I work in the serials department in a university library. I maintain the electronic journal access and catalogue amongst other things. I'm also a supervisor in this department who is probably the only person at my grade who has experience in customer service.
So a guy asked the lending staff if he could take a current issue of a journal out of the library until Friday. Library policy states that current issues (or those classified as current, so that's usually within the current 12 months) are only available for overnight loan which means they can't be taken out before 4pm and must be returned by 10am the next day. So he is told no.
Five minutes later another call comes up from the lending desk supervisor asking for the serials supervisor. G takes the call and again reiterates the policy and says nope, he can't have it. G checks and finds the journal is available on HighWire for online access (HighWire - the Stanford initiative I was bitching about last month). Turns out the guy isn't a current staff member or student and therefore doesn't have online access rights. So G checks with her/my boss and confirms he can't have it.
Five minutes after that and he's at the serials desk asking to speak to G. Since it had nothing to do with me I was just eavesdropping but... He stood there for a good ten minutes talking about how he'd just come off a 13 hour night shift (he's a doctor at Yorkhill Hospital apparently) and didn't have the time or energy to go through the journal and photocopy the parts he needed. G's/my boss joins in and the three of them are at the desk talking about how he can't have the journal because other people need to access it (hence the overnight loan only rule). He's insistent no one else is going to access it. How the hell does he know? Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery - gets a high number of hits on the electronic version so it's a fair bet the print copy is going to be heavily used as well. And lets leave aside the amount of time he spent arguing his case during which he could have been reading the thing to find the article(s) he needed because that would just be too sensible.
So all this is going on at the other end of the room and I'm starting to hear the faints sounds of bribery "What if I leave a hundred pounds deposit or my credit card details with you?" and two of the junior staff members are joining me in the mass eye rolling. And then he walks away with the damn journal!
They let him take it!
It's pretty damn clear my boss (who's now officially late back from her tea break...) has never had any customer service training at all. You don't let him get that loud and confrontational, you just don't. You smile understandingly, you don't promise anything, you talk quieter so that they realise themselves how loud they're being and address that. You don't back down.
In other news, both of the people who've bought me at Sweet Charity have now been in touch, I've got a rough idea of what one of them wants (SPN LJ and wallpapers) but no clue about the other. I'm guessing BtVS, but I may have the wrong LJ. Hopefully I can get a start on that soon!
Oh - and SPN fandom? Chill. Just... chill out okay? There are always going to be people who like something you don't get but bitching about individuals is hurtful, stupid and childish. So chill out before you make us all targets for trolls and fandom_wank.
ETA It's coming up to quarter past twelve. This is my lunch hour. As it happens, I'm only taking a half hour because I'm building up flexi-time, but I am currently the only supervisor in the office. What happens at half past when I do go on lunch? No supervisor at all? This. Place. Sucks. Out. Loud.
second edit okay, it's now nearly quarter to one. And I am officially on lunch right now. The supervisor who should be here has vanished, I've no clue where she is, and C is being an obnoxious sod the way he normally is. So although I am on lunch, I've also just authorised a refund on a photocopy card and am keeping an eye on the phones. Just as well I don't feel up to moving much cause of the rib. And there's a guy at the enquiry point as I'm typing who is causing a problem and might require supervisor support...