Posts Tagged 'library'

did you know libraries are chock full of crazy

I bring you a live report from the public desk at the city library. I am entitling it: “I’m tired of the disgusting coughing and strange questions here this week.” OR “My compassion limit is maxed out for your TB and questions about the satanic bible.” Both the title and contents are all Cupcake’s words, unless otherwise noted.

[me: How’s work?]

Well in total, this week the staff here has dealt with:

  • is my apartment haunted can you find news stories about suicides that occurred there in your archives
  • where can I find a witch doctor
  • can you find a copy of the satanic bible for me
  • how much room is at the end of a condom
  • OH and what can I do if I think someone has put a spell on me.


I am worn out from the crazy.

[me: Wow. Must be October.]

Also the other day this lady came up to a librarian and shouted a name at him in a mean and angry way. Then just stood there. Turns out it was the name of an author she was looking for.


I feel like it’s increasingly my job to manage othe people’s bad behavior.

[me: Yeah. Sometimes being a librarian is like being a 2nd grade teacher for adults. I am typing your tirade into a post as we speak, by the way.]


A scary man just gave me a weird look.

taste of mexico

I love the break room at work, if not actually for gastronomic reasons, then for sheer entertainment factor. Nowhere else can I assemble crappy portable food on a plate from the 1970s that makes anything look unappetizing and eat with mismatched cutlery while being asked work questions by colleagues who preface everything with, “I know you’re at lunch, but…” And trying not to overhear about Mrs. M’s latest colon troubles.

Today, I plopped my steaming chimichanga out of its microwaveable cellophane packaging onto a plate next to my sliced up mango and realized for once I had done some meal planning! By accident! GUYS THESE ARE BOTH PRODUCTS OF MEXICO.

My lunch just went up from things-i-could-grab-while-Pants-stood-in-my-doorway-this-morning to something that deserves a real lunch line title, like I don’t know… MEXICAN MEDLEY.


Mexican Medley circa 1973

don’t make me get out my harsh language

I know, I’ve been slacking. No posts. No funny. No drawings. There are a few reasons.

Reason number one is, I am currently insane. Insane with lady hormones coursing through my system like never before. If you’ve ever been on birth control for a really long time and then went off, then you know what I mean. I forgot how INTENSE things get when not numbed by the pill. The day I shouted that I was on my period, at work in front of several members of the Public? That was just the start of it.

But at least I’m starting to get a handle on the crazy. I mean I’m still crazy. But fewer people are aware of it. For instance. I recently walked into work where they are conducting job interviews, luckily for a position I will have little contact with. I say luckily because today I see a member of the Public who creeps me out. And he is dressed all fancy. Almost as though he expects to be interviewed today. Pants sees my “ugh” face as I walk into the staff office.

Pants: “What?”
me: “So-and-so got an interview?”
Pants: “Ha! I love the disdain.”
me: “Whatever. Like you want to work at a place he has keys to.”

Sunday was Beerfest. The crazy was just starting to set in on that day, lurking underneath the sunshine, the drunkenness and the rejoicing with friends and sharing shade with the random vomit-covered unconscious man. Hot Lunch and I each bought 17 tokens worth of beer and did our best to drink them all. Score at the end of the day, me 7, Hot Lunch 27. Level of drunkenness, equal. Drunk Hot Lunch is flirty affectionate Hot Lunch, always an arm around me, a hand caressing the back of my neck, or his forehead pressed affectionately against mine, gazing into my eyes. I have to remind myself that there’s nothing rekindling between Hot Lunch and me. The arm around me all day was just to keep his drunk ass from falling down. Once home in my own apartment, the buzz is wearing off. And the crazy is rising.

The phone rings.
Hot Lunch: “Are you ok? You were kind of quiet on the way home.”
me: “Not really. I guess I’m kind of sad. And frustrated.”

A few minutes into the conversation.

And the other reason I haven’t blogged is that my computer died. I think my sister’s wedding killed it. Or maybe it’s scared. Of the crazy.

