Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Library Observations

There is a woman who comes into the library every day, and yells from one end of the room to the other to her son. Not just yelling his name, but shouting demands at him. To make it worse, this kid, who's got to be around 10 or 11, is already one of the most obnoxious patrons I have to deal with. Considering how downright angry his mother seems, I'm shocked at how arrogant her kid is. He's rude to her and basically treats everyone like he's above them. I have no idea what's going on in their home, but I do know it isn't good parenting.

Some guy was playing music loudly while on a laptop. When I told him to turn the music off, he said that it was his phone and not the computer, as if that made the slightest bit of difference.

A man walked into the library wearing jeans and a leather vest but no shirt. I was told that it was ok, because other patrons dressed even worse than he was. Maybe it's unfair, but I felt ill at ease about this man because the first thing he asked me was for the phone number and address of a local drug rehab center. I should never judge a person for trying to get help, however, when he whipped out a knife and started playing with it while in the computer lab, he was finally deemed "a potential problem."

Another man was kicked out of the library because of his exceedingly bad stench and lack of personal hygiene. In fact, his condition was so bad that a few staff members, myself included, are worried that this man could actually be dying.

Not so much anymore, but there is a woman who occasionally comes in carrying several bags and use the 15 minute computer stations. At some point, she starts silently doing what looks like religious dance movements. A coworker suggested that it was to "release spirits," which actually makes sense given her gestures. She also tried to sleep in the patio after closing.

Someone defecated on the floor in the men's room. While disgusting in and of itself, the guilty party also accomplished the admittedly admirable task of doing this between stalls. A coworker suggests that it was a teen.

A woman in a short skirt came up to the information desk and asked for the bathroom key. When she came up I was startled, because she was by far the ugliest woman I have ever seen in my life. When she gave me her ID in exchange for the key, I found out that “she” was actually a guy in his sixties. It didn’t occur to me at the time to check which restroom “she” went into.

An old man came to the info desk with a walker. I had helped him before, when he asked for a Dale Carnegie book. When I saw him come to the desk and order the book, I remembered that I donated my own personal copy to the library, and I checked the book sale shelf to see if it was still there, so I could give it to him. Unfortunately, someone already bought it. I told him that we didn’t have the book, and he asked to order it. My coworker ordered it for him earlier, and I told him that he would get a call when it came in. He then asked if we had that day’s paper, and I told him that someone was reading it and that they would hopefully be finished soon. He then asked me what day it was, and when I told him he said “all day?” as a joke. He used the same joke with me before when I helped him, and I laughed. He then said “wonderful thing getting old. I’m 90, can you believe it?” Then he stood there for a few minutes, and then walked away. Half an hour later, he came back to the desk and we went through the same routine. He asked if we had the book, then asked if we’d call him when it came in, then asked for the paper, then asked what day it was, then made the joke, then said “wonderful thing getting old,” then told me his age, then walked away. About a half hour after that, he did the same thing, except this time he asked if I was ever in the service. I told him that I wasn’t, and he told me that he was in WWII, and that he bombed Japan. He then asked me if I was married, and when I told him I wasn’t he said it was obvious because I was smiling. He stood there for a few minutes, and then walked away. About half an hour after that, the same routine as earlier. Each time I felt worse and worse, because I remembered helping him a few months before, and he didn’t need a walker at that point. Finally, a woman who I assumed was his wife came to the desk asking for the restroom key. As I walked her to the restroom, she asked me if he asked about the Dale Carnegie book again. When I told her that he did, she said, “Don’t order it for him. He has a copy at home. He does this every time he comes in.” When I got back to the desk, I kept my fingers crossed that the situation wouldn’t get any sadder than it already was. Thankfully, it didn’t.


stephy said...

This is solid gold! I work in an emergency room and we get random people shitting every whicha way.

Juliet Cocker said...

once when iw as in high shool, i went to eh librabry wiht my best friend. as we were passing the stairs, this homeless woamn cried out- "HELP ME!" her area was a bit ehm.. well, stinky. i lookeda ther and kinda paused. sher then looke dme in teh eye and said, "help me! they're killing me over here! please help me!" i asked her what she needed- i looked at my best friend and she was motioning for me to leave adn to got with her. i mothioned for her to come back to me so i wouldn't be alone. she shook her head no adn when teh ladyt cried out again, "help me god, please help me!" she ran away ditching me withthis woman. she then pointed at her shoe to take it off. this woamn had a HUGE leg. i mean, seriosuly, must;ve been abnormal infected, or seomthgin. as her other legs looked normal sized. she had this huge dirty sock on and she pointed at her foot agin. i said is hould probably get soemone to help her and she scremad, "no you fucken bitch! they're the ones kiling me! they won't help me! help me!!! take off my shoe!" MIND YOU, WE"RE IN THE LIBRARY! adn i'm like 15 years old. she woudln't stop screaming!!!! i finally untied her shoe and tried pulling it off but it wouldn't come off! and as i tried she cursed and called me a fucken bitch and that i was killing her! as i tried wiggling her shoe - the stench was jsut horrible. since she kept screaming, and i literally was gagging- i stopped in the middle of trying to take off her shoe and ran away! iw an's tsure to be more upset a thte lady for putting me thru that situation and calling me a bitch when i was trying to help when nobody else would... or at my best friend who ditched me.... she coldn'yt at least grabbed my arm and yanked me away!!!!