The truth shall set you free

This may come as a shock but the library, every now and then, makes a mistake. People are charge fines for things they did return, books get misplaced, etc. It’s not fair but it happens. Chalk it up to human error. We even hand out dispute forms if you get a fine you feel you don’t deserve.

Most of the time, however, the book was late. You screwed up. Deal with it and pay up. Okay? And if you can’t do that, could you at very least not lie to me? I’d appreciate it.

“Good afternoon! Reference Desk,” I answered the phone.

“I have a fine on my card.” She was clearly distressed about it. I figured it had to be a fairly large fine.

“Okay, let me just pull up your file.”

$0.30 was owing. That’s the fine for one day on one book. She called about $0.30. This was not going to go well.

“It says I returned this book late.”

“Yes, ma’am, it does.”

“If I put it in the book drop is it late?”

“If you put it in the book drop the day it was due, no.”

“Well that’s what I did.”

Right and I’m the Queen of Canada.

“You put in in the drop box on the day it was due?”

“Well the next morning.”

Oh yeah, you’re clearly not lying.

“So you put it in the drop box before the library opened the day after it was due?”

“Yeah, first thing in the morning.”

“Before we opened?”

“Well I left it in my sister’s car and she dropped it off first thing in the morning.”

“So your sister put it in the drop box before we opened?”

“She said she dropped it off there first thing in the morning!”

“In the drop box?”

“She said she came in first thing in the morning! She left it on the desk!”

“So it was on the desk and not in the drop box?”


“Then I’m afraid, ma’am, that the library was open and as the book came in after we opened it was over due. The late fine is $0.30. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”


My supervisor happened to overhear this conversation and she was laughing when I hung up.

“You know you could have just gotten rid of that fine.”

“I know. I just hate it when they lie to me.”

Please folks, remember, if you treat the staff like they’re stupid it will come back to bite you in the ass. We’ll make sure of it.

-Late Fines

Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I owe like $2.50, which is cool with me. Maybe I should just give the money to you.

  2. You know my mailing address and I’m always happy to take money.

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