I’m working at the circulation desk this morning, dealing with a couple of nutter-butters as it is, when a dude we’ll be calling “Bic Bickerson” walks up to inquire about his lost pen.
Simple enough, right?!
Bic Bickerson: “Hi there. I left a pen here yesterday and I would like it back.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Um, okay…I can check the lost and found.”
Bic Bickerson: “That would be splendid.”
At this point I did two things. First, I focused heavily on the fact that what appeared to be an 18-year-old kid just used the word splendid in regular conversation. Second, I meandered over to the lost and found. Unsurprisingly, there was no pen to be found.
Cap’n Charisma: “Sorry, doesn’t look like anyone turned it in. You could go check where you think you left it and see if it’s still there.”
Bic Bickerson: “Spot on, I will do just that…”
He walked off to go check whatever desk he was sitting at yesterday and I spent more time wondering why he was talking like an old-timey movie character from the black and white film era.
He came back a couple of minutes later looking utterly dejected.
Bic Bickerson: “No joy.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Well, sorry about that…”
Bic Bickerson: “Okay then. May I be reimbursed?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Reimbursed?”
Bic Bickerson: “Yes. Reimbursed.”
Cap’n Charisma: “…for your lost pen?”
Bic Bickerson: “That is correct.”
Cap’n Charisma: “We don’t generally reimburse people for losing their own things.”
Bic Bickerson: “…but it happened within the library.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Right, but it’s your pen and you left it behind.”
Bic Bickerson: “Yes…in the library. So the library is liable.”
Cap’n Charisma: “…for your pen?”
Bic Bickerson: “Correct. The library is liable for the loss of my pen.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Well, we don’t reimburse people for items they lose. We have plenty of signage posted warning people not to leave their things unattended.”
Bic Bickerson: “A sign does not dictate liability.”
Cap’n Charisma: *sigh* “…what kind of pen are we even talking about here?”
Bic Bickerson: “It was a Bic with a click top. Blue ink. Brand-new, so it was full of ink.”
I took a minute to compose myself and fight the urge to bash his face in using the three-hole punch. I mean seriously, who dances around liability issues for five minutes when you’re talking about a sixty-cent pen?!
Luckily, I’m a huge nerd and love me some pens, especially clicky pens, and I’ve usually got 3-5 clicky pens in my pocket at any given time.
So I did what anyone else who wanted this dude to shut up and go the hell away would do, I pulled out three pens.
Cap’n Charisma: “Here…take a pen.”
Bic Bickerson: “…but how do I know these are full of ink?”
Cap’n Charisma: *sigh* “…take two, heck take all three.”
Bic Bickerson: “Oh, that is quite a good deal.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Sure…we all cool now?”
Bic Bickerson: “Indeed. Have a spectacular day.”
Cap’n Charisma: “You too…”
Then he walked off with a glimmer in his eye and a bounce in his step.
I’m assuming he is some sort of professional hustler who read about my kleptomania for clicky pens and decided he’d one-up me, by tricking me into handing them over.
Well-played, Bic Bickerson.
You win this round, you rogue.