Friday, March 30, 2007

a maximum breach of security

this guy comes up to me, he's a bit slimey and shakey. he looks directly away from me while speaking, as if he doesn't want anyone to know we're talking. you see, this is on the "down-low." he tells me he wants to change his PIN number, as he tosses his passport and his library card onto the desk in front of me. smooth man, real smooth. using the tips of my fingers i pick up his passport by the very edge and hand it back to him, telling him his library card will suffice. so i look up his account and ask him what he would like to change his PIN number to. "well," he says in a huff, "i'm not going to tell you that. that defeats the whole point." asshole, if you don't want to have me change your PIN for you why did you come over here? but i don't say this. no, those thoughts are for interior monologue only. and for you, devoted blog reader. anyway, i go on to explain the steps of logging onto one's account online and then changing your PIN number yourself. this disgusts him. "and how would i do that ... ?" he asks, trying to be all clever, "i'd have to log on with my PIN number!"
"yeah,"asshole (interior monologue), "you need to use your old PIN number to get onto the internet, then you can access your account and change your PIN number to whatever you want."
at this point he begins to do what i can only describe as 'the crazy man shuffle,' rocking back and forth, stepping from side to side. "you're not giving me any options," he says, raising his voice.
"sir," i say calmly, "i can change your PIN number or you can do it yourself. you have two options."
"there's no security here! i can't believe the library is run this way!"
"i really don't see what the problem is here. just change your PIN number."
"no i can't. it's not secure! just cut up my card," he says, "i can't have it out there."
so i cut up his card and he skulks off muttering to himself and the injustice of it all.

shafted by a bank robbing priest

so mr. bank robbing priest has become a regular and every day since our fist meeting i have instructed and re-instructed him on how to sign into his e-mail. but today, a different librarian was at the desk and she helped him and he gave her a rose! what's up with that? how come no crazy patrons bring me flowers?! grrrrr.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

rogue librarian

why am i always getting in trouble? just for trying to make this a better library? they're coming for me . . . april 4th . . . the big wigs are gonna try to take me down, but i won't let 'em! the constrains of your library bureaucracy can't hold me down!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

thank you career cruising

so i just did a test to find out what the best career for me would be ....
ranked at number 6 is librarian, imagine that
number 1 is web designer ... maybe i would like to be a web designer... hmmm, note to self: look into becoming a web designer
but what was ranked number 11 you ask? funeral director ... i guess they forgot to ask if i have a crippling fear of my own mortality. maybe i should be a career test creator.

yet another reason not to trust priests

you would think that it would be statistically impossible to encounter so many crazy people with such regularity ... but apparently it isn't.

this guy walks up to me at the information desk, he's in his early fifties, seems like he has it together. he needs to get on an appointment for the computer, says he's "technologically challenged." i ask him for his library card, and when i look him up it turns out that he has $75 worth of fines.
i alert him of this, and then he begins what i can only assume will be a long tale of woe and misery which is supposed to make me waive his fines. but oh no, it's so much better than that.
"i've been a bad boy," he says.
"yes you have," i say, wondering if all men have an i-want-to-be-punished-by-a-hot-librarian fetish or if i just attract them.
"you see," he goes on, "i got myself into some trouble about ten years back ..."
here we go.
"you see," he says, showing me a photo ID card from some detention facility. "what i used to do is, i used to dress up as a priest, see? and i would go into banks and rob 'em."
at this point i say something terribly clever like "uh-huh."
"i did that like, oh i don't know, maybe twelve times or something like that. but eventually i got caught so i've been locked up for the past decade. so i don't know how to use the computer."
"o-kay ... well i can help you get onto the computer but you still owe $75."
"oh yeah," he says, "i know, i just need some help logging onto my e-mail first. i was hanging out with my nephew the other day, he's a teenager, and he set me up with the e-mail."
and that, dear readers, is how i helped a convicted bank robber access his e-mail. but the real lesson here is that this man, a felon and a thief, is willing to pay his library fines if you just help him logon to yahoo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

the oh-so-talented EJ

remember EJ? he's the incredibly charming man who calls the library 30 gazillion times a day? well, he called me today (only twice so far!) to ask me for information about talent shows.
stupidly, i ask "what about talent shows?"
"i need information? about different talent shows i could be in?"
"no, we don't have that kind of information."
this displeases EJ. have i mentioned that he has an extremely whiny nasally voice which makes me want to punch in walls? well he does.
"but i want to be in a talent show! don't you have any information on where i can be in a talent show!?"
"i honestly have no idea where i could find that kind of information." and i honestly don't. i'm not just being bitchy. "you're going to have to find that youself"
"when i was in high school? i was in a talent show. i'm very talented. i'd be really good in a talent show."
oh, EJ ... how i'd love to see that talent show.

