Thursday, April 17, 2008

the wrong of right

Yesterday I was on the reference desk the last half hour of the day when a woman called to inquire about paying her fine. She wanted to confirm the library remained open until 8 p.m. and when I informed her we closed at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, she insisted the recorded hours stated we were open until 8 p.m. The proper customer service response would have been to assure her I'd look into it, perhaps even thank her for alerting me but I knew in my perfectionist heart that she was wrong.

I record the message, and each time I do so, I read from a script and then I listen to it at least once, more often two or three times, to make sure it's correct, clear, and paced well. I couldn't even fathom that folks had been listening to a bum recording since President's Day, so I said that I was sure it didn't list the library's hours incorrectly. It was the end of a long day, and I wasn't thinking clearly. We squabbled about the matter for a few moments and then she hung up on me to listen to the recording again. Then she called back to let me know she was right. I rushed downstairs to our recording device, listening to both messages, and it says very clearly Wednesdays 10-to-6.

She called back! To tell me she was right! But she wasn't!

Welcome to public libraries. Happy National Library Week!

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