Saturday, May 23, 2009

What year are you calling from?

The desk phone rings and I answer it and the patron asks to be “connected to” the city library. I inform them that I can’t directly connect them, but I’ll be happy to provide them with the number (though I am wondering if they looked up our library number why they didn’t look up another one?).
The patron replies “ok” and I start reading off the phone number when simultaneously in my ear I hear “beep boop beep beep!” I stop giving the number and say, “Uh, you can’t be dialing while we’re on the line, you have to wait until I finish giving it to you and then hang up.”
There’s a pause. “Oh,” the patron says. Longer pause.
“Why don’t you write the number I’m giving you down and then call it,” I suggest.
Another pause. “Oh ok, hold on, let me go find a pen.”

I have never had a phone transaction quite like this and find it hard to imagine that this person has lived their life without knowing how properly use the phone. Who starts dialing while someone is talking? How did they think this transaction would work?

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