25 May 2010

Your Going Away Gift is a New ID Badge

My irritation reigns supreme right now.

I spent an hour and fifteen minutes in some shitty traffic because some fuckwad decided they couldn't drive in the sun. Apparently, it was too bright for them and they crashed into the car ahead of them. Then, another fuckwad decided that the middle of the damned highway was a great spot for their car to die. You know, there are these little parts of the highway that are JUST wide enough for a car that's dying to squeeze into. You can wheel your dying car over there and let it plopplopfizzfizzdiedieDIE without it interrupting the flow of traffic. What a genius invention, eh? I heard that they are called "shoulders."

(My God, really, you can't find the copier? You mean, the big greyish-colored machine that says copier over it. That one? Because, there's only one. That's our copier. Yes, it makes copies. Yes, it costs money. No, I will not make your copies for you.)

Needless to say, I was late for my meeting. I don't like being late. It makes me feel disorganized and makes me look like a loser walking into a room where everyone is already settled. It makes me feel like I'm bothering everyone. But, on top of sitting in traffic, I also couldn't find the location of the meeting. I went there once before, but another person was driving and we were talking and it was raining and it was cold and I wasn't really awake, so that was like the double trifecta of me not paying attention.

When I got to the meeting, at the location of "Friendly Place," I wasn't feeling very friendly. In fact, I was feeling pretty much homicidal. Luckily, the lady at the desk was friendly and smiled and asked if she could help me. I told her why I was there and she (if I had a nickel for everytime a kid needed a coloring sheet, I'd be able to retire. If kids spent half the time reading as they did coloring pictures of fucking SpongeBob, we'd have a generation of fucture rocket scientists and people that could cure cancer, instead, we're going to have a generation of people who think that Bob the Starfish is the smartest thing since sliced bread) gave me the look of pity, which is the same look I give to patrons. We service schmucks know it well.

"Oh, ummmmm," she starts sheepishly, "the meeting doesn't start until noon."

I look at my watch. 10:41. GODDAMMMMMMMMMMMMMIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTT! I look defeated, forlorn, stick a fork in this potato, I'm done.

"You're welcome to sit down and relax," she piped up.

"Oh, well, I really need to get back to my branch. I really have to get to work."

So, at this point I'm hotter than hell and thirsty and have been in the car for nearly two hours now and just don't want to be trapped in my own little space anymore. I also have to piss like a racehorse, but working in a library has made me have the remarkable ability to supress my body functions in disturbing ways that you don't want to know about.

I also heard a rumor that there is to be some sort of going away shindig for me. I'm not expecting much. Ok, who am I kidding, I'm not expecting anything. I doubt any of my jackass employees would do shit for me; ungrateful, overpaid, spoiled brats that they are. Doing something for someone else would require them to STOP TIHNKING ABOUT THEMSELVES for an hour.

I do get a new badge from security today. Apparently, this piece of information warranted a call from Mr. Big Security Guy. So, I can't go drive around town and get lost all over again looking for this meeting place because I have to wait for them.

And that's it. That's my going away present. A new id badge.

I feel like the 50th place contestant in the Miss Universe Contest.

22 May 2010


I'm really not some nature nut, even though I've posted a few pictures of the great outdoors lately. I don't camp or hike or mountain climb or try to train squirrels and I'm terrified of bees. But, I love flowers.

One of my favorite patrons brought me a huge bouquet of irises and left them on my desk. She is so awesome! She said it was because I seemed so stressed lately and because she just loves the library.

I love normal people.

I also love this:
I tell you what I see when I look out there. I see the undeveloped resources of Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin, and Michigan. I see a syndicated development consortium exploiting over a billion and a half dollars in forest products. I see a paper mill and if the strategic metals are there, a mining operation. A greenbelt between the condos on the lake and a waste management facility focusing on the newest rage in toxic waste, medical refuse. Infected bandages, body parts, IV tubing, contaminated glassware, entrails,syringes, fluids, blood, low grade radioactive waste all safely contained sunken in the lake and sealed for centuries. Now I ask you what do you see?

I see trees.

19 May 2010

Nature AND innovation

I actually had a real lunch break today. It was going along so great. I was eating my sandwich and reading. I heard birds chirping. I was under a shade tree, the sunlight was flickering. It was like the best lunch break ever.

I was so hesitant to go back inside, and for good reason if you've been paying attention at all to any of the previous shitstorms that occur here. When I was walking back inside the building, a woman started yelling at me. It was windy outside and I couldn't hear because Ia big truck was driving by. I kinda ignored her because I don't like yelling. If it was that important, you would have walked your ass around the courtyard and told me personally. Again, I don't do shouting.

We have these planters outside. Of course, since we haven't gotten around to planting anything yet (and our volunteers haven't either), they look like shit. I guess it's pretty representative about how I feel about a lot of things now. Some kids decided that they were going to knock it over and throw dirt everywhere. So, I spent 5 minutes picking up dirt. I told you I should have stayed in my car. I'm just glad a bug didn't touch me, otherwise, I would have reflung the damned dirt everywhere and made an even bigger mess. (Interruption, interruption, interruption, man bitching about his copies being off-center and how the copier is broken. You know what? You're broken).

