I love the special snowflakes, the meltdown is fun.
Ever since this period of time, she acts as though she's still doing a lot of volunteering work for the library. She hasn't. At most, she'll show up towards the end of the set up for our annual sale and always wants things to be re-sorted to her liking and to pull out "special" books and charge more (they're not special and they're selling for $1 or less online). It's been so bad the last few years that I told two of the volunteers who have been helping with the sale longer than I've been working here that they were "in charge" of set up, but if there were any questions, they simply needed to ask. This was to stop this woman and one other who always try to interfere at the last minute and act like they're running the show.
Which leads me to today's issue, when she came by to pick up an ILL. We charge a flat $1.50 to defray the cost of postage, which is payable when the item is picked up. If it's not picked up, then the fee still has to be paid. She got upset that we wouldn't let her have the ILL because she didn't have $1.50, but I told her this is the policy and considering this is a book that is not ours, I really can't bend that rule. She told my part-timer at the desk to send it back and went off to get on a computer. He came and told me this, because he knew she'd blow her top that she'd have to pay anyway.
I printed out the policy from our website that clearly states in bold print it must be paid when it's picked up. I gave it to her, letting her know this is the policy we must enforce. She asked why she'd been able to check out ILLs before and pay for them later, and I wasn't going to be blunt and tell her that she walked out without paying, because in many cases she's checked them out herself (I've told the other staff member not to allow her behind the desk anymore to stop that issue). I simply told her that I'm sorry, but we're having to be stricter about enforcing the rules equally for everyone. If one person is allowed to not follow the rules, then anyone else could expect the same, and chaos is generally the result.
She got even more upset, saying she wouldn't have any money until the 3rd, and she'd always paid before, and I'm a meanie poopiehead. OK, she didn't say that last bit, but it was heavily implied. She went on to say that she didn't think this was a conversation we should be having in public, and I told her that was not my intention, but since she asked further questions after I gave her a copy of the policy, I answered them, but she was more than welcome to step into the office if she'd like privacy. This resulted in her nose in the air and angry typing on the computer.
My concern is if people don't pay at pick up time, they could easily return it and tell us they had paid, and we wouldn't be able to know the truth of the situation. Consistency is needed to keep things on track. I'm sorry her feelings were hurt, but in a way... not really. I'm tired of her acting like she deserves some special status because she has volunteered in the past. Anyone have advice on how to handle this sort of situation? I hate to be blunt, but in some cases, that seems to be the only thing that works, even though it creates clashes.
To top it all off, when she left the library before I was able to finish typing this, she told me again that she wouldn't have ordered it if she'd known she'd have to pay upon arrival because she didn't have the money, and how she was so upset about owing any fines in the first place. I had tried explaining that the book wasn't going to be due back until the 19th, so if she picked it up later, she'd still have time to read it, but then she tried arguing with me that ILLs were just for two weeks. No, they're not, and never have been. Standard is 4 or 6 weeks, though shipping times can cut into that sometimes. Her fines aren't enough to shut down her account and we have no problem if she needs to pay it out. And then the waterworks started up as she goes out the door, again saying how upset she was to owe fines and not be able to check out her ILL. ::sigh:: I guess I'm supposed to feel bad for her and forgive all her fines and give her a free ILL or something.