Author Topic: Random person selling at work...  (Read 6477 times)

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whiterose

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Random person selling at work...
« on: October 19, 2010, 10:03:54 PM »
Background info: My library's branch direct line is NOT to be given out to the public. Having said that, some people find it through their GPS (or some other way) and thus they reach us directly. Most of the time they ask simple stuff like what time do we close at on that day.

But not today!

This afternoon, I pick up the phone and answer "Riverdale Branch Library. This is Whiterose. How may I help you?".

And a young lady says "Hi, this is Marisa from Riverdale High School Booster Club. Would you like to purchase a copy of our yearbook?".

Our library system does NOT carry yearbooks of any high school- so even if she reached the Material Services or Acquisitions departments, it would not have worked out. That, and we are not supposed to purchase things like that from customers- cookies in a fundraiser of a regular patron perhaps, but not a random high school yearbook.

I was so dumbfounded and flabberghasted, I could only say one thing to reply to her:

"I'm afraid that won't be possible."

And I hung up.

Boss said I did right- that there truly was nothing else to say to her.
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poundcake

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2010, 12:25:10 PM »
I think assuming this was a callous salesperson trying to "dumbfound" and/or "flabbergast" you is a bit much. Chances are, this was a teenaged student who was told "call all the local branch libraries and see if they want to purchase a copy of our yearbook. A lot of them do. Here's a list of phone numbers." It's not the same thing as someone ignoring a business's "NO SOLICITING" sign to come in and offer roses, or a person lying on the other end of the phone to get to your boss to sell them printer toner.

DangerMouth

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2010, 12:32:38 PM »
Yeah, I'm not really getting the "dumbfounded and flabberghasted" part. It was a sales call for a fundraiser. Possibly ill-considered, or just ignorance on her part.

whiterose

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 07:49:51 PM »
But if the schools are familiar with the public libraries- and the adults should be, even if the children are not- they should know that the public libraries do not carry school yearbooks. And that they are not to sell directly through the phone like that. So I would be more dumbfounded at the adult who told the teenager that- not so much to the actual student.
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kareng57

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 08:46:04 PM »
But if the schools are familiar with the public libraries- and the adults should be, even if the children are not- they should know that the public libraries do not carry school yearbooks. And that they are not to sell directly through the phone like that. So I would be more dumbfounded at the adult who told the teenager that- not so much to the actual student.


Still, I think your reaction (as opposed to your answer) was kind of OTT.  Even if they were aware that your libraries presently don't carry copies of school yearbooks, who's to say that maybe the powers-that-be might not have thought it would be a great idea, if it was presented to them?

artk2002

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 11:36:45 AM »
But if the schools are familiar with the public libraries- and the adults should be, even if the children are not- they should know that the public libraries do not carry school yearbooks. And that they are not to sell directly through the phone like that. So I would be more dumbfounded at the adult who told the teenager that- not so much to the actual student.

"The schools" might be familiar with the public libraries, but expecting that every student and every teacher is intimately familiar with every library policy is entirely unreasonable.
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poundcake

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2010, 10:26:55 AM »
Quote
But if the schools are familiar with the public libraries- and the adults should be, even if the children are not- they should know that the public libraries do not carry school yearbooks.

What an interesting assumption.  >:D

Several of the branch libraries and university libraries in my city have local yearbooks, and take regular donations; sometimes they do displays for big anniversaries or provide them for high school reunion committees. I don't think approaching a public library with your high school yearbook is as flabbergast-worthy as approaching them to buy a tin of popcorn. But if you're so concerned that everyone in the school system should know this, maybe you should write a friend, helpful letter to the local school board letting them know that the branch libraries in your district do not provide yearbooks?

whiterose

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2010, 10:31:25 AM »
Well, maybe I overreacted and reached the wrong conclusion.

But most of the yearbook questions to our systems have been from outsiders.

And each individual library does not purchase things- they are done through the central in our system. Yet she got our individual number and asked right off the bat if we wanted to purchase a copy of this year's yearbook. She did not ask first if our library purchased yearbooks, or who was in charge of purchased. She almost did it as if she were asking an individual, not a business.
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hyzenthlay

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 10:33:20 AM »
But if the schools are familiar with the public libraries- and the adults should be, even if the children are not

Wait, why should a high-school administrator be familiar with the policies of their local libraries? Especially given that they probably maintain a library at the high-school why should they have any interest what-so-ever in local library policy?