what is print anyway?

this woman comes into the children's room yesterday looking for pictures of the alphabet, both printed and in script. surprisingly, this is harder to find than you would imagine. we don't have any books on penmanship, so i have to use the internet. after searching a while i find several for her.
"oh, no" she says "that's not script, that's just fancy printing." i find her another, "that script is too fancy."
and another and another until i find her an example of script which suits her needs. then i find her an example of printing. it's got those grammar school lines and everything.
"oh, no" she says, "this is no good." she goes on to show me how the cross in the lower case "t" isn't big enough, and the cross in the lower case "f" is actually above the guideline. and on and on. eventually i just give up and tell her that this is the best anyone can do and if she is this picky about it maybe she should just write it out herself. you'd think we'd be done there, wouldn't you? oh no. she calls me back today!

Crazy Ass Patron: what would you call the printed alphabet?
Me: i'd call it the printed alphabet
Crazy Ass Patron: yeah, but what is it's official name?
Me: i don't think it has an official name
Crazy Ass Patron: Well you know how there's the roman alphabet?
Me: yeah (why are you talking to me you crazy psychotic bitch?)
Crazy Ass Patron: well, what would you call the printed roman alphabet? or the script roman alphabet?
Me: well, the roman alphabet is the roman alphabet, whether its done in print or in cursive (that's right, i said cursive)
Crazy Ass Patron: are you looking this up? or are you just guessing?
Me: i'm using my common knowledge (i swear to god, i actually said this)
Now at this point a line of patrons is starting to form, most likely with
legitimate questions.
Crazy Ass Patron: well i need you to look this up for me. i need a real answer.
Me: i don't think i can help you further with this, i have other patrons to help
Crazy Ass Patron: but you haven't even answered my question!
Me: i'm putting you on hold
Crazy Ass Patron: but you haven't answered my question!
Me: i've answered your question, you just didn't like my answer. i'm putting you on hold!(i hang up the phone with no intention of picking it up again)
so i proceed to help people with real questions, leaving ms. penmanship on hold for an inordinate amount of time. but is that the end of this story? no! because she called back again!
she calls back and now she wants me to look up the word print in the dictionary. so i look up the word print and read her the definitions which pertain to her psychotic needs:
1. to write in characters such as are used in print.
2. to write without connecting one's letters
Crazy Ass Patron: but what about 'print' as a noun?
Me: there are no definitions pertaining to a style of writing which are nouns
Crazy Ass Patron: well, can you look in another dictionary?
dutifully, i look in another dictionary:
1. printed lettering
Crazy Ass Patron: what does printed lettering mean?
Me: i didn't write the dictionary, so i can't say what their intention is for sure. but i think it means letters which are printed.
And then, my beloved blog readers, the crazy bitch hung up on me.

a beautiful day in the neighborhood

it's a beautiful day at the library
a beautiful day at the library
won't you be mine? won't you be mine?
hi neighbor ....
are you a crack whore, homeless junkie, or raging alcoholic who's down on his luck? why don't you stop in the library? that's what we're here for!

Monday, March 26, 2007

i live to deprive children of educational's what i live for

a young woman walks into the children's room (have you heard this one before?) to return a few dvds. the dvds are late. when i tell her she owes $15 she begins to protest. "but i'm a teacher!" she says. then she asks me if i can "cut her a deal." i explain to her that teachers, just like everybody else, have to pay their late fees if their items are late. she goes on to tell me her sob story about how she took the videos out and blah blah blah by the time she showed them to her class they were late and shouldn't she get away with it because she is an EDUCATOR! i too am an educator. and i owe $1.75 for the rolling stones CD that i just found underneath my bed. but i stand firm. she gets out her wallet, and as she hands me over the money she says, "well," sniff sniff, "i guess from now on the children won't be able to watch educational films from the library anymore." i guess i should have shed a single tear at this point, but instead i helpfully suggested that if "the children" need to watch movies she could just return them on time. urgh, the bullshit i have to deal with. really people. get it together.