Anyway, I finished picking up the dirt, and the woman started yelling again. I got closer to her and she was yelling because some kids were throwing rocks at cars and she wanted me to find out who they were. I asked if they went into the library. No. I asked if they were boys or girls. Boys. Ok, well, there's a start. I asked what ages they were. She had no idea. I asked her what they were wearing. She told me clothes. Wow, with a star witness like you, murderers should be hiring you to be a witness for the prosecution. I'll get right on that case ma'am. All that she could tell me was that they threw rocks and THEN STOPPED TO OVERTURN THE PLANTER.

Ok, wait, wait, wait, wait. They stopped to overturn the planter, which, granted, probably only took 15-20 at max, but you couldn't tell me ANYTHING about the kids? And you stood there and watched me pick up the dirt and didn't say anything even though they were throwing rocks before and after they tipped over the planter?

I looked closer to see if the woman was blind. No. I recalled my converstation with her to see if maybe she showed signs of mental retardation. No. It didn't seem like she was a crack. So, who in their right mind would expect the librarian (clearly coming back from her lunch, holding her purse and giganto tub o'fastfooddietpopcup) to 1) go chasing after the kids 2) expect anything from her description 3) or think that a sensible solution would arise to the situation?

So, as I was standing outside pondering the stupidity of some people, I saw some pretty irises. (Oh, god, here's another interruption. Someone bitching about the Census. Someone else whining about the schedule. Don't you love that I just keep on typing? Your concerns are so trivial that I just don't want to hear it, you overglorified turdmonsters.) I decided to take a picture of the irises. I usually see purple irises. These are an interesting color that aren't quite pink, not quite peach, but quite lovely. So, I took a picture of them because they made me happy and god only know my insane days need some happiness. Ok, I digress... Anyway, I finally made my way back in and saw a coupon sitting in the lobby. Then, it hit me. No, not the rocks the kids were throwing. I hit me that I had another great "LIBRARY INNOVATION." I gather the person that left this is concerned for their health and left the tobaccy coupon behind so that they wouldn't fall into the devil's temptation once again. Damned devil. This person probably figured that they could help some other kind soul get mouth cancer, or tooth loss, or gum disease. So, once again, got down to some serious thinkin'. I think all of this sun is good for my brain. It must be the vitamin D. I'm on a brainroll! I just hope this doesn't mean I have a gigantic tumor that's giving me these ideas, because, that would suck. My GREAT LIBRARY INNOVATION is...........drumroll please.............

If libraries partnered with big tobacco and got a fee for passing out cigarette or chewing tobacco coupons, our budget problems would be solved. We could even blow off those bullshit $99 down credit companies. Then, once we got people hooked, we could host health clinics to try to get people to quit. Of course, this would be sponsored by BIG CORPORATE INSURANCE COMPANY, who would...what? what? what? GIVE THE LIBRARY A CUT!

See, it's genius! The only thing is that we better move fast before this whole public healthcare debacle chips into our profits.

18 May 2010

Bad Credit? Lots of Bullshit?

I ended up working 11 hours yesterday. This is the joy of management. This is why, on a Friday, when you have an appointment to see a nuerologist for head pains that your employees snicker that you're just cutting out early. They never recognize you coming in early to do shit or staying late to play catch up after computers were down all day.

Yesterday was like the dumping day for all sorts of stupid flyers at the library. I think it's the spring weather that gets people thinking of half-cocked theories. People decide to create all of these lame events in the spring and put up sad looking semi-inflated baloons and flyers with improper spelling. Because I was in a rotten mood and therefore in a haste to throw those things away, I didn't photograph them, but I did catch one of my favorites, that I'm sure you've all seen at a corner of an intersection. Nothing says legitimate company like a hand-written sign!
At many times in my life in Library Land, I've been asked for various services that libraries just don't provide, such as booking travel tickets, student loan advice, typing services, infant care, etc.

Then I got to thinking. And if you had any sense, you'd stop reading now, because when I get to thinking, that can be dangerous. I know you want to know what my bright brain is thinking of and instead of saying something clever (because I got interrupted by the chair shitter patron who just went into the bathroom and did dirtygrosssickthings), I'm just going to tell you.

My library is in the hood. People generally have bad credit. If we put these signs outside and leased a little bit of square footage of the library (like, say the meeting rooms on Friday afternoons) to these companies or people or whoever, then we could get a cut. Why not? I mean, we're already an institution that circulates as many DVDs as movies, so why not give people a car loan while they're waiting in line to get their movies? We could also lease part of the parking lot or the back yard area (where kids can't play anyway since someone would have to go back there and pick up the shell casings after the gang kids shoot up the building with .22s after hours) and put up some some hoopdies so people can drive away the same day! We're also right on the bus line, so the local bus company and these car loan "companies" (or shady freaks, depends on your side of the coin) can compete.

I'm such a genius. But, unfortunately, I have to go tell the chair shitter to stop throwing up all over our restroom, to stop drinking in the library, and to...what? I don't know. I need more coffee.

The winner is the library. The losers? Well, who likes a loser?

15 May 2010

Are You Making Enough Money?

