Thursday, April 29, 2010


Tuesday, Marina had a problem patron.

First he insisted he did not have time to obtain a library card, but then insisted that he needed more time than the 20 minutes allotted to folks without cards at the Express computers. Already she had a rash from him, and then he sat at a computer asking her inane questions and talking loudly into his cell phone. He was driving her nuts and I suggested she tell him to take his call outside, but she said the person was helping him with his computer issue, and better that person than her because she was sick of him. Two hours passed and he was still sitting there, still talking loudly into his cell phone, and still struggling with whatever he was working on. I asked Marina why she didn’t just kick him off the computer and she said he was filling out an application online and she just wanted him to finish and go. Turns out, he was filling out an application to the University of Phoenix, purveyor of online degrees.

It made us feel SOOOOOO much better knowing that this obnoxious jerk couldn’t even fill out an application online, so he was surely not going to get a degree that way. It’s little moments of other people’s fails that sometimes give us a moment of win.

* * *

Yesterday, I had a splitting headache from a week of sleep deprivation, and when I opened the first aid kit to grab some ibuprofen, a cold pack clobbered me on the head as it fell out. Irony tastes so much better when it happens to other people.

* * *

Also, I received an email Monday night from the director inviting me to join a three-person Green Team (I would be the third person), knowing how leery I am of committees but that going green is a personal passion of mine. We emailed back and forth about my concerns about committees, he assured me it would not be like that, and I said I’d speak with my supervisor about the time that would be required for it, and if he would grant me permission. Before I got into work yesterday to discuss it with him, the director had sent out an Outlook invite for a meeting with me and my supervisor to discuss whether I’d have time for future meetings. A meeting to talk about whether we have time for more meetings. A meeting to discuss meetings. A meeting meeting. Lovely. Fortunately, logic (my supervisor) prevailed and the meeting meeting was canceled when he walked into the director’s office and said, yeah, it’s okay, and then it was over. No need for a meeting meeting. Seriously, you’d think we worked in a gigantic corporation and never communicated with one another or passed each other 10 times a day. It’s laughable. A meeting meeting?

* * *

Today, when I arrived, I walked casually over to the computer where we punch in, sunglasses still on, hands full of stuff, and as I leaned down to input my name, I saw a 2-inch cockroach on the keyboard. I gasped and felt my heart stop momentarily, then restart at a pace that was too fast for speed metal. Someone chuckled. It was a plastic cockroach. I looked around and asked who’d done it. No one was talking. I punched in and walked off, eyes rolling, knowing that other staff members (namely Briana) would likely die if it happened to them, and I stomped angrily to my office. Once inside the confines and safety of the office, I asked who among them knew about the cockroach and its master, but there were no takers. Two of my officemates were also “gotten” by the fake bug trick and equally irritated.

I left mid-afternoon to go to the gym and run an errand, and when I returned the bug was gone. Good. Good riddance.

I overheard someone telling the director she removed said fake cockroach from the sign-in computer because Briana had a strong reaction.

You must understand that the grossest cockroach event at our library happened to Bri when she opened up a DVD case and three came crawling out of the case. She screamed like a banshee and ran, but by the time anyone brave enough to take care of the cockroaches arrived, they were long gone. At the Circ desk. Where we worked. For hours. In constant danger of them crawling up our legs. We were uneasy for weeks after, and Briana never opened a DVD case the same way again.

And today Briana spotted a spider in her car on her drive in, was unable to smoosh the spider and it scurried off somewhere not to be found. A good case of the heebie-jeebies in your own car while driving is bad enough, but when she got out and felt safer, particularly in her workplace that should be mostly heebie-jeebie-free (save for a few creepy patrons... and coworkers), she found the plastic cockroach on the keyboard and screamed.

Evidently, she screamed bloody murder! People came running! RUNNING! It was blood-curdling!

And as instincts go, when she stopped screaming, she then dropped the F-bomb.

Oh, if I could’ve been there, I might have died laughing! GOOD FOR HER!

Bri doesn’t use the F-word very often, but when she does, it’s more obscene than when normal people use it. This must have been, historically speaking, the best Bri reaction to have been privvy to, and I missed it. Not that I condone idiotic fake bug placement, but the thrill of hearing her get so angry that she used the F-word would’ve been awesome.

Someone on staff grabbed the bug and threw it away, deciding wisely that enough was enough and we didn’t need to put our coworkers through this for some ridiculous laugh. Briana nearly died AND she dropped the F-bomb! Clearly the prank had gone way too far.

I heard of the event from others, and then from Briana herself, and still giggling a bit I returned to the office and shared with my supervisor that the bug was gone, thanks to Bri’s strong reaction and the beautiful little F-bomb she dropped.

Perhaps the only truly intelligent person in the entire library, he said, “Why didn’t someone get rid of it sooner? Why didn’t the first person get startled, take the fake bug, and throw it out? Why leave it there to scare everyone else? That’s what I don’t understand Why didn’t anyone do anything?”

I nodded. He was right. The voice of reason, the one who saved me from a meeting meeting just yesterday, pointed out something I hadn’t considered and that was WHY did we all leave the stupid bug there after it scared the crap out of each of us?

So, while it was cruel and poor Briana didn’t deserve to lose 10 years off her life, the F-bomb was deserved and I hope everyone was horrified to have heard it, particularly since it was uttered by Bri, but we also learn a little about our human nature, to leave irritating things alone because we don’t want to be the one to party-poop, even though the party is shitty to begin with.

Just odd.


John Left said...

Yes, as much as it's abused in our society, sometimes the F-bomb is the right word for the job. A fine, insightful post.

Manda said...

Poor Brianna. I can relate totally. Right now, my bug hate is mostly targeted on scorpions, but I hate roaches as well.

Our worst roach fiasco, of course happened to me, came from the days of VHS tapes. We had this clear plastic cases to put the videos in and had date card pockets taped on them with clear heavy-duty, packing-style tape. Baby roaches were visible stuck to the sticky side of the tape, so much so that the tape was no longer clear or see-through. The video was much worse. About as many roaches as you can possibly cram inside of a VHS tape.

We only had about 5 roaches escape before I tossed that tape in the trashcan and run at full speed to the door and toss the entire trash can into the dumpster. Luckily I had managed to scan the bar code before pulling the tape completely out of the case. That patron got charged cost of the video as well as replacement costs of the case and pocket. If only I could have gotten away with charging them for the trash can as well.

Leelu said...

I saw one like Manda's once. Fortunately, I was not the one who opened the case and had roaches come boiling out of it. I was just across the room from her, and very nearly as repulsed.

And my word ver is messe!

Anonymous said...

We get Oriental cockroaches the size of buses at our library. Every spring, cockroaches, crawl up out of the drains and skitter-scamper with their repulsive scratchy feet all over the floor in the maintenance area, where we keep non-essential stuff like toilet paper and Voban. Running into hundreds of them at once scares the bejesus out of any staff member sent on a mission to get stuff. On occasion, the bugs come out to colonize the youth services department and staff has to squish the bug—very juicy—and get rid of the corpse while little children scream. Our exterminator sprays but we get at least one infestation a year and just thinking about it makes my skin want to crawl off my bones…