Friday, March 23, 2007

intimidating my co-workers, one crazy patron at a time

so we have this patron, E.J., and he calls the library no less than 30 times a day. usually he is asking the same question over and over and over again. so he called me today to ask if his book is went something like this:
EJ: i got a call that my book was in? do you have it there?
Me: yes, that's why we called you
EJ: i ordered a GED book with a CD-ROM?
Me: yeah, it's here
EJ: is the CD-ROM there?
Me: yeah. the book, which includes a CD-ROM, is here
EJ: so it's there and i can come pick it up?
Me: yes. when we call you and tell you a book is here for you that means its here and you can come pick it up

and on and on and on and on and on and on

so when i finally get off the phone with the lovely EJ i make a comment in passing to some of my fellow staff members saying that although i am not a violent person, if i could get away with it, i would have no problem bludgeoning EJ to death with a large reference book. is that an innapropriate comment to make in the workplace?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

what are libraries good for then?

thanks for sending this thom!!

playing hard to get always gets results

so mr. brainiac phd e-mailed me again saying that he wants to hang out. now, i have been following the overall advice of my beloved blog readers which was to ignore him. but isn't it amazing how ignoring someone gets them even more interested in you? too bad i have no interest in him or his fascinating tales of his super hot ex-girlfriend.

Monday, March 19, 2007

book cart drill team dreams of grandeur

my dreams of competing on a book cart drill team may become a reality this june in washington dc ... ooooooh, look out book divas

Saturday, March 17, 2007

splendor in the ass III

so it has been a slow saturday morning in the library...nothing much to report. but i thought i would share a little anecdote from my days back at albany public...
i was checking in videos behind the circ desk and i open up a vhs case. i don't remember what movie it was for, something innocuous like robocop or top gun. anyway, it isn't the right movie in the case. in fact it isn't even one of the library's movies at all. the tape has a plain white label which reads "splendor in the ass III." well, i knew that i needed to stop working immediately and show this tape to all of my co-workers. so we all have a good laugh and try to think of what we'd say to this patron when he comes in looking for his beloved lost film. things like "oh, i think we may have your movie...let me ass you a few questions first." OR "oh yes, we found your movie. how splendid that you're here!" we kept the tape in the back office, prominently displaying it as a discssion piece for all employees. but sadly, when that special day came and mr. porn patron asked for his movie back, it was one of our more straight-laced employees who helped him, and no puns, witticism, or innapropriate remarks were made. such a shame, an opportunity like that wasted. *sigh*

Friday, March 16, 2007

it's hailing or some shit

i took a cab to work ... that's right, that's how i roll

Thursday, March 15, 2007

democracy begins at home ... or with your blog

so, mr. phd brainiac e-mailed me to tell me what a wonderful time he had on our date last week and that we must go out again. (you remember him don't you? oh, you haven't memorized the details of my social life? he's the one who wouldn't shut up about how super hot his ex was) so i thought of many many sharp-tongued responses, but then wondered if maybe maturity should prevail, maybe i should just take the high road and ignore him completely. but then i decided that really the best thing to do would be to put it to a vote. so i ask you, the 4 readers of my blog, to vote on what action i should take. it'll be fun, like a choose your own adventure novel, but better because i'm a real person.

today's subway reading list

this lovely morning people on the subway were reading: silly sci fi novels by philip dick, intuition by allegra goodman, and harry potter and the chamber of secrets by richest woman in england, j.k. rowling. book 7, harry potter and the deathly hallows comes out July 21, 2007! note to self: pre-order on to get version written in original british.