I love flyers that people dump in the lobby of the library. I especially love it when the person decides that I'm special enough to get one hand delivered. I was cleaning out my mailbox today. I clearly saved this gem for good reason. I mean, it has everything: crazy guy, money being thrown around, and "the information I requested." I'm a librarian, I love information!

The best part about this flyer is that it is full of valuable tidbits. Now, the photo isn't that great because I had to snap it quickly in the staff room, lest someone wonder why in the name of sanity I was taking pictures of a flyer. But, the information here is really valuable, like that copy of the Constituion Readers' Digest used to put in its magazines each summer. It's something you can't get anywhere else. All of them are good, but specifically, I love that:
-this information could change your life--just look how happy the guy on the cover looks. He's climbing over his piles of money. He's simply footloose and fancy free. He's ready to wine and dine the ladies. That right there is a man changed for good. That man right there is gonna get himself some fine ass tonight all thanks to that INVALUABLE information.
-pennies for nothing! Well, I'm pissed. I've overpaid everything from my college degrees to my cars to my friggin' Starbucks lattes. I wish I was as smart as the guy on the cover. Sigh, a girl can dream, can't she?
-call me critcial, but isn't newspaper revenue declining around the country?

I would love to show you the rest, but that might disclose my identity, so you'll have to live in curious amazement at the treats I get each day.

I have another one of these lovely items for you coming soon, but you've had three blog posts today from me (and I did get that book order done and those two schedules), so this antibrarian needs to pack it up and go home.

No more shitty books for you!

Let me set the scene for you: a woman walks in (why do I always feel like I'm starting a really bad joke about a rabbi or a priest or a lawyer?) and has about 4 library cards. The clerk already checked the cards and told her what fines were on what cards. I happened to be behind the desk and the woman asked me to check the cards. I printed out the fine slips and attached them to the cards.

The woman made THE FACE. The face is something similar to eating raw lemons, shit, a shot of Rum 151, a toilet bowl freshner cake and rotten eggs.

Since I have a modicum of perception, I asked if there was a problem.
Moneybags: Yeah, there's a problem. I have $40 in fines. What do I do if I want to check out?
Me: Well, since we allowed you to pay a certain amount per checkout since December and you stopped doing that, you are going to need to pay $28, which is the amount of fines you accumulated since December.
Moneybags: [is outraged, of course, why fess up? Just act outraged and yell and maybe someone will act like they care] TWEN-TY EIGHT DOL-LARS?!?!?! TWEN-TY EIGHT DOL-LARS?
Me: [emotionless, because, I just don't care. I've heard it so many times, you have to be kidding me] We told you not to get any more fines in December, you got $28 in fines, so that's what you have to pay.
Moneybags: TO CHECK OUT A BOOK!?!?!?!?!?!?
Me: Yes.
Moneybags: Why?
Me: Why? Because, for example, in May, you racked up $15 in fines. If you pay a dolalr or two or even three each time you use the library and then rack up $15 in fines, you aren't going to be able to check out much longer because you'll owe too much.
Moneybags: Well, chilllllllllllllllle, please, I ain't checkin' out nonna these shitty books anyway.

As if calling the books in the library shitty is an insult to me. You failed to realize that while you said that, you had DVDs in your hand. You also failed to realize that the items on your card were all for 'shitty' books, so, clearly, at some point, you needed said 'shitty books.'

The beautiful thing is that after I wrote the previous part, I went to my desk, sent an email, saw the line backing up, went back to the circ desk, and she was checking out books. At first she didn't want to get in my line, but then she changed her mind. Of course, I was there to great her, smiled, and said, "Oh, it looks like you decided to get some books after all. Will you be paying the $28 or will you be using your son's card?" Of course she used her son's card, which also had fines on it, but not fines like hers. Either way, I got her. Stupid patrons.

