Monday, April 6, 2009

It was a waiting game

But I won. The subject was an older gent, resistant to newfangled technology like online catalogs and soap, so when he wants his movies, we have to look them up for him. Which is fine, except for the old guy funk he exudes. (When I am an old man--in about 3 months--and I have old guy funk, for God's sake, please let me know. I suspect that the sniffer slowly goes and there are all these old guys walking around thining they smell like roses.)Typically, what he wants is too new, so he goes on the holds list. I plowed through the first 4 on his long list, and then the unlikely happened. One of his films was on the shelf. I told him that it "should be over there, on the shelf."
"I'd like it if I could have it," he said. I was suspicious that he wanted me to go play fetch, something I am reluctant to do. My expensive MLS only gets used for real professional activities, like ejecting surly teens for swearing, so I ignored his remark. I mean, I'd like it if everybody who walked in gave me a 10 dollar bill, but I wouldn't expect anybody to take action if I was silly enough to vocalize the thought.
"Anything else today?" I asked brightly.
There was. Several more requests, one or two of which were on the shelf. I put holds on the missing, but for the ones that were in, he said something like, "I'd like that one, too."
When our transaction was complete, at least in my mind, I gave him a rough estimate of how long some of his holds would take, ranging from "soon" to "when DVD players are obsolete." I then reminded him of where he could find the DVDs that were presumably in, which is to say I pointed to the shelf 7 feet away.
"So I'm supposed to get them myself?" he asked, all astonished, like I'd just told him he'd have to perform his own appendectomy.
"Uh huh." I nodded, smiling. "They're in alphabetical order by title."
"What if I can't find them?"
"Let me know and I'll take a look."
For a moment he stood there looking like a monument to indecision. I began typing in earnest, suddenly absorbed in returning an email. And then he shoved off to find his own damn videos. A petty victory, to be sure dear reader, but we take 'em where we can get 'em.

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