Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Library Frustration

What is it about old books that fosters the weird in both used bookstore owners and librarians?  It seems these places are a haven for the socially awkward.  And the power trip -- oh boy!

"I've got a couple of books on hold," I said, presenting my library card to a man so thin he must have been steam cleaned while clothed, subsequently hung out to dry, and then blown off the line only to land on his librarian stool.

"Did you get a call?" he shouted, from behind a steel bookshelf.

"A couple of days ago."

There was some mad shuffling.  His shaking hands flew above the shelf and then smacked at his sides.

"Howe," he said.  "We got anything for MC Howe?"

"Right here," said another one, wearing baggy pajama pants and a squared off afro, circa 1992.  He waved the books at me as he brought them over.  "It was more than a couple days."

"It was Wednesday," I said.

"You only get five days," he glared

"Okay," I said.  "You called Wednesday.  Thursday was Thanksgiving.  You were closed on Friday."

"We was open Saturday."

"I was out of town."

"Monday."

"I'm here today.  Are those my books in your hand?"

"They might well have been shipped off."

"I suppose, but it seems they weren't."

"Cause you were lucky. You only get five days."

"So I've heard.  I'm blessing my stars.  Can I have my books?"

And now I don't even want to read them.

3 comments:

Amy Saia said...

Well, you know I worked at a library for a certain number of years, and I can tell you some of the folks working the desk are a royal pain in the you-know-what. I hate bad attitudes in any type of service industry. Hate. People always came to me because I was the nice one there. I didn't shout out their fines, or late items. I was there to help, not condescend. Anyway, I had to laugh at the pajama bottoms, because I worked with a girl who wore those everyday. Administration finally told her she had to wear jeans at least, or take leave. Sheesh.

Kara Mustafa said...

The librarians at my local library are MEAN. One gave me a dirty look while i was checking out a middle grade novel. She was totally telling me to grow up with her eyes.

mollygolver said...

This blog post so made me laugh - thank you! I have a vivid picture of a steam cleaned man!