Friday, June 11, 2010


Marina: Sorry

I had a rather demanding patron

Me: Did you ding-dong for help? Is that why [coworker] was out there?

Marina: yes

Me: Oh my, whatever did she want?

Marina: I needed him to help the other woman while I scrolled through page after page of abuse memoirs.

Only like 3 were of any interest to her and then we didn't have them.

Me: Figures.


Marina: yeah

I think she's coming back when she’s done on the express computers.

Me: Of course. Why would she bug only one staff member?!

Marina: What I don't get is why I'm going through this when she doesn't even have a card to check the books out on

This is when I realized the patron Marina was talking about was the one Circ had told me about, who came in with no money, no wallet, no ID, and had a story about how she just left her boyfriend with only the clothes she was wearing. She wanted a library card, but without any proof of who she was, saying that her boyfriend was possessive of her ID and wouldn’t let her have it. Odd story. But the woman was odder still.

Me: Ugh.

Yesterday I had a lady get really pissed because she wanted Chicago museum passes, and I said we didn't have any for the Shedd Aquarium or other museums she wanted, that the Chicago Public Libraries had some kind of program, but it could be exclusive to their patrons, and she threw a tantrum.

Insisted Brookfield Zoo was in Chicago and I was lying about the Chicago museums.

And WHEN would they be available and WHO could she talk to about getting them.

Because having Brookfield Zoo passes meant they all should be in there.

Marina: wow

I hate our patrons somedays

Me: Uh huh

Marina: it drives me CRAZY when people stalk me in the stacks while I'm helping someone else to ask me questions

Me: Oh yes

That creeps me out totally

Marina: I have to refrain from spinning around and screaming "back the f%&* off" at people

Me: Patron paparazzi.

Marina: I would recommend going home sick

You don't want to be out here tonight

Me: Hmm, I'm eating cheese.

That could parlay into digestive problems.

Marina: close down the whole desk and go to a bar with [coworker]

Me: Oh, you are sounding wiser and wiser with every sentence.

Marina: :)

Me: [Coworker] will love you for it too

AND it's payday

So that means I can afford a drink and not a water at a bar.

but sadly, only one drink.

Marina: aww :(

Me: baby needs an oil change

Marina: but you have heirloom tomatoes instead

is that expensive?

Me: I do have tomatoes, and oil changes are not expensive, but drinks are. The ones I like, anyway.

Marina: me too :(

Me: Fruit, frozen, gigantic glasses, umbrellas... pricey.

Marina: damn my girlie taste buds


Damn them!

Marina: :)

Me: A friend of mine started calling me Malibu Barbie. Fucker.

Marina: stab him

with an umbrella :)

Me: I shall. With my high heel.

Marina: ooh even better

Me: So, shall we compose our stabbing list?

Patrons who stalk and paparazzi us.

Marina: patrons who can't use Google Maps.

Me: Grrrr.

Marina: Patrons who don't know how to turn off mute.

Me: Being made fun of for being girlie girls.

Not enough cheese in your pasta.

Not enough money for all the drinks your job makes you need.

Marina: Patrons who don't realize that minimize just minimizes their screen.


Me: OOOR, patrons who you tell to minimize their screen and instead they hit the restore size button and it just makes the window smaller.

Marina: Oh god! I HATE that!


Marina: I had to explain links to that woman at least 3 or 4 times today

Me: She is so dense.

Marina: yeah :(

Me: HOH, and yesterday, here's a new one. Woman wanted us to show her how to put her picture up on YouTube (which she called YouToo) so she could be rich and famous too. What? It's for videos? You have to have a video camera? You have to upload? Oh, I can't do that. I'll have to find another way to get rich and famous.

Marina: OMG

I think the shorter list might be the non-stabbing list

Me: Sigh...


This could go on all night.

Marina: it really could

And it did. The woman whose boyfriend is possessive of her ID was very nearly as irritatingly needy as Needy Betty. She went outside to smoke and stood right at the front door, so a non-smoking patron yelled at her that he couldn’t even walk to his car without having to breathe in her smoke, and she was so upset by his statement that she came in and told everyone how hurtful he was. I thought about telling her about the Illinois law that requires people to be at least a certain distance from the front door of businesses if they’re smoking, but she stunk so badly that I didn’t want to talk to her for any longer.