A Day in the Life of Madame Manager: Saturday Morning Edition

I knew that the ripped up Justin Bieber magazine on my desk should have been a harbinger of the shittiness of this Saturday.
9:15 Roll on into the branch. Surprisingly, there is no one waiting outside. I hope that today might be productive: that I can finish my book order without having to take it home, clean out my desk, and finish branch schedules for managers that can't seem to do them the correct way, even though they're been branch managers for 30 years.
9:23 5 people materialize. I can only imagine that they're anxiously waiting outside to grab a book to read when the doors open.
9:27 6 more people materialize. Great. Let the race for computer time begin. Of course, Coughing Guy is out there, coughing, looking sleezy, wearing a Florida Gators hoodie when it's 70 degrees outside. I guess crack makes you cold.
9:40 A computer goes down. Of course it does. Computers only break on Saturdays because there's no one here to fix them. I can probably give up my dreams of productivity now.
10-10:30 Constantly tell kids to turn down their music. I'm starting to feel like I should be wearing a pleated skirt and a chain on my glasses.
10:33 I'm going to blame this on Justin Bieber.
11:04 The man that comes in here and swears profusely on his cell phone decides today's the day he needs help, so of course, he's as nice as pie to me. I wish I had some pie by the way. Maybe some cherry or key lime. Pie would be great. But, I don't have pie, I just have needy morons. Hope of productivity are completely dashed and I decide I'm going to blog my irritating day.
11:06 Trudge up from the desk to go to the copier. Make one damned copy and then the toner runs out. The toner can never run out when I'm wearing black. It has to run out when I'm wearing pale pink. Take out the near-empty toner cartridge so that no one can futz with the copier.
11:10 Root around in the staff room for toner. So help me if I have to take out the toner and shake it to get the most out of it, because, surely, I will be covered in soot and my shirt will be ruined.
11:12 Find the toner, come back out, see an old man standing at the copier (despite toner and box sitting on top of it), feeding it dimes, and pressing buttons. Because I'm a bitch, I look at him and ask if those copies are working out for him. He looks at me stupidily and I tell him to please take a seat, its out of toner, which is why the cartridge is sitting on the copier and the copier is off. Nevermind the fact that your damned dimes keep falling through the machine...
11:16 Fix the toner, restart the copier, and amazingly, don't get any stupid toner on me.
11:21 Bullshit fine story. This guy has $275 in fines and wants me to waive them so he can get DVDs. He said that his card was lost. Then he was in prison. Then his card was stolen. Then he missplaced it and someone "might have" checked out materials on it. What's your story? I know mine: I'm not forgiving any fines because you're lying to me.
11:33 Someone came up to me, was honest about her $125 in fines, paid $30 to get them down, and didn't give me a bullshit sob story. Amazing. In fact, I was so glad she told the truth that I knocked $5 off her fines. See, I'm not a heartless bitch when people don't try to play me.
12:13 Some guy has been sitting in the same spot for 45 minutes, staring at people using the computers. He's not waiting for them. I'm not sure if he's a creeper, retarded, or just wants to shit in a chair. Or, maybe he's mad because our issue of Tiger Beat with Justin Bieber on the cover has been destroyed.

14 May 2010

CALL 911, I'm having a heart attack!

Now that I've almost recovered from the week and have some time to think without running from building to building, I can tell you all about Monday's funfunFUN! This Monday was pretty bad, because it was a payroll Monday and I rolled in from a long car trip on Sunday night, so I was really tired and really irriated about payroll AND had a stupid migraine brewing, so I was a hot mess of pissedofflibrarianism.

Before 2 p.m., I dealt with payroll, the 911 lady, the idiot that ripped off a chunk of concrete and threw it at the building, and then had to have an hour long family counseling session with a boy who vandalized the building Monday morning, the police, his two grown cousins, and his grandmother. That piece was pretty sad, so I'm not going get into it, but the 911 call is fun for the whole family. Read it at Sunday dinner for good laughs all around! Here ya go...

Within 5 minutes of walking into the building (thank GOD I was done with the difficult part of payroll), this woman starts yelling about how she loves Michael Jackson. Well, duh, who doesn't, but this is a library, not a Michael Jackson revival. Shut the fuck up.

I move my eyes to the entrance with a furtive glance of seething at the cause of the noise. The clerk sees me glaring and tells her to keep her voice down, lest I have to get up. Sometimes, I feel like the steretypical 1950s father with the library and its staff. "Don't make your father/manager get up, if you do, he's going to be mad." If I have to get up from my desk and walk all the way down the long damned hallway, you betcha someone is going to get ripped a new one. Also, as a side note, I am NOT one of those "YOU ARE IN THE LIBRARY, HERE IS YOUR LIST OF RULES, DON'T TALK OR I WILL BEAT YOU WITH THE AACR2" librarians. Just sayin'.

Bigmouth lasts about 5 minutes before she has a revelation that Janet Jackson IS really Michael Jackson's sister. Stop the presses. Whoah. Really. Thanks for letting a whole library full of people know that. We would have NEVER MADE THAT CONNECTION WITHOUT YOU! I got up to tell her to please keep her voice down and she grabbed my arm and insisted that I went to high school with her. Don't think so. I went to high school in a different town. Not even close. Apparently, this was her shtick, because she told every third person in the library that she went to high school with them. People were getting annoyed, myself included, but that doesn't really count because I'm always annoyed.

Apparently, that revelation about the Jackson family wasn't enough to satisfy Bigmouth for the day. She signed up for a computer (we have this nifty little machine that assigns you to a computer when you put your library card number in, thus pretty much absolving staff from being screamed at by patrons who think we are playing favoritism with the computer sign-up lists) and missed her turn. The lady that was paying attention was up next, got on the computer she was assigned to, and started working on her resume. I know, saints be praised, a non-creeper, 50 yeard old fucker that didn't want to look at porn at 10 a.m. with all females employees in the building.

In about ten minutes, Bigmouth saw the lady using the computer Bigmouth decided was hers and started screaming (because that's the best way to communicate, isn't it?) at the woman "YOU GOTTA BOUNCE! BOUNCE! OFF MY COMPUTER! IT'S MINE!"

Well, fuck, the rest of the staff looked terrified and I got up to deal with it. The perks of management are never ending. I told Bigmouth that she needs to keep her comments to herself, that she missed her turn, that the lady on computer 2 is assigned to it, and that Bigmouth needs to re-sign up. Bigmouth looked stunned. Apparently, because we were both white, meant that I had to kick the black lady off the computer. I don't care if you're a purple alien--the kind from Mars, not Mexico, although, I'm fine with those aliens too--as long as you're polite and quiet and aren't a total fucking disruptive jackass, I'm not going to favor some stark raving assface just because we have the same skin color. Uh huh.

