I was going to come on here to post about the downfall of Libraries, but unfortunately more pressing matters distracted me on New Year’s Eve.
After a long, very slow day at work, just as we were preparing to close up, a customer finally came to get her documents printed off.
Total £5.60- nothing suspicious, yet.
She then reached into her handbag and produces a fifty pound note. Nooooo!
I explain that I doubt we have change for that amount but I can check the till, and being the friendly Library Assistant I am, I did, but with no success. I called my colleague over to see if she could help and she said that she would go to the safe to get some extra change out.
After a long day this was the last thing I needed. (I assure you that trying to finalise some hectic New Years arrangements while working a 9-6 is not at all easy.) I then realised this lady, her toddler and I were alone out in the Library.
She said to me “Have you been working here long…?” Alarm bells then began ringing in my head. Why was she being so nice to me, in fact why was she talking to me at all?
I have been working in the Library now for a year and months and let her know that I was not being “observed” by my colleague.
I could almost picture myself at the New Year countdown enjoying myself and being merry.
When my colleague returned our customer instantly piped up with:
“Where’s my fifty pound note? I gave it to you and you didn’t give it back.”
I knew all along that neither of us even handled the fifty pound note, let alone pocketed it. Although we urged her to search her bags, pockets and purse she did so in a very non-committal fashion. Seeds of doubt grew in our minds, I even at one point thought, what if I did take her money and accidentally pocket it? Although a quick check allayed my fears and proved my innocence. My colleague had no pockets t check, as well as the fact that she didn’t even see the fifty.
The lady refused to re-search her items more carefully and then demanded CCTV evidence. We played it to her and she showed little concern. (And I was quite embarrassed by the amount of time I spent standing still for the last hour).
Still looking for a way to blame us, despite my constant affirmation that neither of us took her money and video evidence as confirmation, she claimed it was “our word against hers”.
However she didn’t call the police as you would imagine someone shooting such allegations about would do. She instead answered her mobile phone to what I believe was actually no-one on the other end.
“I’ve lost all the money from Christmas, yeah, it’s all gone. I gave fifty pounds to the people at the Library and they can’t find it, and they’re saying I didn’t give it to them. Oh well, what can you do?”
After her call we made an effort to help her just in case she had lost it, however she then refused to give us any contact details or even her name. Once again, not the actions of someone that had just ‘lost’ a fifty pound note. She left despite her daughter visibly needing to use the toilet, declining our offer to use the staff facilities. Apparently, she is known as a pest in the borough Libraries and has been abusive in the past but I’m sure I was very lucky to have such an easy escape from her and her psychiatric problems.
And that’s the end of that story. I left work about half an hour late but still managed to reach my destination and enjoy a fantastic New Year’s Eve. Bring on 2009!