03 May 2010

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...


  1. OMG, i just laughed soooo hard. I even went back and read this out loud to my boyfriend, who really dissent find it funny maybe because I would break out into fits of laughter while trying to read. Thank you for making my Monday so much better!

  2. You're welcome. I actually had some say "Did all of this really happen to you in one day?" Does a bear shit in the woods?!?!?!?!

  3. "Do you have anyone here that can type this for me?"

    I've had this one, but it was in the form of: I need this typed.

    Also, you left out the part where someone wants to do their homework for them because they are "computer illiter-uht." If I only had a dollar for every time I heard that one.

  4. I left a "you" out of the last sentence - please don't send me a bunch of emails pointing that out!

  5. I believe that for one hour every work day employees should be allowed to say whatever they want to patrons without any repercussions. They could yell at patrons, call them names, ask them inane questions, bug the hell out of them, and belittle them as much as they want. I call it Happy Hour. Pay back is a bitch.

  6. As a fellow librarian, I can sympathize. There are some real assholes in libraries.