Wednesday, June 02, 2010

uh oh

I recently went through a serious audiobook stage, during which I borrowed "Teacher Man" by Frank McCourt from the local library. An autobiography read by the author (preferably with a thick accent to add some zest) is a treat bc it's like they're telling you their life story one-on-one. I enjoyed it during my to-ing and fro-ing but when the time came to return it...dun dun dun...I realized it was missing a cd. Just one. Out of eight. Gulp. I looked everywhere with no success, and figured I must have put it in another cd case that I had already returned to the library. So I did what any fabulous person would do in this situation: acted natural about it. I just took it back to the library. If they had the cd, then great, and if they didn't, they'd let me know.

Oh, they've let me know. Go ahead and guess the replacement cost.

No, really. Go ahead and guess. It is one cd, though I understand that they'd have to get an entire new audiobook, currently available on amazon for $32.

Do you have your guess?

Is it more or less than NINETY-TWO DOLLARS?


So what's my move? Make a phone call during which I use my angry lawyer voice? Recycle two thousand plastic bottles and/or organize a Fight Gurrbonzo's Moronic Ways 5k to round up the $92 to just pay it and then mutter bitterly whenever I think of Mr. McCourt from this day forward? Order a new copy myself and then pretend the NEW disc 4 is the disc 4 that I lost? WHAT TO DO?


Anonymous said...

That really sucks.

You can't pretend a new one is theirs, because all the library CDs I've seen have special labels taped to them.

Look everywhere again. Check between and under the car seats, and in every disc tray and case you own. Pray about it. Call and nicely ask if it has turned up in the wrong case.

If you can't find it, offer to replace it with a new one from the $32 set.

Dorothy said...

Ninety-two freaking dollars? Search the internet for a bootleg version and and burn it to a cd.

Just SO said...

I'd order the new cd. Without hesitation.

b. said...

That last one.
That's what I would try to pull. I don't care about the stinking special labels.
$92. My butt.

Liz said...

Bahaha! I went through this same thing when my husband lost a disc from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (we are not as intellectual as you :)). I was about to do exactly what you suggested, ie. buy a new copy and pretend I found the lost disc. Then I decided it wasn't worth the hassle so I went in to pay the $80 fine and the librarian said, "Oh, you don't have to pay for the entire thing, just the missing disc." It was $10. The trick--I went to a different library in the county system and the librarian was nicer!

Mhana said...

YOU MUST HAGGLE WITH LIBRARY TROLLS. Trust me, they expect you to roll over and show your underbelly when confronted. They've had you trained since you were a toddler with their hushing. And my mother is a librarian, I love librarians so don't get me wrong. But the fine police who dunn you are trolls of the first order. They cannot justifiably charge your more than $40 dollars -- they're entitled to add a processing fee for the copy you buy them. The rest might be in overdue fines so if I were you I'd haggle as soon as possible, since fines continue to accrue until it reaches a cap, usually $20 at which point they label it missing and you no longer accrue fines but do have to pay that horrid replacement fee. So my guess is the $92 quote is inclusive of your maximum fine, the actual cost of the item, shipping and processing. If you confront them immediately they cannot justifiably charge you overdue fees. If you order the item and pay for shipping yourself, the only fee they can really charge you is the processing fee. Make them itemize what that is too.

I'm serious about this business as you can tell. I had a library book recalled while I was on my honeymoon -- it wasn't due when I left, but it became due while I was on a boat in Alaskan waters without access to the outside world. They charged me $4 a day which almost immediately reached that $20 cap at which point it was labeled missing and I got charged $99. So I haggled, paid the overdue fees (SNARL) and got off the hook for the rest. When I asked if they had a way you could avoid having your books recalled when you're on short holiday, they suggested returning all your books first. Since I have over 60 checked out at any given time that really is impractical. I stand by the snarl.

Birdy said...

Skip the phone call. Go in person. Maybe the librarian will be one of the lesbians who likes you so much.

Be sure to take the girls. The whole darling package of you and your babies will be enough. Ask if the disk has turned up in another case. Ask if you can donate a whole new set instead of the $92. Ask for all of your options.

Something good will come of it and maybe this is just the trauma that needed to happen to push through the artificial librarian-patron barrier to your friendship and you two will become besties.

Deanna said...

You've been given lots of great advice... so I will say amen to that. I experienced the same thing in Nashville with Madame Bovary on (yep, you guessed it) cassette. I lost one and I don't remember the exorbidant fee they charged me for the one cassette, but I felt it was ridiculous. Add to that the fact that the reader was just too painful to listen to, so much so that I did not even finish the book. I was irritated to pay for a book that I had merely contemplated listening to. Ugh. Oh, and we found the @%#$&! cassette upon moving from Nashville, a couple of years later. Pleh!

You are smart and charming. I believe in you. Here's hoping you won't have to part with $92!

Anonymous said...

Have you seen "Parks and Rec?". They demonize the library department in that show. For good reason, apparently.

Tracy said...

I agree with mhana. Follow Cher's advice from Clueless and assume the $92 is just a starting point for negotiations. Go and make Professor Williams proud. P.S. Do you really have labels called "Irresponsibility" and "Rage" ? That was my favorite part of your whole post.

KT said...

I currently owe $38 in library fines, so I never go to the library anymore. I now only read books if I can afford to buy them new. It's a matter of principle.