Monday, August 27, 2007

Kaptian Kris and the Raging Rapscallions of Riverview

So usually my library job is fairly predictable and quite boring. I show up, I check out books, I look up information, I check my mail way too often, I make the rounds of the usual bored out of my gourd websites (fark, the onion, wikipedia). After all is said and done, I go home and I get paid for my trouble. It's not like I have a problem in getting paid for not doing anything, quite the contrary, I feel like it's the only way to work. I pity people who's jobs are action packed and require constant attention.

But today, I earned my keep.

I had never been to the Riverview Branch before. It's a rather small library in size, despite having 4 stories. In addition, its location in downtown Big City coupled with a lack of parking make its patrons either one of two types of people, with very little exception.

First you have your government workers. They usually come from the nearby courthouse or law offices. They don't require much attention. Usually they pick up holds they had sent from other libraries or see what DVDs are availible. In the same ilk, you have the jurors, who come here almost directly from the subway next door and instantly begin to violate the law by talking about the case.

The rest of the patrons are various homeless or other sorts of street people. Not really much of a problem there. The majority are just happy for an air conditioned place to hang out during the heat of midday. Most like to read the newspaper or surf the internet. A few even take advantage of the career center and try and find work for the day. There's also a lot of people from various shelters who try and make better of themselves by utilizing the facilities. For the most part, everyone keeps to themselves and things run smoothly. We are a government agency for the people and we try to be as inclusive as possible. It's part of the job desciption and I don't think too much is strange about it.

But today we had two interesting individials who did not fit into these nice cliched roles.

The first was a budding policitian who had a magnificant beard and an even more impressive odor. He came in once to inform us of his new platform for his run at the governor's office. He then left shortly thereafter. He then came in again to present a list of various asian dictators and mafia figures. He asked for some research on the names. Thinking not too much of it, in addition to being informed by the regular staff of his habits, I proceeded to a nice nostolgic trip down EBSCOHost to look up biographies. He came back, with his odor informing me that he had returned, took the printed out sheets, thanked me, and left. I was later told that he had indeed filled out the paperwork to run for governor and his name would actually appear on the ballot this November.

The second was a bit more distressing and weird. A woman came in dressed in a business suit and proceeded to ask for a computer reservation. At first glance, she would appear to be just another office worker coming in on her lunch break, but the goggles and painter's mask betrayed her appearance. She went to the 3rd floor, but came back a few minutes later visuably distrubed. She complained of the odor on the elevator, which in of itself is not uncommon, the place does smell. But then she claimed that there were only men and children on the 3rd floor. Not only that, but the computer kicked her off. And even beyond that, she was being poisoned. You see, there was a conspiracy against her, a retired government worker, and they wanted to poison her because she was an original resident of Big City, even though she had lived in Los Angeles for the past several years. There had already been an attack on her this morning when a car tried to hit her. Then at UBC (University of Big City), she had been attempted to be poisoned for the first time. The branch head listened to her ramblings, being very agreeable, until the woman finally decided to leave and report the whole matter to the police. She left and we all were relieved, since according to the regulars she had never acted this unstable before.

Then she came back.

Only I noticed her entrance, the rest of the staff was busy with other people. I tried informing my co-workers that she was back, but no one seemed to acknowledge the breth of that information. She got on a computer and started to type furiously.

Then the screaming started.

She screamed. A deep primal scream. A scream that was unignorable. The type of scream that says "hey, you thought I didn't make sense before, just watch how nonsensical I can get." After the inital scream, she began to yell "It's a conspriacy! I'm being poisoned like a man! They are treating me just like a man!" Needless to say, the other patrons were alarmed, to say the least. She got up and began her triade again, this time including new information. Such as the fact that her father was one of the first blacks to graduate UBC law. And that she had been thrown off a bus twice and she had the pictures to prove it. And that she was a Big City native and there had been a conspiracy to get rid of these native Big Cityians so Major League Baseball could turn UBC into a pro team. And since her father was an UBC law grad, she was one of the most important people to get rid of. And that she was being raped and sexually assulted by the men sitting next to her at the computer. Plus, did she mention she was a retired government worker that was being poisoned? And MLB wanted to turn UBC into a pro team? She finally left, this time to hide from Shriner's clinic, who wanted to take her away. And the Shriner's clinic wanted to lock her up and poison her.

As part of security procedures, I had to go over to her computer and log out of her session, as well as patrol the area for any other things that might of set her off. I tried my best to keep a straight face, but I totally lost it when I saw the internet item that set her off. She had tried a MSN search for the following item:"Who is (Her name, withhheld for privacy reasons by myself) the daughter of a Korean War Vet who was the first black at UBC, used to live in Los Angeles but is a native of Big City and was attacked by being thrown off a bus in 1999 even though she is a retired government worker getting poisoned by Major League Baseball" (Verbatium, I swear. You can't make this stuff up)

And yet, this didn't seem to phase the staff in the least. They just treated it like a normal day and commented that I was no longer a "Riverview Virgin." No, I most certainly am not.

No comments: