Ad Hoc Reparations

Why Not? It’s Not As If Trump Is Going To Do Anything To Address the Problem

Roz Warren, Writing Coach

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Photo by Didier Weemaels on Unsplash

In the 20 years that I’ve worked at my suburban Philadelphia library, I’ve noticed that people have a tendency to take care of their own. I’m not saying we library workers are unfair. But each of us has a certain amount of discretion and I’ve noticed some patterns in how we make use of it.

Fairness in lending

For instance, I’m Jewish. If a library patron is Jewish, we begin any transaction with a certain level of familiarity and trust. If you owe the library money, I won’t let you off the hook just because we share the same faith. But if you give me a good excuse, I’m likely to believe you.

I once had a coworker who was politically conservative and strongly pro-life. If you came into the library wearing a pro-choice button, she’d treat you with civility, but she certainly wasn’t going to do you any favors.

On the other hand, if you gave her a plausible reason for keeping that copy of If Democrats Had Any Brains They’d Be Republicans past the due date, your fine just might get waived.

A while back, after noticing that one white co-worker consistently gave white patrons the benefit of the doubt, but was more by-the-book with patrons of color, I took a hard look…

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Roz Warren, Writing Coach

Writing Coach and Editor Roz Warren (roSwarren@gmail.com) will help you improve and publish your work.