She walked up to the desk (see picture below- that's not her in the purple dress) with her books and gave them to the circulation clerk. She said that she had returned them and they had been found on our shelves so she shouldn't have to pay the fines. Meredith (aforementioned clerk) did not believer her (checks the woman's card) and said that they could not have been found on the book shelves as we had done several searches. On it goes until the conversation becomes heated enough that the woman asks for "Someone Else..." So Meredith came to find me outside (I was on break).
She explained the situation and I walked in prepared to be firm as I knew that we had looked diligently for the items (I had looked personally and remembered the search) "Sorry you have to pay the fines on books you return this late, we did a search here and did not find them," preparing my speech.
So... I'm firm, "Sorry ma'am but we did look for your items and they were not here so..."
*deep breath* "Uh-huh. Well, I am sorry but you have to return them in a book drop or at this desk. We have one outside, one over there and you could also hand them to the people here or that one. But you can't expect us to be responsible for items that are just returned and put on the shelf. You are responsible for them until they are returned and they were not returned in the proper way. But the good news is, you are not paying for the books, you are only paying the late fines."
"It was too much," still adamant. "I could buy these books."
"They were here, safe and sound." Yup safe and sound but lost- proverbial needles in a haystack.
"I'm sorry." It's all I could say.