You were fine to say it won't be possible, but I think you could also have said 'It's not the policy of the XYZ Library system to carry school yearbooks. So I don't think you'll have much luck, but thank you for offering.'

You're under no obligation to educate a stranger, but it wouldn't have hurt to either.

NestHolder

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2010, 01:11:16 PM »
Well, maybe I overreacted and reached the wrong conclusion.

But most of the yearbook questions to our systems have been from outsiders.

And each individual library does not purchase things- they are done through the central in our system. Yet she got our individual number and asked right off the bat if we wanted to purchase a copy of this year's yearbook. She did not ask first if our library purchased yearbooks, or who was in charge of purchased. She almost did it as if she were asking an individual, not a business.

On a practical note, I should think it probably saved everybody's time that she simply asked if you wanted to purchase a copy.  Otherwise you could have been stuck explaining policy, and she could have been stuck listening to it.  This way, question, answer, information duly conveyed, call over!

whiterose

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 08:53:16 PM »
But if the schools are familiar with the public libraries- and the adults should be, even if the children are not

Wait, why should a high-school administrator be familiar with the policies of their local libraries? Especially given that they probably maintain a library at the high-school why should they have any interest what-so-ever in local library policy?

You were fine to say it won't be possible, but I think you could also have said 'It's not the policy of the XYZ Library system to carry school yearbooks. So I don't think you'll have much luck, but thank you for offering.'

You're under no obligation to educate a stranger, but it wouldn't have hurt to either.

Wow, thanks for the suggestion. I do tell people calling asking if we have yearbooks that we do not carry them. But I had never gotten a blatant request to sell them.


And libraries and public schools here work very closely with each other. I did an outreach at a nearby public middle school yesterday- yup, the one where I dressed up as Artemis (the goddess), booktalked books about Greek Mythology, and made trivia questions that the host asked the kids and they answered for book prizes.
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kareng57

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 09:02:25 PM »
But if the schools are familiar with the public libraries- and the adults should be, even if the children are not

Wait, why should a high-school administrator be familiar with the policies of their local libraries? Especially given that they probably maintain a library at the high-school why should they have any interest what-so-ever in local library policy?

You were fine to say it won't be possible, but I think you could also have said 'It's not the policy of the XYZ Library system to carry school yearbooks. So I don't think you'll have much luck, but thank you for offering.'

You're under no obligation to educate a stranger, but it wouldn't have hurt to either.

Wow, thanks for the suggestion. I do tell people calling asking if we have yearbooks that we do not carry them. But I had never gotten a blatant request to sell them.


And libraries and public schools here work very closely with each other. I did an outreach at a nearby public middle school yesterday- yup, the one where I dressed up as Artemis (the goddess), booktalked books about Greek Mythology, and made trivia questions that the host asked the kids and they answered for book prizes.

Interacting with the public schools is great - but it's a giant leap to assume that this means that of course all students/administrators will be intimately familiar with the public libraries' purchase policies.

hyzenthlay

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 10:01:59 PM »
And libraries and public schools here work very closely with each other. I did an outreach at a nearby public middle school yesterday- yup, the one where I dressed up as Artemis (the goddess), booktalked books about Greek Mythology, and made trivia questions that the host asked the kids and they answered for book prizes.

Did Artemis talk about the purchasing system for the XYZ library system or something? I still don't know why the school, or more accurately the booster club which is only tangentially related, would know you don't buy books.

sbtier

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 03:33:08 PM »
I think it was harsh to hang up on anyone, especially a young person.  It might have been nicer if you took 30 seconds to explain to her that your library doesn't carry yearbooks.

shiksagoddess

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Re: Random person selling at work...
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2010, 02:02:20 PM »
"I'm sorry, that won't be possible" - hang up BAD.
"I'm sorry, that won't be possible, we don't buy yearbooks, good luck" GOOD!

Unfortunately, you've just reinforced the stereotype of the cranky library lady.

Ah, well, live and learn.

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