Monday, April 12, 2010

The Patron is Always Right

The patron is always right, unless I say so.

Last week a patron wanted me to check in her items to see what was still left on her account.  I checked them in and showed her the screen of what was still checked out.  She said that out of the remaining items, there was one she was sure she returned.  Okay, routine shelf check, nothing new.  She asked me if she would have to pay for the item, even though she is "100% positive" that she returned it.  I assured her that she wouldn't have to, and she didn't believe me and asked who she would have to talk to fix the matter.  I told her I could and she seemed okay with it, she then looked back at the computer screen and said that she also returned another title that was still listed.  I told her, okay, I will check on that item too.  She then asked yet again, if she would have to pay for items she knew she returned already, I told her no, AGAIN.  And then she says, oh wait, those two were also returned.  It was at this point, that I commented, that 4 items is a lot to have not been checked in, and she went on to say how she is very good at keeping track of her accounts, showing me a handful of due date slips in her purse.  My spidey-sense was already going off, but I never take the route of accusing patrons.  I know my coworkers, and I know that there will always be mistakes with people's accounts.  I told her I would email her the results of my book hunting.

Well, shocker, none of the 4 items were on the shelves.  I guess I have not been in the library system long enough to be jaded to go against the patrons, so I emailed her that I will take the items off of her account.  I looked at all 4 items and they were just added to the system last year, I added up all of their prices in my head and I started to get angry at this patron.  I'm not one to argue with a patron, unless I know for certain they are in the wrong.  I just let karma handle all of the patrons who have pulled fast ones on me.  A couple hours later, I get a reply email saying that she found all 4 of the books.  It was at this point I did a face-palm. 

Thankfully, this patron turned out to an honest one, confused - yes, but honest.


  1. Don't worry, you'll become jaded soon enough ;)
    I appreciate it when a patron can admit that they were wrong, but sometimes these are often the people who make the biggest stink, cause a huge scene, so that the payoff when they call back a few hours or day later is not as sweet.

  2. I believe they hand out jadedness when you receive your MLIS.