Since I put Bigmouth in her place, she decided she didn't want a computer anymore, she wanted to color. The children's librarian gave her some coloring pages and crayons. All was quiet until she grabbed the security guard and told him she needed an ambulance because she was having a heart attack.

The guard came up to me. I'm not a doctor, I'm not evaluating shit, so I just called 911. I've called 911 so many times that it doesn't even faze me anymore. Someone could have an arm cracked in half or lost an eyeball on a ballpoint pen or had their lower intestine fall out in the men's restroom, and I would be that eerily calm voice calling in to 911. Those eerily calm voices you hear on the 911 tapes on the 6 o'clock news are either homicidal maniacs or librarians. No normal person could be calm on those recordings except these two groups.

911 Dispatch: What is your emergency?
Me: I'm at [address] and I have a woman in the library that says she feels like she's having a heart attack. She says her chest is burning. She is a caucasian female, 41 years old. [I told you I was good.]
911 D: Is she awake?
Me: [looks over] Yes, she's talking to the security guard.
911 D: Is she upright?
Me: Yes, she's looking through her purse.
911 D: Ok. [Pauses, because you know he's thinking WTF?!] Is she turning blue or look like she's struggling to breath?
Me: No, she's still looking through her purse.
911: No signs of distress, ok. [Asks a bunch of health questions, like if she took aspirin or other meds that I had no clue because I'm not this loonatic's keeper and nor do I care, at this point, I just want her out of the damned library because she's wasting my time with her irriating need for attention in any form]. Ok, we'll dispatch an ambulance.

I told Bigmouth that I called EMS and then she wanted me to sit down and chat with her and organize her purse. Sure, because if I was having a heart attack, I'd want the librarian to organize my purse. I guess if I had pot or meth in there, I might ask her to go flush it, but she wanted me to find her health care card. I told her I had to go wait for EMS and that I didn't have time to look through her belongings. She grinned at me stupidily. I went outside to flag the ambulance into the parking lot, which arrived within 5 minutes, I told the paramedics where nutso was sitting.

As if the rest of her craziness wasn't funny enough, it's about to get much better.
Paramedic 1: [asking generic questions].
Paramedic 2: We're going to take your pulse, check your breathing.
Bigmouth: I broke my foot.
Me: [looks incredulous]
P1: I thought you said you were having a heart attack?
Me: [interrupting, because there is no way you are going to say you broke your foot in the library to try to sue us when you walked in of your own accord, when you were walking around all morning shaking people and insisting you went to high school with them, and when there was no crash or accident] That's what she told the guard and that's what he told me.
Bigmouth: No, it's my foot. Well, I have asthma.
P1: What happened to your foot?
Bigmouth: A dresser fell on it. [Pause.] Then a fan fell on it. [Pause.] Then a computer fell on it.
P2: [turning to me] How did she get into the building?
Me: She walked in.
Bigmouth: [smiling] But it didn't hurt then, I think I re-broke it in here.
P2: So, [turning to Bigmouth], you have no chest pains right now?
Bigmouth: I feel fine. Except my foot. It's broken. I need a cast. Wheel me out of here. Do you have a wheelchair.
Me: [you're going to need a wheelchair when I get done with you, you've wasted 45 minuets of my time already] No. It's a library. We don't rent out wheelchairs.
P1: Ok, well, can you walk out? [Made no indication whatsoever that they were going to put this attention whore on a stretcher, and good for him!]
Bigmouth: I'm going to need help. [P1 and Guard go to each side of her and walk as she hobbles].
Bigmouth: [Sees a flyer annoucing a libray event] Oh, yeah, hey, get me one of those .
P2: [give me the look and waits until Bigmouth is further ahead] She's nutso.
Me: You got it darlin'. She's been in here all morning, yelling, almost started a fight with a patron, then she was coloring. She just wants attention.
[We laugh]
Bigmouth: OH, HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY! [Sees some guy walking down the hall] Didn't we go to LocalHigh together?
Guy: Uhhhh, ummmm, sure. Yeah.
Bigmouth: Class of 87! Class of 87! [At this point, she forgets that her foot is "broken" and stops mid-hallway to talk to her "classmate. The paramedics, myself, and security guard just kinda stand there, clogging up traffic coming into the branch. Apparently, seeing an old faux-classmate of yours is just the trick to fixing a broken bone. Who knew! Conversation ends and she tells us:] MY FOOT! MY FOOT! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, my FOOT!
P2: You were just standing there talking to that guy and moving around, I don't think your foot can hurt that much.
Bigmouth: It does. It comes and goes. What hospital are you taking me to? I went to Southside Hospital last week and they were mean to me. [Maybe because you're a collassal pain in the ass and just want attention so you make up stupid shit and were wasting their time too?]
P1: That's out of or way, we aren't taking you there.
Bigmouth: Well, don't take me to Central Hospital either. [Like you have options, like this is a choice. I know exactly where they're taking you, LooneyTunes].
P2: We aren't going there.
Me: I need this for my records, where are you taking her?
P2: We're taking her to SuperResearch Hospital. [Code for: mental ward.]
Me: Oh. Thanks and uh, good luck with that.
P2: Yeah.

