ME— Tri-Metro County Library.
FEMALE PATRON— Yes, I have a book I'd like to renew
ME— Okay. Can I have your card number, please?
FEMALE PATRON— Oh. (Long Pause) I didn't know I needed that. My card's in my pocket book... out in the car.
FEMALE PATRON— You can look me up by name.
ME— Actually, no. We have to have the number.
FEMALE PATRON— (Angry) Oh, come on! You can't look me up by name?!
ME— I'm sorry, no. It's our library consortium's policy that we have to have your library card number to access your patron record. It's just like we have to have your card when you come in to check out books.
FEMALE PATRON— But... but... You can't look me up by name?!
ME— I'm sorry, no.
FEMALE PATRON— Can't you just look me up by name just this once?
(She really said that)
(Really Long Pause)
FEMALE PATRON— (In great disbelief) You HAVE to have the number?
ME— We have to have the number.
(Another really long pause)
FEMALE PATRON— Well... Well I guess… I guess I'll have to call you back some other time, then.
FEMALE PATRON— I didn't know that I had to have my card.
ME— I understand.
FEMALE PATRON— I thought… I just thought I could call up and renew my book… without my card.
FEMALE PATRON— I didn’t know it was policy that you couldn’t do that.
ME— Yep. We need the card.
(Long silent pause obviously calculated to try and make me relent)
ME— (Not relenting in the slightest) Yep. It’s just like checking anything out here at the desk. We have to have the card.
FEMALE PATRON— Well, I guess... I guess I'll have to call you back some other time, then.
FEMALE PATRON— (Sad tone, suggesting that her car is parked in, perhaps, Abu Dhabi) Because, my card’s out in the car.
(Another sympathy-generation-attempt long pause)
ME— We'll be here.
FEMALE PATRON— (Now, clearly attempting some sort of ignorance defense) I didn’t know. I didn’t know I couldn’t just call it in.
ME— Mmm hmm.
FEMALE PATRON— I just thought I could have the book and call in.
ME— Wait. You have the book right there with you?
FEMALE PATRON— Yeah.
ME— Ohhhh! Then I can renew it from the barcode on the book.
FEMALE PATRON— What? (Happy) Oh! Oh, good.
(I flip over to the renew screen and then wait a very long time for her to read the barcode number to me)
FEMALE PATRON— Um. The one on the back of the book?
ME— (*MENTAL SIGH*) No. I need our barcode… on the first page inside the cover?
FEMALE PATRON— Oh... oh, I see.