20 July 2010

Your Copies Are Dark Like My SOUL

I was working on a big weeding project today. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a guy sitting at a table with many pieces of paper spread out to cover the entire surface area of the table. He was shufflig the receipts as if he was playing Solitaire. He also had several notepads, folders, and large pieces of paper with him. Generally, when I see people doing this, I find it best not to make eye contact, to move swiftly, and to get far away. Because, these paper shufflers are up to something and they WILL try to rope you into "it," whatever "it" may be. "It" may be stapling, "it" may be helping them alphabatize, but whatever "it" is, you don't want to do "it."

At some point of zinging by this man on my way to my office, I saw him start to get up and approach the circulation desk. I was actually in the middle of eating my raisins, which I really needed before I passed out from hunger, so I wasn't about to go out there and listen to his rambling. I heard the girl behind the desk talking. "No, sir, I'm sorry, we don't give refunds for copies."

Guy: But, but, these are too dark, I can't see, these copies are ruined, ruined, I need a refund!
Girl: Well, the manager is on a call right now (she knew I was eating raisins, bless her heart for letting me finish my snack), when she's done, you can speak with her.
Guy: Fine. The manager. Yes, THE MANAGER! I'll wait for her.

Of course now I don't want to finish my raisins because what's the point? I just have to go out there and listen to this garbage, so I'll face the music and enjoy my raisins later. In my experience, I tend to walk back out to the floor somewhat clueless, like I heard nothing, like I'm innocent, like I didn't hear the whole exchange, like I already don't know that the guy is full of shit. I just didn't realize how full of shit he was until we really got to talking.

Let me preface this by saying the they guy had on these ridiculous Coke-bottle glasses, plaid shirt and kinda looked like an African American frog.

Frog Face: These copies are too dark. I can't read them at all.
Me: I'm sorry. All of them are too dark? [He had like 100 pages!]
Frog Face: Yes.
Me: Oh, well, again, I'm sorry, but you should have asked for help. [We don't have the automatic super-speed copier that makes all of your copies at once, you have to do it manually and it takes forever. You would notice after a few copies if they were too dark and say something. I smelled an "I want free copies" rat.]
Frog Face: Well, I want a refund.
Me: Actually, we don't give refunds for copies. I can offer you 25 free copies the next time you're in, but we don't have the money to issue that kind of refund in the branch.
Frog Face: You don't have money?
Me: Not in the branch.
Frog Face: What about you?
Me: [What the hell? Are you going to rob me? I have a dollar, a bottle opener, and a Discovercard] Uhh, no, and I don't give refunds for the library out of my personal income. My recommendation to you sir is that if you make one bad copy that you can't read, you should stop and ask the staff for help rather than making 99 more bad copies.
Frog Face: Well, what am I supposed to do with these copies?
Me: Let me see them. [This is ridiculous. There is no way for me to refund him. I can't give him the money, the damned change is in the copier, I can't get it out, what does he want, a free movie rental? Oh, wait.] You know, yes, they are a little dark, but you can still read them.
Frog Face: Can't you just give me $10 on my printer card?
Me: No, because those are separate inventories.
Frog Face: Oh. Fine. I guess I can read these. [Takes copies and totters off].

I love how he went from being unable to read them to them being fine after I wasn't able to refund them because I refused to budge. You picked the wrong librarian buddy. I could see if you screwed up 10 copies, but 100? C'mon. The other thing is that our stupid, old, clunky copier still defaults to medium setting after each copy is made, so this idiot purposely had to make them darker, but not too dark so he couldn't read them, so he could complain. He probably figured I looked like an idiot and a pushover because I'm young. Oh wait, that was the other lady that told me she was glad to see the branch had a new assistant. Oh, hi, no, ma'am, I'm the new branch manager. Cue mouth agape.

Anyway, three hours goes by since copy explosion. Three hours in which I eat lunch, do more weeding, talk to a parent about some little shitrats bullying his kids in the branch, hear about another shooting with AK47s in the neighborhood, wish that I was home, etc.

Around 6, I noticed a shadow cross over my desk and stand there, so, I look up. It's Frog Face. He never left! He was just standing there staring at me; because, that's not creepy. That's a perfectly reasonable way to get the librarian's attention: just stand there and stare at her boobs. I do it all of the time when I visit a library out of town. Rather than continue to be oogled, I asked if he needed help with anything.
Frog Face: Do you have books on DVD?
Me: [This could mean several things, so I use my whack reference skills to narrow this down] Do you want books that were made into movies?
Frog Face: No. I didn't say that. I want books on DVD. You know, books on D [pause] V [pause} D [pause}. [Wow, those pauses really helped clarify].
Frog Face: So, you don't want audiobooks [a lot of people confuse DVD/CD and given this guy's technology track record with the copier, I figured I would double check].
Frog Face: No, no, books on DVD.
Me: Do you want books about DVD players?
Frog Face: Yes, that's what I want.
Me: [Genius reference librarian of the year! Honestly though, couldn't he have said, do you have books about dvd players? CLARITY people.] You probably would be best off with Consumer Reports. The information changes so much, you might want to check out their issue on DVD players, they also have an issue with BluRay, are you interested in that?
Frog Face: Oh, yeah, show me everything you have.
Me: [Hands over the stack, sits him down in a chair, and he stays until close, taking his 'unreadable, too dark copies' with him].

19 July 2010

Abraham Lincoln & The Declaration of Independence

Moron number one of the day would be the guy that practically pushed me over while I was outside locking the book drop to get inside to a computer at 9:30ish. He proceeded to talk on the phone the entire time that he was fucking around on Myspace. Sorry dude, but if you're like 50 and that's the highlight of your morning, you are fucking beyond help.

