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.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Actual Telephone Conversations Heard in Actual Libraries #71

(It should be noted, as it has in the past, that I do not like Caller ID People. Yes, those souls who rush right for their caller ID box the moment they get home and start phoning all the numbers that have appeared on it, regardless of whether or not they're familiar numbers and regardless of whether or not any of those numbers correspond with messages that may or may not have been left on their answering machines already, piss me off. For the record, my wife thinks it's all perfectly logical to use your caller ID box in this manner, and I can kind of see her point; I mean, it's one thing to see that your friend Bubba called you but didn't leave a message and to then surmise that Bubba, perhaps, wished to speak with you and might enjoy a call back. Fine. However, when you get a message from a business and/or institution with multiple employees, it makes no sense to me to phone them up and have any sort of expectation that the person who answers the phone will have ANY possible way to know why someone phoned you from that number. I am, therefore, a Caller-ID-Person-Detractor, cannot abide their behavior, and go out of my way to make things difficult for them when they phone the "liberry." Does this make me an asshole? Perhaps. Does it sometimes come back to bite me? You be the judge...)

*RING*
ME— Tri-Metro County Library.

CALLER— Yeah. This number showed up on my caller ID and I was just calling to see why?

ME— I have absolutely no idea.

(Pause)

CALLER— Huh.

ME— Did the call occur today?

CALLER— No. Yesterday.

ME— Ahhh. I wasn't here yesterday, so I really couldn't say why you were called from this number. Yesterday.

(Pause)

CALLER— Er. Would it make a difference if I gave you my name?

ME— Again, I have absolutely no idea. It suppose that it might.

(Pause)

CALLER— Um...

ME— What's your name?

CALLER— Mr. Caller ID Guy.

ME— (Bell goes off in head as I recognize the name) Ah! Yes! Yes, it does. (I dig in the hold bin, where I had earlier spied an interliberry loan with his name on it.) We have a book on hold for you here.

CALLER— Oh? What is it.

(Book in hand, I tell him the title. I also see that Ms. S had noted on the book's ILL slip that she had already left a message on the man's machine telling him we had this book on hold for him, hence why it was in the Hold Bin and not the pre-call Hold Shelf. In other words, this guy hadn't even bothered to check his messages AT ALL before heading for the caller ID! What an asshole!)

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