tra la la la la la la la la

oops! not allowed to say anything. promised not to write about it. la la la la la.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the saga of shelf-ass ... part 1

you may think it is unkind of me to refer to a mentally ill homeless woman as Shelf-Ass, but that's only because you have not seen the neverending gargantuan plain which is her backside. Shelf-Ass spends most of her time sleeping on one of the library's old wooden benches facing the windows. oh, how i wish i was allowed to nap in the library. but her napping is not her worst offense. no, her true offense is olfactory in nature. imagine a facility which processes government cheese. you know, the day-glo orange kind. now imagine if this factory had to be immediately evacuated, and all the government cheese was left out in the open. and the factory employees could not return for one full calendar year. the intense odor which would emanate from opening the factory doors would barely rival the stench which emits from Shelf-Ass. so when i hear the crickety-crick of her homeless cart announcing her arrival into the library, i know its going to be a glorious day.

alert the press...i was ten minutes late

la la la la la la la ... i had a lovely three-day weekend in which i spent a large amount of time napping. and while i did slightly dread returning to work today i tried to be upbeat. i thought to myself, "self ... you can make this library a better place! you can work hard and be diligent and whip this place into shape!" so i return to my desk and check the many office e-mails and i see an e-mail from a library higher-up. said e-mail is informing me, my supervisor, the district supervisor and the supervisor for ALL OF MANHATTAN that little old me was ten, YES TEN minutes late for a meeting last week, and my time sheet must be altered. really people, must we be that petty? grrrrrrrrrrrr. i am again a broken woman.

Friday, March 9, 2007

there's no business like library business

"is your library going out of business?" a patron asks, taking in her surroundings with a distraught look on her face. "cause it looks really sad in here."

yes, we are the bad news bears. please help us raise money for new uniforms or else the library will have to close. we're scrappy yet loveable, i swear.

today's subway reading guide

i saw someone reading She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. you are ten years too late lady, get with the program.

a sign from the confectionary gods

i saw it again ... the elusive heart-shaped cookie. this time in the film Stranger Than Ficion (which i highly recommend).

things are looking up for me, i can feel it

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

as far as i know, it is not a crime to be homosexual in the library

in a rare turn of events, a man comes into the library with a legitimate reference question. GED requirements or something like that. as i begin to help him, a small haglike woman interrupts me, stating that there is a man harassing her and making a scene and that i must help her this instant. somehow i immediately know, whether it be through spidey senses or some librarian clairvoyancy, that this woman is not being harassed in any way shape or form. so i tell the hag she has to wait. i continue to help legitimate-patron-man and we exchange looks as hag woman skulks off. when ready, i walk over to the hag woman. she begins pointing feverishly at a man sitting across the room from her. he is a lean man who moves in effeminate gestures. his lips move slightly as sits quietly reading a gossip magazine. i turn back to the hag.
"you should have seen him before," she tells me.
"he seems to be fine now."
"look at the way he's moving his mouth."
i look at him again, and then turn back to the hag. "he's not making any noise," i say. "if he wants to move his mouth while reading that's fine."
she begins to pack up her belongings in a huff, "he was loud before. he was shouting. and he was acting all homosexual."
"well," i begin, "as far as i know there are no rules against being a homosexual in the library."
"well, i'm not going to stay here," she declares. then she storms off for dramatic effect.

is this in chinese?

woman holding up a dvd with large chinese characters on it, asking in disgust if it's in chinese. yes, that would be in chinese. what about this one? yes, that dvd with chinese people on the cover with chinese written all over it is likely to be in chinese as well.

smart girls finish last

i thought i was past this point in my life, but apparently not .... so i went on a date with a guy last night. he has a phd and a good job which involves lots of thinking. he also knows such terms as LoC classification, and can use it in a coherent sentence. so we're set, right? oh no, we are far from set. brainiac waxes poetic about his old psuedo girlfriend who is just super hot. he really loved her. i mean, she was really hot. now i am quite comfortable in my hotness, but even i was starting to feel uneasy. but then he says that she wasn't very smart, didn't have much motivation, is living with parents at age of 29, and is pretty much an all-around vacuous shopaholic ditz. so maybe this is ok. but then he gets all wistful and says he's worried he'll never find another girl like her again. "another flaky girl that isn't very smart or interesting or motivated or exceptional in any way?" i ask with much attitude in my voice because now i am pissed and i am also starting to wonder if we are going dutch because i should at least get a free dinner out of this. and what does he say in response? "but she was so hot."


subway reading guide

today people on the subway were reading "Cat's Cradle" by vonnegut and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by kundera. am i the only one who can identify books from across the subway just by their cover designs?