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."


  1. Wow! That's nuts! She wanted to color?! Heart attack? Broken foot? What a drain of of time and resources! Ithink you should draft a manual for all the things they dont' teach you in library school.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. I think I will. Unfortunately, I'm stuck at work on this wonderful, beautiful day and will be lucky if I can finish the three branch schedules I have to do and book orders.