Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Well Dressed Dialing

one ringy dingy "HELLO?"

Yes dear readers. It is that time when I impart more wisdom of library service to you. All of you have used the phone, I assume. Unless your Amish. But at least you know how to quilt. That's something. Anyway,

I am constantly amazed at what people expect from the phone, or the person on the other end (i.e. the WDL). By the time the phone rings in the Administrative Office, you know something has gone terribly wrong at some level. This means the patron (or customer as we trendily call them)has not been satisfied by a)the customer service / circulation person, b)the Circulation Manager, c)the Branch Manager. Now it is my turn to bat.

Some prime examples of the calls, what they expect, what I find out, and what they get.

Call #1:

Patron Issue: My daughter has an unfair fine on her card.
Suggested resolution: Remove the fine from the card.
Backstory they didn't mention: Her daughter is 25.
Actual Resolution: Tell your daughter she needs to resolve this. She is an adult, despite the fact that she still lives at home while she is in college. Even if your daughter does call, how is a .10/a day fine unfair because she forgot to return her book before she went to Palm Springs for spring break?

Call #2

Patron Issue:I feel like I was mistreated because I'm a)old b)a different race than the customer service person c)I was sleeping on the floor of the bathroom d)poor e)rich f)not usually a patron of that location.
Suggested Resolution:An apology from Administration
Backstory they didn't mention:a)they cussed at the Manager of the branch b)they pee'd in the stacks c)they were sleeping on the floor of the bathroom d)they have a history 3 pages long in the notes section of the patron screen for repeat problems e)they think this is the local utility company
Actual Resolution:A warm recital of a prepared apology, with blanks to say their name at least 3 times.

Call #3

Patron Issue:I only got 3 hours on the internet, and I know they kicked me off because I was looking at artistic sites.
Suggested Resolution: More time on the internet, (he is a tax payer, you know).
Backstory they didn't mention:He was looking at porn on the filtered computer. Patrons only get three 1 hour sessions per day. He wasn't kicked off the computer, his time ran out.
Actual ResolutionA quick recital of library policy, a few "but sir, no one gets more than 3 sessions per day", and an "I'm sorry to hear that", when they tell me they "will NEVER use our library again"

Call #4

This one is just a lot of cussing from the patron, where I can't get a word in edge wise. I have no idea what is wrong. I assume they have Tourettes.

Actual Resolution: Hang up. Resume good posture, and put a pencil behind my ear.

I also think that people have a lot more chutzpah when they are on the phone, then they would in real life, should they manage to come into my office. Oh my dear G-d. Besides they would be astounded if they saw how hot I was.

Moral of this blog: One ringy dingy. Two ringy dingy.

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