06 August 2009

Detective work

So I've been having a bit of a library saga lately (which I've described in a few fitful spurts on twitter).

The library network I use is cool in that it sends you a reminder email two days before your item is due. What's not cool is there's no notification when an item is weeks overdue. So I didn't notice for two weeks that a Burn Notice DVD set that I'd returned hadn't been checked in.

I'm very good about returning stuff, particularly DVDs since the fines are high, so I knew I'd returned it. Or more specifically that it'd been returned. I gave it 90% that I returned it to one particular library. The other 10% was that I'd asked my mom to return it for me which still meant it was returned but at one of two possible libraries. Didn't feel like I could be more certain than that because it'd been two weeks.

The librarian I spoke with has known me for ages so she believed me, but she wasn't able to find it either at her library or at the DVDs home library when she called them. I gamely double-checked everywhere it might be on my end including vehicles to no avail.

Yesterday, I was happy for a few hours because the DVD been taken off my account and the fine was gone, but when I looked a bit further into it last night, I found that the DVD's home library just had a "Claims returned" note attached to it. I take this to mean they keep looking for some period of time and if they don't find it, then I get saddled with a bill.

This morning I recalled that I'd picked up some magazines for my mom and was able to confirm that they were checked out the day my DVD was due. So, now I'm 100% certain that I returned it to my local library. I even recall an exchange I had with the very librarian checking into all this for me. She was kind enough to check out the mags to my mom even though I didn't have her card with me (my mom used to work there); that's when she discovered there was another person with my mom's name in the network. Memorable right? Hope so, I left her a message.

Unfortunately, that doesn't make the DVD materialize. Figures that this would happen to Burn Notice which retails for $49.99. Amazon has it for ~$30 but they will slap me with processing fees. Which is bogus of course because they didn't do anything but put a few stickers on the box set you'd bet from the store and write the library name on the discs. I know because I used to process library materials back in the day. I also know that with the computer network they have, they don't have to catalog from scratch. Processing the DVD for circulation is something I could do in 15 minutes which includes the time for someone to explain their particular computer system to me. (Unless I got someone really long-winded and unclear I suppose.)

Argh. It's just really stressing me out that I'm going to be penalized financially for something that's not my fault. Gggrrr.

Also, I have a crick in my neck that won't quit and twitter won't let me update.

OK, hopefully that will get some grr out of my system.

A year ago on TTaT: One project complete


  1. I have not had this happen at the library which is a great thing, but it did happen to me several years ago at a Hollywood Video. I was returning Airplane and Pay It Forward before open on my way to work and I went to drop them in the slot. They put a basket at the bottom of the slot with foam padding to break the fall of the discs/VHS. However, there must have been a mad rush of returns that night because they had gotten stuck on the foam and started to back up into the slot. I remember seeing the edges of the boxes of videos returned just before mine in the slot. I tried to use my movies to push those down, but I couldn't. And I didn't want a late fee, so I put them in as much as I could.

    Obviously someone after me stole them. I went through hell convincing them that not only did I not keep them, but why the hell would I want to keep tripe like Pay It Forward (terrible movie, IMHO)?

    I finally had to talk to some vice president at their headquarters who reversed the charges.

    I never rented from a Hollywood Video again. I went to Blockbuster for another year or so. But we're now firmly entrenched in the Netflix borg.

  2. Uf, what an ordeal that must have been.

    The woman I spoke to even commented that someone could've stolen it from the desk if they were busy. I know I put it in the slot at their desk, but someone could easily (from a physical standpoint) reach in and pull something out. Or if one of the staff put it on the desk for a moment and got sidetracked... and we're in the summer crush now so it has been busy.

    Still hoping it turns up, but not terribly hopeful.

    Agreed on Pay it Forward. Not the worst I've seen by any means, but for all the hype it got, I was disappointed. Also annoys me a bit when people use the phrase when they do something pretty minor to help someone out (stuff I wouldn't think twice about doing as a general course). Feel like they missed the point which was to pay forward something BIG.

  3. Boo to injustice!

    P.S. Thanks for your nice comment on AfterEllen!

  4. Cheryl, you are most welcome.

    word ver.: antsmog