Thus concludes lesson #863 on "What they don't teach you in library school."

06 May 2010

You better listen to me!

Mumbling Guy on Phone: Can you look up a movie for me?
Me: Sure, what's the name of it?
MGOP: Mublemumblemumblesizeme.
Me: It seems like we have a bad connection [meaning you couldn't put down the hash pipe a half an hour before calling us so you would at least sound mildly not-high], did you say you wanted me to see if we had Super Size me?
MGOP: No, I want mumblemumblemumblemumblesizeme.
Me: Just so I know I have the right movie, you want the documentary with the guy who eats McDonald's for 30 days?
MGOP: No, I want [I shit you not] "Shush her for sizing me."
Me: [Sounding somewhat incredulous] You want a movie called "Shush her for sizing me?"
MGOP: Mumblemumblemumble my friend mumblemumblemumblemumble. Mumblemumblemumble, mumble mumble, lieberry, mumble, mumble. Mumble.
Me: [This motherfucker is ASKING ME FOR PORN!] I don't think that's the type of movie that libraries carry.
MGOP: You better listen to me! [Ok, so now you can speak clearly? It's such an outrage that the library doesn't have porn that it suddenly causes you to sober up and be outraged? I bet you ate Cheetos with maple syrup for breakfast too and called it haute cuisine] I want "Shush her for sizing me." The other guy mumblemumble [here we go again] coulnd't find it. I want it.
Me: We don't have it.
MGOP: Are you listening to me?
Me: Yes, you want the movie "Shush her for sizing me" [at this point, staff is starting to look at me funny as well as are other patrons and I have to wonder if this guy is getting off on asking me to repeat the name of this.] and no library carries it.
MGOP: Mumble. Mumblemumble. Mumble, mumble, mumblemumblemumble, where do I mumblemumble get mumblemumble it?
Me: Perhaps an adult video store?
MGOP: Mumblemumblethanksmumblemumblebye.

Christian Movies

Lady: Do you have any Christian movies?
Me: Are there certain ones you're looking for?
Lady: Christian movies [glances at our wall o' DVDs].
Me: Well, the DVDs are arranged alphabetically by their title. They aren't separated by western, comedy, or Christian.
Lady: [literally, scrunches up her nose] Well, why?
Me: Because they aren't. [Runs off to go deal with kids fighting in the parking lot].

You wonder why I'm turning into a callous bitch? If this lady knew how many times I get asked this mind-numbing question of stupidness, she'd get irritated too. To give you an idea, our DVDs are shelved so that they take up the entire wall. It works the best for browsing and for space issues. On our busiest days, we can't even keep up with putting them back on the shelf, let alone divide them into genres. Plus, we just don't have the extra space. Plus, it's so time consuming and there just is not enough staff to dedicate to shifting and moving dvds. I mean, they're all on one wall, BROWSE IT! If not, use the card catalog, because, clearly, I have to do damage control with kids fighting. Unless the DVDs start beating the shit out of each other, you're outta luck lady.

I honor books!

Just a few minutes ago, a woman called to discuss her fines. She began the conversation by telling me that she tried to contact me for the past seven months and has even stopped in to see me. I find this hard to believe since I live in modern times and use voicemail and have a staff that usually informs patrons when I will be back to the building.

As my grandmother used to loving tell me, "You catch more flies with honey than with shit."

Clearly, starting off a conversation by telling me I'm not where I'm supposed to be for the past seven months is bullshit.

Anyway, we'll cut to the chase. When I looked up the account, I saw that her fines were nearly $250.

At this point, I really couldn't get a word in edgewise because she went on a rant and told me: "I honor books. I respect books. I am not a teenager. I am a bussinesswoman. It was not me. I did not lose that number of books. My house was broken in to and everything was stolen. I honor books. Do you see? I love books. I respect books. Those books were taken from me. Because, I wouldn't lose something like that. I respect books. I am not a teenager. I am a businesswoman. I just don't see how something like this can happen. I honor books. I respect books."

From this conversation, I can infer that:
1. You are nuts.
2. You are lying, because, otherwise, why would you need to keep repeating yourself.
3. You think I'm a fool because insulting me is clearly the way to winning bonus points.
4. You think that being a "businesswoman" automatically saves you from paying for library fines and lost materials?
5. You really think I'm a fucking moron, don't you?

When I told her that for her fines to even be considered for removal, she needs to hand me a copy of the police report.

She paused [another sign of guilt, because, if you were telling the truth, you wouldn't have to pause to get your story straight) and said, "Well, what if I get something from the landlord?"
Me: Landlord? Perhaps I'm not understanding your question.
Liarliarpantsonfire: Right, my landlord could write you a letter to tell you what happened (sure, youre "landlord". And my mother is Joan Collins and my father is Bill Clinton. You're laaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnndlooooooooooord. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure).
Me: No, in order for our library to give this any consideration, we need to see a police report. And since you seem to have so much trouble getting in contact with me, I think that you should take this to the main library.
LLPOF: Oh, oh, well, I guess that'll have to do. But, I want you to understand that I repect books. I honor books.
Me: I undestand your respect for books, but you also need to provide us with a police report.
LLPOF: Oh, well, well... [Hangs up]

I mean, if this was ANY other bill, you would be required to pay it. If you racked up $250 on your Nordstrom card, you'd have to pay it. JCPenney? Pay it. Home Depot? Pay it. Macy's? Pay it. Victoria Secret? Pay it. What makes you think that you can take out $250 worth of materials, forget to return them in 2007, then come up with some bullshit story about a robbery and expect not to be held accountable?

