Saturday, September 8, 2007

Pyscho-Billy Freak-Out

Today I'm at the Redwell Waters branch, which is host to a whole bunch of legitmate group homes housing both the recently released from prision and the mentally handicapped. However, the most interesting of our patrons this morning are from neither of those groups. I blame the whole general sense of the craziness on the fact that the mighty Rampaging Rhinos of UBC are having their first homegame this afternoon. In quick succession there were 2 insane phone calls and 2 equally bizzare walk-ups. In all the following exchanges took place from about 10:03 to 10:17 this morning.

Phone call #1

Me: "Redwell Waters library, how may I help you?"

Patron: "Yeah, I wanna renew some DVDs."

Me: "Okay, you have your library card on you?"

(Patron stumbles through reading the card number. Finally finishes.)

Me: "Alright. You had one DVD checked out and it's been renewed for a week"

Patron: "No. I had 3"

Me: "I'm just getting 'A Hard Day's Night on DVD.' The rest are books."

Patron: "I'm looking at 3 right now! I HAD 3!"

Me: "Well, what are their names?"

Patron: "I've got the 'The Brethren' by John Grisham right here."

Me: "Yes sir, that's a book. It's not due for another 2 weeks"

Patron: "Are you calling me a LIAR!?!?!" (as if this is the worst thing he's ever been called)

Me: "No sir, but the system is claiming it's a book. Are you sure it's not a book on CD?" (Note: this particular Grisham has not been made into a movie. Unless it's like an author's special reading, there is no way on earth it's a DVD)

Patron: "I'm VERY sure! I watched it last night with my son. (Terrible attempt at sarcasm) Would you like to ask him?"

Me: "Well, I'll just renew what I have down here. (It renews for 3 weeks, which only books will do) What was the other one?"

Patron: "3:10 to Yuma"

Me: "Okay, I don't have that title listed on your account"

Patron: "Well, we gotta find it don't we?"

Me: "And you're certain it's a DVD?"

Patron: "Me and my son also watched it last night."

Me: "There's no title close to that name on your account."

Patron: "Weeeeeeeeeeeellllll then, it looks like you're gonna have to do a little job finding it."

Me: "Just turn in the DVDs you have and we'll fix it here."

Patron: "I ain't a-coming until you find it."

Me: "Sir, you do realize that if it's not on your account, you can't be charged with fines for it being overdue"

Patron: "Oh. Well. That changes things. Thankee" (clink)

No sooner had that ended than we had:
Walk up #1: Church Lady from Hell

Who really isn't worth mentioning in great detail, just know this, it took forever, she was crabby, and she chewed out everyone with the same mouth that she sings choir. Basically, she's a problem patron who puts whole shelves on hold and complains about one book not coming in. Today she claimed that the Middletown library called her up and told her that the books she had put on hold had arrived her in Redwell. Okay, let's think about that. Why would a library on the other side of town call her and tell her that books had arrived at this library. Might this be a lie created so she could make our lives living hell. Luckily, the tediousness of dealing with CLfH was broken by

Phone call #2

Me: (With sound of CLfH yammering in the background) "Redwell Waters, May I help you?"

Dude: (Possibly strung out on drugs) Whoa. Yeah. I'm looking for a word. It's a word with two W's in a row in it. What's that word?"

Me: (Barely containing laughter because of the utter randomness of the request) "Hold on. Lemme transfer you to reference."

I transfered the call and bust out laughing. This angers CLfH, who finally starts to leave, muttering about disrespect for elders. I tried to explain that the laughter was due to the phone call, but she must have a dislike of mirth or something. As soon as she exits, in comes.

Walk up #2: White Trash Meth Head

WTMH: "I need a library card. Here's my old one."

Me: "Okay......Let's see if that one is current"

WTHM: "It should be, I got it yesterday"

Me: "Well then, you don't need to get a new library card everytime you come to the library. That one should be good for 3 years before you need to renew."

WTHM: "Can I level with you sweetie?"

Me: "Um...Sure?"

WTHM: (All as one rambling long sentence) "I got this friend, Julie, well it doesn't matter what her name is, anyway, she wanted to know, well she asked me, what the colors of the German flag meant, not the Nazi flag, but the regular God-fearing flag, and I didn't know, so Amber, I mean Julie, thought the library might know and that's why I'm here but my card is the one I got yesterday, and I want books on Germany, not really the country but it's flag"

Me: "Well, you don't need a library card for reference to look something up for you and maybe print it out. Just ask them. They'd be more than happy to help you." (I know this for a fact cause I trained in reference at Redwell and the place is DEAD. They'd welcome even the ramblings of a meth-head as a respite from the boredom.0

WTHM: "You are such a sweetheart for this. Your girlfriend's gonna go something special for you tonight. It's Karma." (Let alone the fact that I don't have a girlfriend at the moment, I'm not sure I'd want her voodoo on the relationship anyway)

She leaves when all the sudden, guess who should appear but the scourge of the computer printout system and Washington branch regular, yessir we're talking Petey Pedaphile!

Petey: "Wow. That woman was werid. People like that make me wonder." (Goes off to get a computer and scare the administrators.)

I don't think I've ever actually officially introduced Petey. He got the name "Petey" mainly because he looks like an overweight Peter Lorre, star of such films as "Casablanca" and "M." He's got the think bags under the eyes and the general look of helplessness, very much like Lorre's character of a child murderer in "M." This general creepiness is coupled by the fact that his internet habits are frightening. He never looks at actual inapropriate pictures of underaged little girls, but he's like 2 clicks away from getting arrested. There is no reason for a non-pedaphile to be looking at that many shots of the girl who escaped from witch mountain. Not only does he look at these pictures of fully clothed 7-year olds in non-provocative poses, he printing out numerous pictures, and then loudly complains about how he's being over-charged by the new printing system (The new print management system is another much longer post for a much longer day) Anyway, everytime he gets on a computer, you have no choice but to watch him like a hawk lest he finally dive into temptation and make that fateful double click. What he was doing so far away from the Washington branch is beyond me, maybe the gameday traffic was making the place too crowded.

In all, these equally strange exchanges took place in the space of a little over 10 minutes.

I've said it once and I'll say it again, white people scare me.

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