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].


  1. You know, I had no idea that people would be such asses at the library. It's the library, for fuck's sake. THE LIBRARY.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with such crap. But it does make for entertaining reading. I'm sure that helps day to day.

  2. It's interesting because someone said in a snarking tweet that all I (and some other librarians) do is bitch about our jobs. Happy, gooey patron stories make for boring reading. The above is pretty ridiculous, funny shit. At parties, people request stupid patron stories from me. They love it!

  3. I SO miss the public library! It can be absolutely infuriating, but damn is it fun or what?

  4. I have no idea how you managed to figure out what he was looking for. You must be the greatest librarian of all time.

  5. Oh man. A friend of mine linked me to this blog as I just started library school (after one semester, I'm already questioning the validity of that particular decision) and I've been reading through all of your posts for the past few hours, laughing my ass off with varying degrees of intensity.

    Fuck people who get on you for "bitching about your job all the time herpderpherpderp" - this is comedic gold. Mad props to dispatching Frog Face without resorting to physical violence. I probably would've told him to shove his unreadable, too dark copies up his ass. Hence why I am not planning to work in a public library.

  6. Just think, if I didn't have these crackpots, you wouldn't have this comic gold.

    Although, somedays, I wonder, what would my life be like if I just stuck with the life of an academic librarian... Who am I kidding? Those college kids couldn't make copies either.

    And, @tongsmusic.com, yeah, good luck in library school. You won't hit pissy burn out until year 5 in the profession. The people that feel I shouldn't bitch can suck my hot LILF ass.

  7. Yeah - you need to watch out for Frog Face. I haven't seen him but I get the creepy vibe off him!

    Show me someone who doesn't bitch about his or her job and and I will give you a million bucks. Fuck 'em! I am throughly entertained, and really isn't that all that counts?