04 May 2010

This game again?

Guy: Why do I have late fees? [Making angry face, waiving around a piece of paper, which is probably his summary of fines slip.
Me: Because you returned our stuff late.
Guy: No, no I did not. Not me. Never. I never return anything late.
Me: [My God, we went through this shit last fucking week. The fines from 2009 are not magically going to fall off your card unless you PAY THEM. With money, not with lunchmeat, or cows, or magic beans]. Well, it looks like you did in 2009.
Guy: But, I have late fees.
Me: Right, because you returned our stuff late. On March 8, 2009, you had three books due, you returned them on March 23, 2009. You are billed for those. Then, you renewed them on March 23, 2009 and they were due on March 31, 2009. You didn't return them until April 2, 2009. You were billed again.
Guy: You can't remember stuff from that long ago.
Me: Who can? That's why we have computers.
Guy: But I returned it.
Me: Yes, you returned them late. In fact, you did that twice, so you are getting billed on March 23, 2009 and then again on April 2, 2009 when you failed to return them on time.
Guy: How do you know that?
Me: [For fuck's sakes, did someone beat you in the head with your cane before you walked in here or are you just that stupid?] The computer tells me, that's how I know.
Guy: Well, do I have to pay it?
Me: Yes.
Guy: This lieberry is stealing my money! I put those in the book drop.
Me: [Blame it on the book drop. The book drop always gets the blame. The book drop is the scapegoat of the library world. What did the damned book drop ever do to you?!?!?!?] I'm not going to argue over this, but I will tell you that when you put things in the book drop, they can't be renewed. So, you had to bring them into the library and have them renewed by a person. Now, you can either pay your fines, or leave.
Guy: Fine, fine, I'll pay, but this is crack. I returned that. Y'all are TAKING MY MONEY.

03 May 2010

Movies, we got movies for sale, get your movies!

A guy walks into the library (no, it's not the start of some pervy joke) and decides he's going to hand out his flyers in the library.

I'm not sure where I was, but I'm pretty strict about this because people will try to post ANYTHING in the library. By anything, I mean, A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I've had people want to post sales ads for cars, wanted posters for missing kids, flyers with "Have you seen my baby daddy" scrawled all over them with a photocopy of his driver's license on it, flyers advertising home sales, car sales, day care services and even "escort services."

The security guard intercepted the guy and told him that he couldn't put the flyers in the library. The guard I have is a smart guy and perceptive and was 100% correct.

When the guard told the guy he couldn't hand these out, the guy got pissy.

"It's my biz-naz! Y'all can get some good deals on movies."

The guard explained to the man that he was soliciting and that isn't allowed. The guard further explained the movies are obviously bootlegs and that's not really legal.

My most favorite part of this is not that these are bootlegs, not that they guy was peddling them in the library, but the price structure. Look carefully!

