It is not normal, when the barrier alarm goes off and passing students are invited to present their library books for inspection, for them to clutch the books tightly to their chests and refuse. It is remarkably uncommon, once they have been asked again to show their library books, accompanied by the explanation that sometimes The Machine misses the odd book, for students to yell loudly at the staff at the reception desk. Table thumping is rare. So too is finger pointing and waggling. Rarer still does it come to the point where management and then Senior Management have to be called in. I can recall no occasion on which a member of SHU security has been called across under such circumstances, resulting in a startlingly loud and protracted slanging match on the part of security and any student. In fact, I don’t remember any occasion on which I have heard any of the security staff yelling forbiddingly at any student. Never have I seen a member of faculty staff called across to help, nor a complete impasse with staff huddled around the reception desk and student slumped against the wall, obdurately refusing to budge, hand over books or in any way cooperate.
It would be considered remarkable and worthy of several days gossip were you to return to the reception desk after having ambled off and had your lunch and a cup of tea and done one or two things to find the student resolutely obdurate and surrounded by studently friends counselling common sense, all the aforementioned staff still around the reception desk but now complemented by the addition of two police officers. And it would be considered absolutely astounding if a third police officer were to arrive and between them they were to lift and carry the screaming, kicking and wriggling student out the door and shove them into a divvie van and cart them away, still screaming, all because one book had failed to check out properly.
What almost always happens is that the alarm goes off, the student is invited to present their books for inspection, the book that has been missed by the machine is identified and checked out and the student goes merrily on their way.My version is much more enlivening for a somewhat dull Wednesday afternoon though