Moron number two comes in nicely dressed, complete with cap and sunglasses. He is smiling and holding something in his hand. My snazzy reference librarian senses tell me that he wants me to appraise whatever this item is in his hand because of the way he's holding it and looking at it. The item is also wrapped in a plastic baggie to protect it from the morning's drizzles. Joy. I hate these kinds of questions because 10 times out of 10, the person has crap.

So, I put on my "like I give a shit" face and let him give me his spiel. For your enjoyment, I will transcribe this interaction for you.

Moron #2: Oh man, look what I have here. [Holds up object in plastic bag.] I need you to take a look at something.
Me: Ok.
M#2: [Takes the 'something' out of the plastic bag and I see that it's some sort of faux-parchment paper and can no longer keep the "like I give a shit" grin on my face because well, I don't.] Look at this! LOOK WHO SIGNED THIS! [He points to "signature" of Abraham Lincoln.]
Me: Well, I doubt that's authentic. [Seriously, I went to bed at 2:30 in the morning, I'm cutting the bullshit out and getting right to the point, I don't have time to dance around this issue, we're cutting to the chase here], there are a lot of mass-produced documents that are made to look old. That looks like it was done with a laser printer--see how the writing is very even and smooth? However, I recommended contacting an antique dealer or maybe even the art museum if you really think it's real because I'm not qualified to evalute those sorts of things. But, honestly, I've seen a lot of these things in magazines and stuff like that, I just don't want you to waste your time.
M#2: [He is totally crestfallen, which, people who are dumb enough to believe that shit is real, usually are because they see their lavish lifestyle with booty girls, Cristal and Sean Combs go out the window.] Oh, even if it's signed by Abraham Lincoln? This is like the Declaration of Independence.
Me: Well, the signature can also be forged, or someone could have made a copy of it and just put it on there. Usually the whole document is mass produced. Let me get you some phone numbers of people that are more qualified to evaluate documents [in my head, I'm thinking 'total shit'] like yours.
M#2: Yeah, yeah, yeah, do that. I got all day free and I'm gonna go find out more. I mean, if you aren't qualified, I could be missing out on some cash here. I mean, look at the condition of this! This is real valuable right here.

I just feel bad for the next person that he hits up to investigate his parchment...

So, now more people...

17 July 2010

A Day in the Life of Library Manager

9:30-9:50 Realize that there is gang graffiti on the computers in the lab. No custodians are in on Saturdays. So, I spend ten minutes with good ol' elbow grease and realize that the shit isn't coming off. Then, I find some extra-strength 'removes all including your skin' stuff. Hey, it removes the finish off the computers too! Bonus: what does "trap" mean?
9:51-9:53 Put toxic stuff back in custodial closet and decide to wash my hands before my skin peels off. Realize I wasted 20 minutes cleaning gang graffiti from various places and that I need to go to payroll.
10:00 Work on payroll stuff. Pretty standard, pretty boring.
11:05 Boy runs into branch with water balloon. There goes productivity. Good thing I had an hour to be productive. Ask kid what is wrong with picture. Kid has to stop and think. The world is doomed.
11:14 Idiot decides to print out porn. I've had it out with this idiot about viewing "offensive" images in the library. Security guard hands me print-outs of "offensive" images and I shred porn freak's hopes and dreams, tell him not to come back to any branch for the rest of the day. Also tell him that he's being charged for the copies. He leaves, looks ashamed. Good. You should be. Fucking pervert.
11:27 Another boy runs into branch. Proclaims that it is hot outside and that he needs water. Proceedes to run to drinking fountain. Runs out of branch with wet head.
11:52 Trying to finish payroll stuff. Little whiney girls asks me how she can watch tv. I suggest she read. She whines that she wants to watch tv. Did I ever mention that I am not a children's librarian? I never was a children's librarian? I am not amused by kids. I don't think they're cute. They annoy me, especially when they want to watch tv in the library. Go. Read. A. Book. I'm. Doing. Payroll. JESUSHCHRIST.
11:54 Because the kid won't shut the hell up, I get up to try to figure out what she wants. I look at her website and I have no clue what she's talking about. I tell her to click around. In the meantime, another kid starts tugging at my pantleg. Really? Is that necessary? What was so important? She HAD to show me her avatar. Did I mention I'm not a children's librarian? I'm a manager. Who has to do payroll. Not a children's person. Manager. Payroll. Money.
12:41 Guy walks into branch with his shirt totally unbuttoned, wearing swimtrunks, an Asian rice hat, a back pack, and asked us if he wanted cheesecake. How would I know. What the hell?!
1:00 Lunch. Thank you, makers of Lean Pockets.
2:00-3:00 Shift and weed fiction. This was a ruse to hide from irritating children. I still heard them and I had tell them to stop hitting each other, screaming, throwing things, touching each other, etc., etc. So, clearly, that didn't work so well. But, I did get the fiction shifted. LIBRARIAN POWER!
3:15ish Weed and re-sticker books. The excitement.
4:43 I told a boy to put away his juice bottle so it woulnd't spill and make a sticky mess. I hate being sticky. I'm always sticky. I don't want to be sticky at work. I suggest putting it in his pockets. He tells me he can't. I ask why? "Because there are cheeseburgers in there."
4:51 Thug looking boy is listening to and singing along with Justin Bieber. I don't even know what to say to that. Justien Bieber is like a cockroach that has genetically mutated so that bug spray can't kill it. 5:00ish The cheeseburger boy and group get bored. They do something wrong, I'm not sure, the guard tells them to head on out for the day. So, what's the normal response? Run out of the library, screaming, swearing, and then throw apples at the building. Something tells me it wasn't cheeseburgers in that little shit's pockets...

Did I ever mention that I am not a children's librarian? I never was a children's librarian? Yeah.

I still say we can blame this on Justin Bieber.