When you don’t even have a chance

And now for an interlude, a change from the dark and serious. Today was a very interesting day at the local library where I work. Serving a community of just over 5,000 is definitely not as crazy as a branch of the NYC Public Library, I am sure, but our area sure does have some interesting characters. Today’s story actually started on Monday, when a local gentleman visited the library and inquired whether or not I could help him type a letter on “one of those machines” (referring to computers). I told him sure, they were similar to a typewriter (this man has an odd fascination with typewriters. When I first started my job, he snuck up on me in the work room and asked if he could use the staff typewriter. He has since done this to every new library page that is hired. Not only is he mostly silent, he is a little bit daunting…so you can imagine how at the time, I almost pooped my pants.

So, anyway…I had told him at the beginning of the week that he could use a computer, or “one of those machines”. He showed up today with a leather folder stuffed with papers and his usual silent demeanor. “You remembered you said you could help me on one of those machines?” he all but whispered. “Oh, sure!” I replied. I thought I’d get him set up on a computer and that would be that. But no such luck. As soon as I pulled out the chair for him by the thing that he regarded with some suspicion, he visible recoiled. “Could you type this up for me?” he grunted. I peeked at what he wanted me to work on. I’d help anyone do pretty much anything, even if it isn’t in my job description, so I said yes of course. This was an adventure now, I was getting all the juicy details. See for the longest time this man and his family have patronized the library I work at, but I don’t really know a whole lot about them. Rumor has it he and his family are all really smart (or were), but from what I’ve seen, it’s kind of hard to believe. What I read on the sheet of lined notebook paper was funny and yet sad. It gave personal information, and a reference, and was essentially a very bare resume. This man was trying to write up a resume for a position at a local establishment, one that I knew would never even give him a second glance, let alone an interview. I wish him the best of luck.

Another even that was just so fantastically interesting today was the arrival of a man and woman who visit the library on a daily basis to use our internet computers. The girl has a habit of telling us waaay too much information (do you really think I care if you have barbecue chicken in the crock pot for dinner?) and the man is almost like a joke to look at. He has long black hair in dreads, and his eyes look a bit toadish. Today they were also quite bloodshot. I didn’t really notice anything too out of the ordinary, except when I was typing up the resume for the man I wrote about before, this Bob Marley look-alike was rapping along to a music video, which was a little distracting. Next thing I know, his girl is no longer around, and he is sitting next to a small child who is playing Minecraft, spewing out an ongoing commentary, most of it unfit for the little boys ears. By this time others had complained about how disruptive he was being, and we were kind of suspicious, thinking the man was either high, or drunk. Turns out, he was drunk, and banned from the library for the duration of the day, per the police.

And then you have “coffee girl”. The girl who, when she arrives at the library, almost always asks us to put a pot of coffee on. And if she doesn’t , she surely has a water bottle with a powdered energy drink dissolved in it. Today she was sipping on a huge cup of something or other from Burger King. She walked up to me and asked if I could make coffee. I said sure, but then I thought better of it. The last time I had accommodated her request, she somehow managed to down the whole pot within 10 minutes. That’s fine and all, except for the fact that one of my co-workers said she thought she had seen the girl pouring the coffee out in the drinking fountain. I’m not sure what her deal is, but luckily she walked off to get a bagel before I had “the chance” to make any coffee.

This was my day. Or not. None of this actually happened, because I’m a nice librarian and I don’t talk about patrons outside of work. I really don’t. This is all stuff that just happened in my head. Or did it?

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