Friday, March 28, 2008

Top Five Patrons

The Deaf Lady

There was a woman who used to come into my old library who was not only deaf, but one of the rudest broads I’d ever dealt with. She would yell at the staff in a voice that sounded like an adult character in a Peanuts cartoon plugged into an amplifier used by The Who. She was old and had her hair in a ponytail which made it look like she was blind rather than deaf. She wore the same ugly dress and sweater every time she came in. Fondest memory: One time she was sick and was using one of our computers. She wiped her nose and mouth with the palm of her hand, and a couple of times she let a large blob of mucus-y spittle drop from her mouth into her hand, which she then dropped politely into the trashcan sitting next to her. A women who was assigned to use that computer once she was finished watched in obvious horror.

The Handicapped Girl

A group of “special” adults came into the library every morning with their teacher, and were allowed to wander around the library to do whatever they wanted. One girl had a face that looked like a Halloween mask that someone was pulling on, from the inside. Her teeth looked like someone took a pair of dentures and shot gravel at them for half an hour. Because we had the bell system, whenever she needed help she would look at us and holler “DING DING DING,” meaning she wanted a librarian. She smiled at the staff every time she came in and would say “Hello.” Overall, a sweet girl. Fondest memory: I was once at the circulation desk and she looked at me and giggled. Then she said loudly, “I like cute boys!” I told my girlfriend about it and she told me that I better not sleep with her.

The Little Jerk In The Wheelchair

There was a boy who always came into the library in a wheelchair and wanted to use our computers. His face looked perpetually angry and he always verbally abused him mother, who once passed gas loudly while I was shelving books and looked at me with a smile afterward. He was a rude kid, and only got worse as he got older. Because of how mean he was to his mother I realized that maybe God cripples some little children for a reason. Fondest memory: He liked one member of our staff a lot and knew his full name, which he used every time he addressed him. Finding out that this clerk did not get a lot of presents for Christmas, he shouted at him, “WHY DIDN’T YOU GET A LOT OF PRESENTS THIS YEAR?” as if this were an injustice comparable to his being crippled.

The Toothy Artist

This guy was the enemy of the patron above, and once complained to a librarian that “The Wheelchair Kid” was trying to steal his library card number. He had the biggest teeth I’d ever seen, and he always walked with the slightest hint of a skip. He always had some issue with the computers, and one time when there weren’t any librarians at the desk he yelled from his computer to me that the printer wasn’t working. I looked him in the eyes and went back to work, ignoring him. He then yelled out “THIS IS SERIOUS,” a plea which I also ignored. He always tried to request Cds and DVDs that had never been released, and would ask for a comic book, “about that guy, who was in a group of superheroes.” Everyone tried to figure out what he was talking about, but not a single person could figure it out. It wasn’t Justice League, so don’t bother suggesting it. Fondest memory: On my last day of work at this library, a librarian told him that I was leaving and he drew me a picture of a superhero. I later commented to another coworker that the left arm on the character was much shorter than it should be, and that this kid needed to work on perspective.

The Stripper

Every now and then a women who lived near the library would come over in either sweats and a tank top, or shorts that almost went up to the belt line. She had a terribly acne’d face, and the general opinion was that she was using a ton of drugs, most notably meth. Somehow it was known that she worked at one of the many strip joints that peppered my small town, and I question whether or not she told this to someone or if a lusty coworker actually saw her on the job. One night when I drove to the library to drop some stuff off I saw six or seven cop cars surrounding her house, and children in the front yard looking confused. Fondest memory: One time she came into the library with some hairy rodent running along her shoulders. When she came over to the circulation desk the thing looked at me and started running around her shoulders again. I almost had an accident in my pants. She smiled and said, “oh, she’s friendly!” Turns out it was a chinchilla, and if I were less of a pansy I would have found it adorable rather than terrifying.


Anonymous said...

For the last few days I've been reading your posts, Roland, in an effort to determine whether or not I like this whole guest blogger thing. This post just gave me my answer: thumbs down.

The view from up there on your pedestal must be awesome though, so maybe my jealousy is part of it.

Mister Mustache said...

Heard your show and put a link to it on the Central New Jersey librarian listserver, CJRLC list. I'm currently a government librarian but until 3 years ago I was a public librarian. In the way of a plug my librarian related blog is You might get a few laughs.

zanyzoeygirl said...

I love this post. I have worked in the same public library for 14 years. Now I am going to school to be a librarian but at any rate this post is a riot. I work with the public computers and you should see some of the characters that pass through my area. And some of the questions I get are seriously some the stupidest things ever.

Anonymous said...

Way to rip on the disabled. Not cool.