Tuesday, May 15, 2018
I went into the Lahaina branch today so that I could acquire a library card, as I just moved to the island.
Upon my arrival to the front desk, I was not greeted, acknowledged, or looked at in any way by the older man behind the desk. He was busy filling out paperwork.
After a few minutes of standing there, waiting, directly in front of him, he told me that he was very, very, very busy, and would be able to assist me when he was finished. His tone was unfriendly and abrupt, almost annoyed at me.
I waited patiently a few more minutes, until he barked at me to step aside while motioning to a different patron behind me to join him at the desk. The patron gave me a sympathetic look, as if to say 'I can't believe it either'.
While the man was helping the other patron, I noticed the sign on the desk that exhorted people to express kindness as a sign of maturity. For a moment I considered turning it around so that it would be facing a more appropriate audience.
After he finished with the other patron, he returned to his keyboard and paperwork, again, without acknowledging me.
I asked him if I should return in 20 minutes or so when he was less busy, and, with an annoyed look and irritated tone, said 'That will be great".
I spoke outside with the library manger directly afterwards, a wizened elderly woman, to relay my concerns about the branch's customer service to her subordinate. She didn't show the least concern about what had happened, and told me that the man at the front desk is loved and cherished as an employee, and receives complements all the time. She suggested that the complaints online have been the work of substance abusers. She suggested I leave the library.
I was walking away when a different patron called after me and relayed her horrible experiences there, not only with the man at the desk, but also with the manager.
I will not be returning to that branch for the foreseeable future, and I strongly suggest the employees of the Lahaina branch undergo customer service, empathy, and professionalism training, as I found a dearth in them of all three.