Thursday, April 14, 2005

Info Desk Blogging II

You have to read "Info Desk Blogging" below before you read "Info Desk Blogging II", OK?

So I said, "The library doesn't cater to blah blah blah." Soon's I wrote that an elderly gent pops up. He's got a slip of paper on which is written a call number. I glance at it. Ah yes, the books in that call number are on the second floor. "I was on the second floor!" he gripes. "That was where they gave me this number."

Oh. I pull out the library map. He sees me pointing at the map and starting to speak and decides to fuss. He was just up there, he's just getting the runaround, he wants an accomodation as a disabled person. I tell him I'd be happy to go get the book for him; we don't have a person available to go running to the shelves to pluck books for individual patrons. I was going to explain the hold system -- so that he could use it the next time. Too often when an exception is made the person who gets his way then uses the previous exception as proof that we-always-do-it-why-not-you-did-it-last-time. I didn't get to any of the policies. Rather he kept raising his voice -- and claiming he had a hearing problem. The only thing he allowed himself to hear was, "I'll get it for you." When I immovably continued to let words leave my mouth he said, "You said you were going to get it for me!"

The security guard at the front door stepped up to see if he could help and I sort of waved him away. Finally I said, "I'll get the book for you and be right back."

When I handed him the book he lit up and told me what a treasure it was and something about nuclear something, then he said, "You don't care about any of that, do you?"

A couple coworkers sympathized after the old man left. "He did something like that to me," said one. "He stood over me shaking his finger."

The other said two patrons had told her they were tempted to jump in on my side.

Aw. How sweet.

Other than getting kinda cranked up I was really OK. The worst thing is I only do the Info Desk once a month, and I only get a problem patron every third time or so, so I get totally out of practice. It's not until the interaction is over or almost over that I really get a handle on it. It's hard enough remembering where the tax forms are!

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