just a short one:
notoriously difficult patron drops off a video and leaves. one video box is empty. i call the patron (cringing) to let her know the box is empty and we cannot check-in the item until the videocassette is returned. i had to leave this message on the answering machine. patron calls back two days later and asks to speak to the circhead. the patron dropped the video and broke off the gate. she wants to know if she will be charged for it since it was an accident. she also wants to know if she has to pay the late fine. she still hasn't returned the video but she already wants to know if she can weasle out of the fine or not. apparently, our pushover circhead told this patron she would not have to pay for the video but she would have to pay the fine. i guess she thought she could fix the gate, which we do routinely...but we also charge a dollar to do this. see, if this were left to me, i would have charged her for the video. if the video had been in the box, it might not have gotten broken. this makes me think that the video was broken all along and the patron believed that if she returned the box, we might not notice or care that it was empty or not be able to track her down as the last patron to borrow the video. patrons really do believe that, once the item is returned, we have no way of knowing who had it last and they try to get away with all kinds of stuff...like ripping recipes out of $49 cook books and removing the inserts to CDs so they will have the lyrics and the performers picture. a girls' shelter is notorious for returning CDs without the inserts.
patrons must think we are stupid AND that we don't care how our library materials are handled. we aren't stupid (most of the time) and we care enormously about our materials! after all, we know how much they cost!