Somehow, she had enough money to be carrying around a big cup of gas station coffee and she purchased headphones from Circ, so she did have cash on her, despite her claims. And she struck another of my pet peeves by carrying around this coffee cup that was actually three coffee cups stacked inside one another. Look, folks, I understand that two cups together help insulate, but I still see it as a waste, and the “green” girl inside me wants to smack you silly. Bring your own damn travel mug and gas stations will let you “refill” it for a fraction of the cost. Anyway, this woman had THREE cups sleeved together, and that irritated me even more! On top of that, she kept leaving her garbage wherever she went. I found that stupid three-tiered coffee cup sitting on the counter in the washroom, right by the garbage can. The patron (who was as odd, or odder) who used her computer after her stood by it, mouth agape, horrified, saying that there was garbage all over the computer and he didn’t want to use it. It was the packaging from this woman’s headphones, that’s all. I heard him whisper to his girlfriend, “There could be DRUGS in there or something. Did you SEE that lady? Ick.” Sometimes I feel like it might be best to let the patrons kill each other and solve many of my problems for me.

Later on, when she couldn’t use one of the computers because they were all taken, she asked to use my phone and proceeded to start calling people to come and pick her up, but no one could. That’s when the neediness got REALLY irritating.

Lady: No one can come and get me.

Me: Oh really?

Lady: And I have to walk all the way by the Walgreens. Can you tell me how far that is? Because I think it’s really far.

I looked it up. It was 2.5 miles.

Lady: *gasp* That’s a LONG way. And it’s COLD outside! Can you tell me what the temperature is?

Me: It’s 67ยบ.

Lady: That’s way too cold to walk almost three miles.

Seriously? To me, that’s just the right temperature to go on a walk, but then again, I haven’t been raising my body temperature all afternoon by whining and drinking a well-insulated coffee either.

Me: Is there anyone else you can call?

Lady: Nooooooo, I don’t have my address book, and I don’t know anyone’s phone number.

Me: You can look it up online, or look it up in the phone book.

Lady: Noooo, I don’t think I could find anyone.

Me: Okay, well, you can call a cab.

Lady: I don’t have any money.

I should mention that all of these sentences she uttered were in the most annoying whine I think I’ve ever heard. The last word of ever sentence dragged out painfully until I cut her off and began speaking over it. I was waiting for her to employ some vibrato for added punch.

Me: Hmmm, I’m sorry, I don’t know what else to suggest.

Lady: It’s so COLD outside. I don’t think I can walk that far.

Me: Well, it’s 6:00. The sun is going down and it’s only going to get colder.

Lady: *gasp* Noooooooo. Can I use the computer again?

Then she plopped her butt down in front of the computer for another hour, blasting music into her headphones, watching videos online. At 7 she simply slipped out, no more whining, no words to anyone.

I thought the weirdness had left with her when another young woman walked up to me and asked why her money wasn’t coming out of the change machine.

I said, “Um, we don’t have a change machine. I think you put your money in the copier.”

Copier? What copier? She was so clueless, she didn’t realize the big machine she leaned over to put the money in the “change machine” was in fact the copier that the machine was accepting money for. I suggested she either hit the print button and get a piece of white paper and 90¢ change, or she talk to Circ about possibly getting a refund. She nodded and kept walking past me.

Incredulously, I shouted to her, “Ma’am, your dollar is in the machine still, right? You’re going to want to go over and take care of that now, otherwise someone might think that’s $1 in free copies for them, and then there’s nothing we’re going to be able to do to get your money back.”

She looked at me blankly, said, “Reeeaaly?” and I nodded and told her to go get her money.

Marina was right. We should’ve closed down the reference desk and gone for drinks. We should’ve continued making our list of people to stab. Which would’ve gotten too big and then we would’ve switched and made lists of people not to stab.

That would’ve been a short list.

It might have only had our own names on it.


ChiLibrarian said...

It makes me strangely pleased to read about your annoying patrons and know they don't all come to the libraries I work at. Misery loves company. And a good story.

Leelu said...

Surely you have a patron you don't want to stab! I know I have one.



Anonymous said...

One of my staff had a clever idea of taking names and creating her own waiting list for the Brookfield Zoo passes. I told her "no" and she got all shirty since as she said, "Isn't a library about service?"
I did not slap her upside the head and think I showed remarkable restraint. (But I still told her "no")