The Gloater


I know bureaucracy is a pain, I live surrounded by its stink everyday, but some people are just plain nasty just because they’ve come up against the bureaucratic wall of procedure.

On Saturday I had a customer who was enraged that he could not borrow without his library card that he had safely tucked away at home. I suggested that if he really needed the books that he could buy a new library card. Now not happy that the term ‘dollars’ should have entered the conversation and incensed that a member of 40 years (well less than thirty by his record, but still a long time), he leaves. Tuesday rolls on and he’s back to pick up the books he wanted on Saturday. My team leader get’s him at the desk, though I can hear everything from the staff room. He’s in a jolly gloating mood as he’d been to the main branch that morning and they had given him a new card FOR FREE and he was ‘curious’ to know why I felt I needed to charge him when the staff at the main library didn’t.

“Oh, that’s interesting.” My team leader said, “My staff were correct to charge you for that card and the other staff were incorrect. Cards are only free when you join. I’ll be following that up and making sure the staff at _______ library know the correct procedure.”

He was a little deflated by that and made the most ironic comment, “Oh, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble.”

Yeah right. He was happy to get me in trouble the person that wouldn’t let him have his way, but the lovely ladies¬†at the main branch that broke the rules he wants to protect. He’s now forever immortalised at our branch as “The Gloater”.


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