Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't Leave Home Without It

I charged a patron a $2 internet guest pass despite her having a library card, which she left at home, per the new fee changes which were put in place during the summer.

After she used the internet she came back to the desk to check out some books.  The lady working with me on the desk told her it was a $1 charge for her to check out books because she didn't bring her library card.  The patron showed my coworker the receipt that she already paid for an internet pass, but my coworker said that it was the rule.  The patron nearly broke down into tears and said, "I lost my job, I'm unemployed, I just filed for bankruptcy and $3 means a lot right now."  My coworker said she would go talk to the manager and she got up and walked to the backroom.

My coworker came back and told the patron that the manager said that was the rule but she was personally going to not charge her and said that she could get in trouble for it.  In all honesty, my coworker was playing good cop, bad cop.  Nearly anyone would have checked the lady's materials out free of charge without her having to open up about her financial straits. 

After the patron left, my coworker said to me that she only did it because she was unemployed.  She then commented about the books she checked out; asking why they weren't about job hunting or resume building.  She stared out the front windows and commented that she hoped the patron wasn't just lying to avoid the fee, she has been in the library system a lot longer than I have which might have be the reason for her degree of jadedness.  Hope that doesn't happen to me.

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