need to be an SS to make an impossible request.

Yes, but the customer wasn't unreasonable for not knowing the request was impossible.
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Lauds

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2590 on: January 12, 2013, 11:47:14 PM »
To be fair this isn't the SS thread, and the poster didn't imply the caller was an SS - it's the Impossible Requests thread. It might not be as entertaining as 'I need an actual photo of a dinosaur!" or whatever, but if her company has no way to allow that particular thing, it is still an impossible request. A customer doesn't need to be an SS to make an impossible request.

Yes, but the customer wasn't unreasonable for not knowing the request was impossible.

They were the second time.

greencat

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2591 on: January 12, 2013, 11:57:13 PM »
To be fair this isn't the SS thread, and the poster didn't imply the caller was an SS - it's the Impossible Requests thread. It might not be as entertaining as 'I need an actual photo of a dinosaur!" or whatever, but if her company has no way to allow that particular thing, it is still an impossible request. A customer doesn't need to be an SS to make an impossible request.

Yes, but the customer wasn't unreasonable for not knowing the request was impossible.

They were the second time.

Much like my customers who ask for things like "the big spoons" or unflavored yogurt - it may be reasonable for them to ask for the yogurt, although I'm not sure why they need bigger spoons than the normal sized ones we have out, but these are impossible patron requests, because I simply do not have either unflavored yogurt or spoons between the ones we have out and the serving utensils.  They just aren't the obvious and egregious violations of reality that many other stories in this thread feature (i.e., the people who expect their non-essential delivery to occur on time after a natural disaster has disrupted shipping for the entire region.) The ones that keep asking me for them despite my clear statement that we don't have any in the kitchen are edging into special snowflake territory, though, as did MissRoses' customer in this thread.

Also, telling her that she needs to go into another line of work because of a few isolated complaints on appropriately themed threads is...not exactly in the E-Hell spirit.

BB-VA

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2592 on: January 13, 2013, 05:24:29 AM »
To be fair this isn't the SS thread, and the poster didn't imply the caller was an SS - it's the Impossible Requests thread. It might not be as entertaining as 'I need an actual photo of a dinosaur!" or whatever, but if her company has no way to allow that particular thing, it is still an impossible request. A customer doesn't need to be an SS to make an impossible request.

Yes, but the customer wasn't unreasonable for not knowing the request was impossible.

They were the second time.

Much like my customers who ask for things like "the big spoons" or unflavored yogurt - it may be reasonable for them to ask for the yogurt, although I'm not sure why they need bigger spoons than the normal sized ones we have out, but these are impossible patron requests, because I simply do not have either unflavored yogurt or spoons between the ones we have out and the serving utensils.  They just aren't the obvious and egregious violations of reality that many other stories in this thread feature (i.e., the people who expect their non-essential delivery to occur on time after a natural disaster has disrupted shipping for the entire region.) The ones that keep asking me for them despite my clear statement that we don't have any in the kitchen are edging into special snowflake territory, though, as did MissRoses' customer in this thread.

Also, telling her that she needs to go into another line of work because of a few isolated complaints on appropriately themed threads is...not exactly in the E-Hell spirit.

These days, changing jobs isn't the easiest thing to do.  I just started a new job 6 weeks ago, and it took me 11 months of unemployment to find it.   

Would I like to find a new line of work?  You bet!  But I need the job and I am just going to have to stick with it and do the best I can.  It is stable, steady, and pays well - but it is not work I enjoy.

Enjoying the job is secondary, IMO - what counts is doing it well and keeping food on the table, a roof over your head, and paying the bills. 
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Lady Snowdon

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2593 on: January 13, 2013, 07:26:14 AM »
In the spirit of impossible things:

On New Year's Eve, my area of the company closed around 3 pm.  I think a couple people volunteered to stay later, but for the most part, everyone left before 3.  At about 2 in the afternoon, I got a call from a claimant asking about their status.  After looking at the notes, I told him we were still in need of additional information from his doctor before we could consider extending their benefits.  He asked how long it would take to review the information once we got it.  I said we normally review everything within three business days, and he informed me that wasn't acceptable.  He said he was going to have his doctor fax us the information today and he wanted it reviewed and his benefits extended immediately, so that his company could get the information for payroll.  I also happened to see that his company's corporate headquarters had closed at noon that day. 

So to review, he called an hour before we closed for the holiday and wanted someone to a) wait around to see if the doctor's office actually sent us information, b) review said information as soon as it came in and c) process an extension (if possible).  All on New Year's Eve, when the corporate headquarters had closed two, possibly three, hours ago, depending on where in the US they were located.  He was very vocal and nasty when I informed him that wasn't possible. 

FauxFoodist

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2594 on: January 13, 2013, 09:44:53 AM »
Also, telling her that she needs to go into another line of work because of a few isolated complaints on appropriately themed threads is...not exactly in the E-Hell spirit.

I thought the unsolicited advice was a bit mean and reminiscent of the forum problems from about 1.5 years ago.  The poster wasn't asking for advice on her job and while commenting on her complaint was fine, telling her then that she needed to find another line of work, I thought, was an "interesting assumption."