15 May 2010

No more shitty books for you!

Let me set the scene for you: a woman walks in (why do I always feel like I'm starting a really bad joke about a rabbi or a priest or a lawyer?) and has about 4 library cards. The clerk already checked the cards and told her what fines were on what cards. I happened to be behind the desk and the woman asked me to check the cards. I printed out the fine slips and attached them to the cards.

The woman made THE FACE. The face is something similar to eating raw lemons, shit, a shot of Rum 151, a toilet bowl freshner cake and rotten eggs.

Since I have a modicum of perception, I asked if there was a problem.
Moneybags: Yeah, there's a problem. I have $40 in fines. What do I do if I want to check out?
Me: Well, since we allowed you to pay a certain amount per checkout since December and you stopped doing that, you are going to need to pay $28, which is the amount of fines you accumulated since December.
Moneybags: [is outraged, of course, why fess up? Just act outraged and yell and maybe someone will act like they care] TWEN-TY EIGHT DOL-LARS?!?!?! TWEN-TY EIGHT DOL-LARS?
Me: [emotionless, because, I just don't care. I've heard it so many times, you have to be kidding me] We told you not to get any more fines in December, you got $28 in fines, so that's what you have to pay.
Moneybags: TO CHECK OUT A BOOK!?!?!?!?!?!?
Me: Yes.
Moneybags: Why?
Me: Why? Because, for example, in May, you racked up $15 in fines. If you pay a dolalr or two or even three each time you use the library and then rack up $15 in fines, you aren't going to be able to check out much longer because you'll owe too much.
Moneybags: Well, chilllllllllllllllle, please, I ain't checkin' out nonna these shitty books anyway.

As if calling the books in the library shitty is an insult to me. You failed to realize that while you said that, you had DVDs in your hand. You also failed to realize that the items on your card were all for 'shitty' books, so, clearly, at some point, you needed said 'shitty books.'

The beautiful thing is that after I wrote the previous part, I went to my desk, sent an email, saw the line backing up, went back to the circ desk, and she was checking out books. At first she didn't want to get in my line, but then she changed her mind. Of course, I was there to great her, smiled, and said, "Oh, it looks like you decided to get some books after all. Will you be paying the $28 or will you be using your son's card?" Of course she used her son's card, which also had fines on it, but not fines like hers. Either way, I got her. Stupid patrons.


  1. how do you always stay calm?? it would be all i could do to quote scarface: "you eff with me, you eff with the best?!"

    maybe that's why it's best i dont teach anymore.

  2. I just edited the post because she came up to check out books anyway! Believe it or not, it's easy to stay calm, it's hard not to laugh!

  3. I wish I could be THE FACE for Halloween--like, my entire body.