Friday, November 8, 2013

Delinquent DVD Insomnia


I woke up in the middle of the night last night, thinking about how to get back two DVDs that a woman checked out of the library in March and has not yet returned.

Why was I thinking about this? Because I'm crazy. And because it offends my sense of order and decency that someone would check out items for a week and then keep them for eight months, shirking any obligation to bring them back or come in and pay for them, and meanwhile depriving everyone else of the ability to watch them.

I even called this woman a few weeks ago and reminded her to return the items, and she said, "Oh, yes, I know where one of them is, but I'm not sure about the other one." So I said, well, at least please return the one.

Still no DVD.

I suppose it's possible that a family or personal crisis has intervened, or some other barrier has arisen that prevents the return of our movies. So I am trying to be reasonable and patient and forgiving. But I'm not going to drop it, unless I get an order from above telling me to do so.

(Unlike many public libraries we do not charge late fees, so patrons have no financial incentive to turn something in on time. Maybe that's part of the problem, but fees are a pain to administer, and to me they seem a little punitive where students are concerned.)

I faced a similar conundrum with a couple of students who checked out books in February and hadn't returned or paid for them. I sent multiple e-mails, which never garnered a response. Finally, one of the students paid for her book a week or two ago. The other student has promised to come in and resolve the situation, but we shall see.

I guess in some ways this is a good job for me, because I am very meticulous about small things like this, and when I get fueled by righteous indignation, well, look out. It's probably not so great that I think about these small things in the middle of the night, but what can I say -- that's my personality.

(Photos: Bulls in the window of a Spanish grocery on Portobello Road; plungers for sale by a street vendor.)

9 comments:

Yael said...

In the most recent book in Jasper Fforde's 'Thursday Next' series, the protagonist starts working in a public library - in a world where libraries are highly over(!)-funded and employ some rather interesting characters, one of whom keeps pushing the idea of performing raids to return overdue books. :)

Ms. Moon said...

You're going to have to let some of that go or you'll be insane.
I speak from a place of too-well-earned knowledge.

The Bug said...

Ooh I like the idea of a raid to get the books back!

Um, a street vendor sells PLUNGERS? What kind of crappy place do you live? Badumbum :)

Angella said...

You have wonderful self-knowledge. I think i might be the kind of borrower who would drive you insane. that admission is my attempt at self-knowledge.

ain't for city gals said...

oh my...righteous indignation does not suit you. Try my motto of late "I used get angry...now I am merely amused".

Helene Titsch said...

If it were me, I'd take the 'plunge' and go after that woman...and be 'bullish' towards anyone else who was holding onto a book/media. Sorry...just had to get those two words out after viewing your photos. Bottom line - if the powers that be don't care, I wouldn't either but they would be blacklisted in my book.

Nancy said...

Yeah, I'm a bit like you in this regard. I'd have trouble falling asleep wondering why on god's green earth people won't bring back the stuff they checked out. Grrr!

Elizabeth said...

I love the minutia of both the photos and these grievances. There's something so satisfying about coming here, Steve, each night -- and seeing your glimpses of the world around you.

Steve Reed said...

Yael: Raids! I heartily approve! I'm going to suggest that at the next staff meeting.

Ms Moon: I know. It really is ridiculous. I suppose as I see more of it I'll become inured.

Bug: Ha! You BOWL me over with your sense of humor.

Angella: I bet you wouldn't be that kind of borrower at all. You strike me as far too conscientious.

Ain't: Or as one of my coworkers used to say, "You got to laugh to keep from cryin'!"

Helene: Nicely played! Yeah, I think I'll take my cue from above when deciding how rigorously to pursue this kind of thing. Fortunately it's VERY rare.

Nancy: I know! That's what bugs me. WHY?! Are they just disorganized, or what?

Elizabeth: God is in the details, or something like that. :)