Friday, March 18, 2016

how to get to China using just a hole puncher

Yesterday I helped a patron scan receipts so she had proof that she paid for something that she was being charged for again. It took less than 10 minutes but she was so overjoyed she brought me a box of chocolates later.  I put the box in the designated share spot in the staff room but only after putting one of the chocolates in my locker for later.  

Today a gentleman needed help printing boarding passes for both himself and his wife. We were able to print one but had trouble with the second one. Because his wife bought the tickets I told him to call his wife and check with her to make sure he had the right confirmation number. 

I can't he said. She's mad at me. I'll just call the Southwest help number

Because his wife had purchased the tickets with her credit card I told him he would still need to call her to get her credit card number. The color drained from his face and he stared intently at me, obviously hoping for another idea. 

After several seconds of silence his face brightened and he triumphantly said, I'm just going to run home and look for an old statement. She's running errands. She'll never know. I'll be right back. 

Sure enough he was back in less than 30 minutes. We printed the second boarding pass and he rushed away shouting bless you for your help.

Because he checked in at two different times and only hours before leaving I'm sure they won't get to sit together, but maybe that's a good thing.

It was a peaceful morning after that.  

And then The Resume Guy came in.  

The one who comes in a few times a week to make about 50 cover letters in an afternoon and uses the same format to copy and paste additional information for each new company.

The one who taps into what must be many years of pent-up anger and frustration to hole punch each paper so forcefully and loudly that other patrons shoot him worried glances before they timidly approach the desk to voice concern.  

During his visits he asks for help, or rather, raises his hand and grunts at us roughly every 5 or so minutes, and we stand behind him and show him how to copy and paste, delete extra pages and rename files.  

I've shown him how to copy and paste more times than I've told my parents I love them.   

Thankfully I was one of a few people assisting him today and only helped him about a dozen times.  

When an elderly patron dinged the bell I was more than happy to escape The Resume Guy.

I spent the next thirty minutes searching for the latest dish on Argentina and the Falkland Islands, the renewal date for The Antarctic Treaty and Carly Fiorina's new contact info, which hopefully is her pre-presidential campaign contact info, but after the internet search I'm not sure she even knows.  

This was all for one 87 year-old patron who told me his entire life story while I went to the ends of the Internet and retrieved the information for him.  

After that patron interaction I didn't even look in the direction of the hole puncher making it's way to China.  I went straight to the break room, opened my locker and grabbed the chocolate.  

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, I thought *I* held the title for heavy-handed hole punching! I can only imagine the satisfaction available from a mechanical device after all those electronic transactions.

    Once, years ago, I staffed the glass recycling dropoff. As the day wore on I started breaking the bottles (throwing them into the bins) to make them more compact. Soon after 5:00pm, a woman approached and asked if *she* could do that. I said certainly and stood back to give her room. For the next ten minutes she broke, with vigor, hundreds, maybe THOUSANDS of bottles. At the end she thanked me, explained it'd been a rough day at the office and now, after that, felt much better. Here's hoping tomorrow will be better.