Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday library shenanigans

A Saturday library shift just wouldn't complete without a patron, when asked politely to take her loud cell phone call out of the Reference Room, losing her shit and declaring the following:

"THEY know all about this and are FINE with it, so you need to walk away." (Gesturing at the Circulation desk staff)

"You don't have ANY IDEA what's going on. This is A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH." (I'd expect an emergency life-and-death call to be less giggly and chatty, but what do I know? Of course I didn't say that, but I did tell her that, if there was an emergency situation going on, anyone on staff would be happy to help in any way we could, and did she need assistance? She ignored that.)

"You WILL be spoken to!!!" (O...kay? I asked her if she'd like me to give her the library director's card. She ignored me.)

"I HOPE YOU FEEL REALLY GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF!!!" (At the moment, I just feel confused...)

"I hope you enjoy LOSING YOUR JOB." (Yeah, good luck with that, lady.)

The patron in question had been sitting at a table with her late-teenage daughter -- the two of them seemed fine, just chatting and laughing together. It looked to me like the daughter was maybe doing homework, and Mom was just flipping through a magazine/ playing with her phone. I had spoken to them once, when the daughter's voice got a little loud while she was talking -- I just asked her to try to keep her voice down a little bit, while smiling, and while the daughter was all "Oops, sorry, okay" Mom was giving me an absolute Death Glare. So I guess it wasn't a huge surprise that, when I had to go back over 45 minutes later to ask her to take the cell phone call out to the lobby (and seriously, people, we have signs posted everywhere, it's a quiet area, and the lobby is ten feet away), she blew up at me. It was pretty bizarre, though.

On her way out, she beelined over to Circulation, and I followed to see what she was going to tell them/ give them a heads-up. Of course, the circ staff had no idea what she was talking about, in spite of her insistence that they were fine with her loud phone call. She got the director's card, demanded my name (which I cheerfully gave her) and then stormed out, leaving us all befuddled.

Clearly, there was an issue going on that didn't have anything to do with me -- obviously if either Mom or daughter had seemed upset in any way, I would have approached them differently -- I'd have asked if they were all right, and if they needed assistance, or if they'd prefer to use a more private area of the library. (We don't have many, but there are a couple.) Apparently the two of them had been in the lobby talking on the phone and maybe arguing a little bit earlier in the day, but still, nothing to indicate a LIFE AND DEATH SITUATION OMG. And really, asking people to quiet down or take a cell phone call out of the quiet area? Is no big deal. I usually just stop on my way past to do whatever, and very quietly and cheerfully ask the patron to try to keep their voice down/ take the call out. I only become Stern Librarian if I have to speak to the same person multiple times.

Of course, all this happened while the other librarian was at lunch, so when she came back, I told her that she'd missed all the fun, and filled her in. While we were talking, another patron who had been using a computer nearby came over and said that she'd overheard the whole thing, and that I'd been nothing but nice, while the angry woman has been completely out of line. And I spent the rest of my shift writing up an email to the director, letting her know what had happened just in case this patron contacts her. Fun!! And I'm working a Sunday shift tomorrow, so I hope the craziness all happened today, and tomorrow will be quiet.

In the meantime, though, I shall continue to knit away on mitts for Jeff:

They're fingerless, and will have a mitten flap that can be folder over to keep his fingers warm, or folded back. (That line of light-colored yarn is marking the spot where I'll be picking up stitches for the flap.) The pattern has been annoying me to no end, but I'll post more about that when the mitts are done.

I also finished my Giant Cowl of Warmth:

It's big and squishy and comfortable! Definitely keeps me warm on my walks to work. It's been so damn cold lately, I needed something to cover the gap at the top of my coat, that could also be pulled up to keep my face from freezing off. It's big enough to cover most of my ears, even!

And in closing, here is Finnegan being attacked by a swarm of Wild Socks. The horror!


  1. Jeff's mitts look great! And Finn looks so surprised, like, where did all these socks come from?

  2. "Egad, a socktopus haz gots me!!"