Friday, February 25, 2005

Actual Conversations Heard in Actual Libraries #20

ME: Can I help you?

MALE PATRON: Yeah. I was looking to see if you had the armed services entrance exam book.

ME: (I reach over to our deposit book shelf and grab up our copy.Sure do.

PATRON: I just need to borrow it for a couple of days.

ME: Very well. Do you have your library card?

PATRON: Uh, no. I'm from OTHER county.

ME: Okay. Well do you have your OTHER county library card.

PATRON: No. I don't have one.

ME: (Passes patron a library card application form) That's all right. If you wouldn't mind filling out this form...

PATRON: No. I don't want a card. I just want to borrow the book for a couple of days.

ME: I understand that, but you'll need to have a library card.

PATRON: You mean I can't borrow books without a library card?

(Long pause.)

ME: No.  No, you can't.

PATRON: You mean I gotta wait to get the library card before I can come and borrow the book?

ME: (Realizing that this guy thinks it's going to take weeks for his library card to be processed and mailed to him before he can use it, or something) Yes. But if you'll just fill out that application, it will only take me a couple of minutes to make one for you.

PATRON: Oh.  Um... Okay.

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An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.