Hyperbole and a Half – a puppet tribute

i made an allie finger puppet with my craft kids yesterday! and i’m not sure who her friend is, but he sure is HAPPY!

finger puppets!

look, she’s wearing her pink dress and looking miserable. FEEL BETTER, ALLIE!

the kiddies made some too. check it!

CUTE, RIGHT?? but i am told the leftmost one actually has its angry face on (see the squiggly pipe cleaner mouth), which means it’s about to shoot you with fire from its back. just a heads up.

when you got a health thing

Pants came over tonight and almost the first thing she said was, “i want you to date that cute guy with all the piercings!”

i was sprawled in Ugly Chair, where i have the computer set up so i don’t have to use any muscles to view the internet. click, click with the wireless mouse and i turned the monitor so she could see the title of last night’s post.

“oh,” she said.

then we watched a little SNL on hulu. without using any muscles.

i really do need to start exercising again. the depressed-just-broke-up excuse is nearing its expiration date. maybe i’ll take kris straub‘s advice and try doing my internet while biking or mountain climbing some days instead of in Ugly Chair. he says this is good “when you got a health thing to manage.” i think this muffin top now qualifies as a health thing. even if jungle cat says Max is a fan.

but your advice is confusing, kris, because you also say not to do things that make my skin come off. and the few times i’ve encountered skin coming off usually involved some form of hazardous exercise that led up to it.

look at that! bedtime! i don’t need muscles for that either!

today was 100% good. mark it on my calendar.

i’ll never date a patron again

searching old emails for something today and instead ran across this oath i swore to a friend a few years ago and i think it’s a good reminder to all single librarians. next time an athletic build and dazzling smile tempt you to consider taking a patron relationship to the next level, pause to remind yourself of two simple statistics.

  • the majority of relationships come to an end
  • the majority of your patrons have no common sense

having given no thought to these a few years ago, this was my observation in retrospect:

i dont think i’ll ever date a patron again. makes it super awkward when he has the poor taste to keep using the library.

seriously. you can pick up your girly oprah book on cd at the branch 3 miles down the road so i don’t have to look at your face anymore.

sorry, Pierced Personable Baritone whom I’ve recently been flirting with… i just remembered it won’t work out.

customer service is my middle name — er, names

i just spent the evening at cupcake’s new Mini Mansion, and let me tell you the M squared is SWANKY already, even though she still has some big furniture pieces to move in tomorrow, she doesn’t have quite all her art hung yet, and she’ll be the first to tell you she won’t move in until the ice maker has produced a healthy crop of cubes. a girl has to have standards.

while cupcake was pondering where to put her freaky indie art piece featuring a man with an octopus for a face (she rejected my suggestions of “in the trash” and “behind something big”), i continued sorting through a bin of MY OLD CRAP that i’d brought over. i discovered some old notes i’d written to myself about funny things that happened while i was working the circulation desk years ago, intending to put them in my blog at the time. well, four blogs later, here they are! better late than never!

customer service skillz in person
me: How are you?
patron: Good.
me: Good! Thank you! (it’s an automatic response, but i sound so touched at being asked!)

customer service skillz on the phone
me: What’s your last name?
patron: My name is Claudia S. Bering. Do you need my number?
me: No.
Claudia: (pause) 555-3539.
me: I can only find a large print copy.
Claudia: Regular print is fine. Do you need my number?
me: No.
Claudia: (pause) Is that a yes?
me: No!

customer service skillz with families
kid: Dad, I need to go out to the car and get something.
dad: Get what?
kid: Just… something.
dad: What something.
kid: My… library card.
dad: Isn’t that your library card?
kid: No.
dad: (beat) Looks like your library card.
kid: It’s… just… Dad, can I just go to the car please?

customer service skillz with… everyone else
(Vague Woman is accompanied by Beret-Wearing Man who doesn’t speak)
Vague Woman: I don’t have my card. (offers driver’s license) Berger-Munch, Candice.
me: (looking her up, i find a record with all the same information, except with a first name of Jocelyn.) Umm… We have you under Jocelyn!
Candice: That’s right.
me: (pointing to driver’s license) But here it says your name is Candice.
Jocelyn: Ohhh… (shakes head like this happens all the time) Too many names… (trails off, nodding and smiling in a “you know” kind of way)

makes me miss the crazy days of circulation.

