The Regulars: Creepy Eyebrow Guy

I know what you’re thinking. “Creepy eyebrow guy?” But trust me when I say that it’s bang on. 

He’s one of those people who has constant “crazy eyes” and almost always pulling this face that makes him look down right freakish. He’s the kind of person you imagine when someone says “sex offender” or “pedophile”. As you may have guessed, he’s also a little… off.

Shortly after I started working at the library I was warned about him. As I’ve learned since, patrons who come with a warning usually need to come with a warning. He had taken a liking to one of the girls I worked with and had a tendency to try to corner her. 

Understandably, she found this more than a little undesirable. 

Once, when I had walked away from shelving for a minute, I came back to find him hustling away from her. She looked incredibly relieved to see me and told me while I was gone he’d walked over to her for a chat. Apparently he had started undoing his shirt and pointing at her necklace (which was resting on her chest) telling her he had the same necklace and did she want to see it.

Yeah, he’s a fun guy like that.

More recently he got himself banned. I know I said it’s really not so simple to go about banning someone, but this was a fairly simple matter as he decided to go out in a blaze of glory.

This was one of those very rare days when I was lucky enough to not get caught up in the ensuing shit storm and still managed to secure a damn good seat to watch the action. I had been doing the requests (which means I was going around pulling books people wanted put on hold) and was at the far end of the library. The row I was in happened to be one of only three that are well hidden enough that you can watch most of the library without really being seen. 

Like most libraries, ours tends to be fairly quiet. So any sudden loud noises tend to attract a lot of attention. Someone yelling will, invariably, get the entire library craning their necks to see what’s going on. 

When I heard the shouting, I poked my head out of the row. Sure enough, there was CEBG screaming his head off. The best part? The person he was yelling at just happened to be our library head – a small man with a big attitude, a short fuse and no talent for defusing a situation.

“This is bullshit!” 

The library head was quickly joined by two of our usual (and completely ineffective) security guards. I could see he was mad but could hear much of what he was saying.

“Fuck you! The is bullshit!” He screeched again.

The security guards took another step towards him.

“I’m NOT leaving!” The whole situation was deteriorating and everyone could see it. Like most employees who are getting paid well enough not to quit but not so much that they really want to get hurt by some lunatic at work, anyone who could get away with it was waiting to witness the fallout and wishing they’d brought popcorn. 

The more CEBG tried to get closer to the library head or past them all together and back in to the library, the harder the security guards were trying to hustle him out the door.

“Fuck you! This library is bullshit! This library is RACIST!” 

I saw more than one person shake their head and chuckle at that one.

“You’re a bunch of fucking racists!” He screamed at the library in general. “How dare you fuck with my card!?”

They got him another five feet closer to the door. All in all it took them a solid fifteen minutes to get him right outside and he went screaming and swinging the whole way. 

When I made my way back to the front desk, after the security guards had left and the library head had stomped back to his office, I found a lot of people laughing.

“What the hell was that all about?”

Turns out he was having trouble with his card and accessing the internet of the library computers. So of course the library must have done something to his card to make it stop working. To be fair, there are any number of reasons that your card will stop working. One of which is having a block on your card due to fines and what-not.

That was not, unfortunately, the conclusion he came to. Despite a number of people at the counter assuring him it was nothing we were taking out on him specifically. No, that would be far to simple an answer.

He decided that the library had somehow infected his library card with a virus that was stopping him from using our computers with it.

Why would the library do such a thing (that is to say, if it weren’t impossible)?

Because the library is racist. 

Of course. That makes perfect sense. And the best way to get the library to do anything about problems you’re having with your account or issues you’re having with your card is to scream in the face of the library head, accuse everyone of being racist and kicking up a big enough stink to have yourself banned for a year.

Keep this in mind next time you find you have a couple of over due charges. 

Works like a charm, clearly.

-Late Fines.

Published in: on May 31, 2009 at 8:36 pm  Comments (4)  

You know what they say about assuming

Our main library is located downtown. It’s the library I call home. It’s also, technically, two libraries. The “adult” library is upstairs and “children’s” is downstairs. The staff for either are separate but like all the libraries, we all work for the same organization. That means sometimes you end up doing call-in for whichever branch needs you.

A few years ago we did a system wide inventory. It was an excruciatingly long and boring process that was made even more excruciatingly long and drawn out by the fact that the equipment we had was limited and the staff trained to use them properly was even more limited. I was one of the lucky few. Actually, everyone at the main library were amongst the chosen ones. 

Joy!

So once we finished inventorying the main brach we got to carry on and inventory the entire system. It was even more fun than it sounds, trust me.

One of our first stops was Children’s. 

Children’s is a special place, much like the seventh circle of hell is a special place. It’s full of, you’ll never guess, children. They’re messy beasts, these children, without regard or respect for any system of filing known to man. 

This is something that makes inventory… difficult. (One section famously made the system go ka-blooey not once, not twice but three times. That’s hours of work folks. Three guesses as to who the lucky sap was who got to do that section four times!)

After days of going over every item in the children’s catalogue, sitting on the floor and fighting with the computers, we had all gotten understandably weird. Stupid things were setting us off. Half the time we were ranting, half the time we were doubled over laughing at nothing. I’m sure it would have made a good sociological study.

Just so you understand, it’s children’s, all of the shelves are low. Most are not higher than about three and a half to four feet. I was sitting on one side, my friend on the other. 

Still with me?

As I was going through my section I caught a whiff of something unpleasant (I should also mention that I have almost no sense of smell – if I can smell it, it’s bad). I looked up to see another of my co-workers walking toward me. As she gets closer, so does the smell. 

It smells like shit.

Of course, being the mature adult I am, I start wondering if she dropped a load in her pants. Then I hear it.

“Mommy! I had an accident!”

As my co-worker was walking toward me, on the other side of the shelf, hidden from me, was a little kid who had dropped a load in his pants. 

I burst out laughing.

“What’s so funny?” She asks.

“I couldn’t see that kid and the smell was coming from your direction…” I managed to say between laughing.

“You thought I crapped my pants!?” It dawns on her.

I was laughing to hard to answer. All of a sudden my friend stands up and looks over the shelf. She’s laughing too.

“Oh my god!” She laughs and points at me. “I thought it was you! I just didn’t want to say anything!”

Lesson learned. When you’re in children’s, chances are unidentified smells are most likely coming from one of the toddlers. (Upstairs, it’s likely coming from one of the regulars.)

-Late Fines

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 2:43 am  Comments (2)  

Things I’ve seen on my coffee break

Not everything interesting I’ve seen at the library happened while I was working. Sometimes the fun and excitement spills over into my off time. I used to frequently take my coffee with a friend of mine and we’d sit outside or in my car and there’s rarely a scarcity of strangeness. 

For instance, one day a couple of summers ago we decided to head outside. My car was comfier than the bench so we rolled down the window and enjoyed the breeze. Library patrons strolled by, in and out of the library. We chatted and my friend read her magazine. 

One of the many people who wandered by was a scruffy looking man I’d seen before. He always reminds me of a farmer who’s a bit down on his luck. Dirty jacket and jeans, work boots that have seen better days, a trucker cap, aviator glasses and three day stubble. He’s a fairly typical sight in this part of the country and even more common downtown and at the library. Don’t ask me why. 

While he was walking by he noticed his shoelace had come loose so he bent down to tie it. I just happened to look over while this happened.

I then quickly began smacking my friend’s arm to try and get her attention.

“Ow! Wha…” She looked over in his direction. “Holy shit!”

When Farmer dude bent to tie his shoe his jeans rode down and his jacket rode up.

We both got a very good look at his shiny blue frilly thong.

Remember when I said we rolled the car windows down? Yeah. Apparently yelling “holy shit” isn’t as subtle as one would expect. Especially when the person you’re watching is only about ten feet away.

The two of us looked away quickly and actually managed to hold it together until he stood up and beat a fairly hasty retreat before we burst out laughing. 

There are somethings about our patrons I’d really rather not know.

-Late Fines

PS – Yeah, I know, two underpants related posts in a row.

Published in: on May 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm  Comments (2)