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. 


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)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I would have still blamed you, we all know you have accidents.

    • Hey, hey, hey… you said we weren’t going to mention that again!

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