fear not, i have changed all the real names (and some of the fake ones) to protect the local wildlife. and p.s. is Berger-Munch like the best made-up name ever? i know.

bye-bye, sexy lady

as we were getting ready to lock up tonight, we were surprised by a monkey-like shape flitting past the front door and some whoops of laughter.


it’s a fact of life that when i get the closing shift at work there will always be at least one child hanging around at 9:01 pm with no guardian present and no feasible way of getting home from the library.

in these cases, our policies state that it’s not cool to kick a minor out on the street and take off, no matter how badly you want to get home to your DVR’d episodes of the Mentalist. these same policies actually say to stay with the minor, exchanging awkward silences punctuated by furtive eye contact until a ride arrives, or until a quarter after when we have to CALL THE COPS.

i went outside to explain this to the minors, whom I found goofing around in the bushes and whooping like chimpanzees. they appeared to be roughly 15 and 12 and assured me their ride was “almost here.” then they avoided eye contact and went galumphing away toward the parking lot.


back inside to report to my fellow closing librarians. we shut everything down anyways and crowded just inside the doors, peering outside hopefully. miraculously, just then a huge pickup pulls into the parking lot and barely slows enough for both boys to fling themselves into the open bed. as the truck pulls around to the exit, the 15 year old’s legs are still flailing skyward, while the 12 year old waves in our direction and we hear a shrill shout.

“bye-bye, sksy lhdeh!”

“what did they call me?” i ask.

S is almost laughing too hard to say.

“Bye-bye… sexy lady!”

from the bottom of my basal ganglia, hello and #@!%*$!

recently, i had the opportunity to talk to precisely 232 people on behalf of their local library. what made this exhausting was that i talked to them in groups of 2 or 3 over the course of 6 hours. unfortunately it was precisely that day that i decided to get struck with a case of the awkwards. every interaction became a chance to stammer, mix up my words and completely forget important pieces of information they needed.

like when i told one nice man i could show him how to neuter. i meant renew. as in extend the due date of his books, not remove their testicles. the two words aren’t really even close. why my brain was wandering even in the VICINITY of castration during that conversation is unexplainable. it can’t be explained. we simply had to move on.

By the end of the day, i was so paranoid about my subconscious sabotaging me that every time i greeted a new group, half a dozen of the WORST POSSIBLE THINGS i could say at that moment would immediately crowd my brain. everything from colorful sexual colloquialisms to really offensive racial slurs. is it possible to have tourette’s of the brain? silent tourette’s? is that a thing? do i have something serious i need to see someone about?

it was like that invisible force that tugs at you when you’re standing at the edge of any steep drop looking down. like something in you hates the fear of it happening so badly that it would rather get it over with. it was that same dickish part of my brain that was trying to trip me up with fart jokes when i greeted the next couple with a clear and flawless, “Hi! My name is Tink. I’m from the library!”

YES! take THAT, amygdala you fucker!

“Nice to meet you,” says the woman.

“Thank you,” i say.


Let’s just move on.

(P.S. for this post, i googled brain structures until my Wernicke got tired.)

you can’t trust those babies

I walked into work this morning and some things happened.

  1. I learn that A has called in sick so I have her storytime and craft to do in 45 MINUTES and it’s for toddlers. (I don’t know babies. I know kids. Everything I do either bores or scares babies.)
  2. The copier jams on my (hastily thrown together) craft and I finally give up on it and just start storytime (a few minutes late. thanks, Xerox Dinosaur.)
  3. My opening puppet act scares the bejeezus out of everyone. (TODDLERS!)
  4. The Pants calls in sick too, so I’ll be doing her program in the afternoon and it’s just me and one other coworker at the public desk all day.

And today was the day I was supposed to “get stuff done.”

Shockingly, I got a ton done. And had fun doing it. And never got bored. And chatted with a cute guy while working.

Tuesday, you’re ok.

And what was the Pants doing on her sick day? Shopping for this little devil. Don’t trust her, Pants. She’s already leading you astray with her wiles.