Problem users defined

Thanks to Stephens Lighthouse ( for the pointer to the article on Boing Boing – Classes of annoying customers.

The categories arise from a study by a Washington State University student and in summary are:

• Badmouthers

• Paranoid shouter

• Customers with poor hygiene

• Some customers make outlandish requests

• Service rule breakers

• Bad parents with bad kids

I would add a few more to this list.

• Attention seekers – just want the focus on them, so will shift from staff member to staff member with the same queries/story etc

• Story makers – keep coming up with variations, trying to find the one that will help them get their way

• Responsibility avoiders – often also story makers, but its always everyone else’s fault but their own

Fortunately, we don’t have many people like this, but as with any community, they exist and they come into the library every now and then. Otherwise why else have training on dealing with difficult users?

Do you have any other favourites that are missing from these lists? Or outstanding examples? I would love to hear about them – feel free to vent in the comments.