A Day in the Life of a Library Manager

7:00 a.m. Phone rings. That shit is going to voicemail because it's 7 a.m. and I haven't had coffee, therefore, I might growl so loud that I bite your head off.
7:05 a.m. Listen to voicemail. "I can't come in today because I have boil on my bottom." FOR THE LOVE OF CREAM CHEESE ON A BAGEL WITH HAZELNUT COFFEE, I DON'T NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FUCKING BOIL ON YOUR ASS. I don't bother to listen to the rest of the message. I just shut my eyes and lean back on the pillow, hoping to wipe the images of horror from my brain.
7:30 a.m. I hear the husband rustling around. He made coffee. Bless his heart. The problem is that I fall back asleep because the smell of coffee is so delicious and comforting. Of course, I wake up 15 minutes before I need to leave the house, which is JUST enough time for me to pour the coffee into my travel mug, brush my teeth, wash my face, and spray some lovely perfum on since I don't have time to shower. I probably should have gone with the Chanel to keep in line with the whole 'French shower thing,' but usually Chanel elicits responses of "you smelling good for your man?" from the creepiest patrons alive, so I went with the more sublte Marc Jacobs.
9:15 a.m. Roll into work. Patrons are already lined up outside. Actually, some are sitting in their cars in the lot having a "I can play my shitty rap music at 9 a.m. louder than you can play your shitty rap music at 9 a.m." contest. It's swell. No one wins.
9:20 Get into the building and promptly take 2 Advil.
9:30 I find myself standing at the circulation desk looking like a fool because the sub is late. You can imagine the horror.
9:46 MISS LADY MISS LADY MISS LADY (Really, I have a name, and, hi, you see me on the phone, with 3 people in line, you can't ask a person on the floor your oh-so-important question about how to log into Myfuckingspace?)
9:47 This nonsense goes on for quite some time. Then, more nonsense happens. Then, I have to do a bunch of other shit. Then, I drink some coffee.
10:09ish Send out an email about a meeting. Forget to include the important detail about time.
10:10 Immediately get several emails telling me that I forgot to include the time, what time is the meeting, where are we meeting (which I included, which proves to me that you immediately started criticizing me when you saw that I forgot to include a time, rather than to continue reading and to ask me what time the meeting would take place), what time is the meeting, because, you forgot to include that.
10:15 Yell at a bunch of kids for playing their music loud. I remind them that the truancy patrol likes to come through and that they better have some really good excuses for being in here and not at home or in school. When they start to tell me their lame excuses, I put my hand up, halt their speaking with the dreaded 'librarian glare over the glasses' and tell them that they better sit down and shut up and think of a better excuse because truancy isn't going to buy the never-heard before story of "I'm home schooled."
-"I SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGGGGGNNNNNNNNED UP and now I can't get on a computer." First of all, cut the whining. You are a 50 year old man and you look like a gigantic, fat baby when you whine and make that face. I have no sympathy for you because I have a ton of shit to do and you just want to whine. Go re-sign up for the computer for being so dumb.
-"This thing isn't working. Why isn't it working?" Because you can't type your library card number correctly.
-"This isn't printing." You have to hit the print button in order for the printer to work.
-"This computer is dumb." Really, are you sure that it's not you? Usually, the computers tend to do ok by themselves, they start acting up when people touch them.
-"Do you have anyone here that can type this for me?" Does it LOOK like I have anyone here that can type it for you?
-"Those kids are breathing too loud." Oh, for pete's sakes, shut up.
-"If I write resume, can I just send it to everyone where I want to work?" Here's a grammar book. Read that first.
-"My compuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuttttttttterrrrrrr isn't working."
"This shit is crazy. This library is all fucked up." When you can watch your language, maybe I'll give a shit.
And on and on and on and on that went until...
11:30ish Lemon Ricotta lady/throwing paper at me lady walks in and demands that I need to identify the bird in her backyard. I hate birds. They freak me out. I don't want to know what kind of birds are in my backyard, let alone yours. I can tell you that it probably has feathers, flies, likes to eat birdseed or worms, and chirps when the sun comes up. Happy? No, I didn't answer that? Well, here's a fieldguide to birds of North America. Oh, it's a hawk or a falcon? Well, here's a fieldguide to birds of prey of North America. Totter along now. What, the bird tried to eat your neighbor's Yorkie? Oh, then you need the birds of prey, a robin won't try to eat a Yorkie.
12:27 My phone rings with a call about a meeting, but I don't dare try to have a conversation because when my phone rings and I start talking, that's immediately the same time that 3-7 people all want my attention all at the same time. We live in a world where no one is patient, where no one can wait five fucking minutes when they see that a person is busy with something else because everyone is so selfish and insistent that their needs are the most important. Their needs could be so trivial as to involve indentifying the breed of dog that created the pile of crap that they stepped in on the way out the door, it doesn't matter, they want it now.
12:31 The fucking server goes down. Immediately, 7 angry people shift 14 eyeballs toward me because, I BROKE IT! I used my pyschic fucking powers and channeled a surge into the server room from the reference floor. About 5 seconds later, 7 mouths started to ask me "What's wrong?" "Can't I get a computer?" "I better not lose my place in line." "Why can't I log on to this computer?" "This isn't woooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrkkkkkkkkkkkkkking." "I can't type in my numbers." "Can I sign up for a computer?" To all of these questions, I snap "It's broken. I don't know what's wrong with it. All of you are going to just have to be patient and wait and see if I can get it fixed." If I could have slapped all of them and told them to shut the fuck up and let me work on it, I would have. But, I think that administration must frown on me slapping people. I'm not sure how the rest of the world works, but when something is broken and I don't know why, I need at least 30 seconds of non-whining, non-bitching, non-complaining to get my thoughts together so that maybe, maybe, MAYBE I can figure it out. Because, the last time I checked, I'm a librarian, not a superhuman mind reader who can fix shit, listen to patrons whining, wipe your kid's nose, check out your materials, hand your kid coloring sheets, call security for kids smoking pot in the lobby all at the same time.
12:42 Finish with bird lady and whining computer guy, go into my car to eat almonds and try to make a phone call in peace. Almonds are a snack that will give me brain power and I need help today.
1:56 I need some tax papers. Oh fucking hell...
2:39 I hear a ruckus up at ye ol' circulation desk. Apparently, someone has gone off the chain because the clerk wouldn't give him a library card. Ummmmmm, gee, you want a new card with an expired id and you can't give your current address? Sure, would you like an American Express Black card while you're here? In the time it took me to get from my desk to the front of the library, the nutso without an address and the guard started arguing and the guard told him that if he can't calm down, the police will be called. Good god. I walked up there and calmed addressless nutso down and basically said the same thing everyone else said: you need to bring in something with your name on it, within 30 days, showing your address. Another patron standing nearby was amazed at my powers of calmness. Then, of course, he had to tell me how pretty I looked (yeah right, I have dirty hair, but maybe that's your thing) and wanted to know if I was married. In my signature move of awesomeness, I flashed my ring finger and said "8 Happy Years!" and walked off.

I'm going to lunch now. Maybe. I hope. That is, if a shithawk doesn't come in here and shit all over my lunch...