Monday, April 15, 2013

Overheard @ The Info Desk: Make it work!

No, it wasn't a Tim Gunn "Make it work" moment, but rather a patron "Make it work FOR ME" situation when the phone rang this morning.

Me: Hello, X Public Library, information desk, may I help you? 

Not Tim Gunn: This CD I got from the library, I need help.

Me: What can I help you with? Is the CD not working?

NTG: (long pause, clattering sounds in the background)...No...I mean, yes...the CD won't play.  I borrowed it yesterday from your library...I want you to make it work.

Me: Ok...well, what are you trying to play it on?

NTG: ... (more clattering sounds) ...

Me: Hello? Are you still there?

NTG: Yes...sorry, I'm driving right now...I'm lost and trying to find this restaurant I'm going to meet my friend at... 

Me: Ok, well...I'm sorry you're lost, do you need directions?

NTG: (sounds like gears are grinding) No, I don't need directions, what I need is for you to make this CD work.

Me: Are you trying to play it on your car CD player?

NTG: No, my car doesn't play CDs, it's new and the stereo doesn't play CDs.  I am talking about at my house, my computer, it won't play.  I put the CD in and nothing happens, there's no sound.  I'm supposed to have it read for a class I'm taking but I don't have time, which is why I got the book on CD, but it won't work.

Me: What program are you using to play the CD on in your computer?

NTG: What do you mean? I put it in my computer and it won't play, I just need you to tell me how to make it work.

Me: I mean what program -- Windows Media Player, iTunes -- what program are you using to try to play the CD?

NTG: ...Um...I don't know...

Me: Ok, well have you tried to play it on another device aside from your computer? Do you have a regular CD player?

NTG: ...Um...uh...I'm going to have to call you back.  I'm meeting my friend right now for lunch and I don't have time to talk about this now.

This is one of my favorite phone call responses -- when I am made to feel that I have interrupted or disturbed someone when they called me.  I tell the patron to call back later when they have more time to talk and we hang up.  About two hours later she calls back, she has discovered what needed to happen to make it work: the laptop was not on.  Of course, I never came out and specifically asked her if it was on or plugged in, so it's partly my fault, but at least she now knows that in order to play a CD the device needs to be on -- instead of prying the CD tray open with her fingernails and putting the CD inside while the power's off.  It's nice when the problems are so quick and easy to fix

Fun way to kick off National Library Week! :)


  1. I sincerely hope that this person never has a chance to reproduce.

    1. Haha, too late -- a child started howling in the background near the end of the second call. Though I suppose she could've been a nanny or babysitting...

  2. I missed this post! Hilarious, but so not surprising. :D