Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Claims Returned

often times, a patron will believe they returned an item though it is still checked out on their card. when we look for the item on our shelves (thinking we mught have missed the checkin laser) and can't find it, we have the option of 'claims returned'. CR means that neither the patron or the staff can find the item, but we do not want to take the item off the patron's card. we just hope it will show up. eighty percent of the time, the patron has the item and eventually finds and returns it. what kills me is not ONCE has a patron who finds a CR item ever brought the item to our attention. they just sneak it in the bookdrop (in or outside) and hope, i guess, they we don't catch it. but we do catch it. it shows up on their card that the item has been returned. so, when i get them, i always say something like: "oh, i see that the Strawberry Shortcake DVD finally showed up." i pause while the patron half-smiles. "so, did you find it or did we?" then the patron admits they had it all along. this is particularly gratifying when the patron was an asshole that insisted they would never 'steal' an item and they don't have it, blah blah, blah.
today, we had a lady insist she returned an audiobook, but it was still on her card. we had already looked for the item, but we looked again. couldn't find it so we offered her CR. she was cool with it and she was a regular, so we took her word and end of story, right? nope. she had to go on and on about the day she returned the item. "it was March 1st and i made a special trip to the library that day JUST to return that CD book. the time was 2:26 and 52 seconds, the weather was partly cloudy and you were wearing a pink blouse and black pants." (ok, i made the last bit up.) she then went on about how she listened to it on her trip and she finished with it and returned it on the afternoon of March 1st. now, i cannot for the life of me remember what i was doing March 1st. i don't remember what i did any part of the day, let alone what i returned or borrowed that day...and i work in the library. so, i start to disbelieve her...she HAS the damn audio, i can feel it! and what's this bullshit about a special trip to the library? she is in the place every week, often a couple times a week and we are not in, oh, Manhattan! Jesus H Christ!
i am so tired of all the stories. stories to get out of paying fines, stories to get out of paying for lost items and stories so that they do not have to admit they might be WRONG! do these people have a story for everything? is every little thing a major production? how do they get through their days? it really shouldn't be so difficult.

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