Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Is it the WATER?????

So far today, I was only at the reference desk during the second hour of operation. We have been blessed with the patrons who talk to someone only they can see. I know that this is a serious mental problem, my paternal grandmother suffered from it.

What makes today odd, is that there is more than one person who suffers from this particular illness sitting on either side of the reference desk. On first glance, the assumption is that the person is on the telephone. The second glance causes you to examine the situation a little better, then you realize there is more than one person talking and they are not talking to each other. Sitting at the reference desk makes you feel as if you are in a wind tunnel and all of the noises are passing by you.

Add to this the odd reference questions of which you can't get a clear picture of what the patron is looking for. It takes a couple of seconds and then you realize that the patron doesn't have a clear picture of what they are looking for either. You then need to mix in the true reference questions.

I still have two more scheduled hours at the reference desk, later this afternoon. I am hoping that the climate has changed. I have a feeling that it will just be new faces, but the same type of patrons.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Only Black Folks..........

This woman came to the reference desk yesterday, to ask about using microsoft word on the internet computers. After I explained to her how she would access the program, she asked me if my hair was real. I told her that it is. She then asked, "Well, do you have tracks mixed in?" I told her no, and explained that sections are short because it has fallen out in some places. She went on to ask me if I had ever used Motions Permanent Hair Relaxer. I told her that I had, but I haven't put any type of relaxer in my hair for 9 months. I told her that I use a ceramic flat iron now. She said, "Oh, and that is enough for your hair; it leaves it looking like that." I told her that it did.

I was being real nice!!!! She stayed at the desk for 10 minutes asking me about my hair. If I had a weave, it would be much thicker than my hair. I would also have this gray covered up. I have had a track one time in my life and the glue drove me crazy. I wanted to add color to my hair without chemicals. That colored track only lasted one week in my hair.

All I could think about for the rest of the day is the nerve of black folks. I have had men pull my hair really hard when walking past me in a club. I realize that they wanted to know if it was real.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What the.......?

A patron walks up to the desk and reports that someone is smoking crack in the men's restroom. IT'S 11:00 a.m.!!! I called our onsite security to report the incident. A vanilla man had the nerve to be arguing while a security officer was escorting him out of the building. WHAT COULD HE POSSIBLY BE PROTESTING!!!! HE WAS CAUGHT, END OF STORY!!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I have a radar this week.......

For the mentally unstable that is. Today, a man who has approached me every morning this week made a bee line for me at the desk. He has these long obscure search request. He will get angry when everything he is looking for is on a different floor. Lucky for me, he went to a different floor first. They in turn, sent him to my floor. His quest today was for books with God-like planets as the subject. First he wanted non-fiction, then he wanted science fiction.

He returned to the desk after browsing the science fiction isles. He decided that he wanted non-fiction books once again. I got tired of him real quick. I set him up at the online catalog and proceeded to show him how to do the search himself. He tried that line, " I don't know how to do this." I wasn't buying it today. I told him, "That is why I am showing you. You can sit here and play with your search terms for as long as you'd like." Once he settled on the call number section that he wanted, my shift was up. My boss was relieving me and agreed to take over where I had left off.

The other patron who decided that I was her friend for the day, marched up to the reference desk as soon as I sat down. Now we all know that there are "golf" pencils and note paper at the reference desk. That wasn't good enough for her. She told me that she wanted a pen. I shocked her because there weren't any pens at the desk. I told her that she would have to make do with a pencil. She told me that she was going to draw.

30 minutes later, she returned to the desk. She was polite this time. "Excuse me, can I have a rubber band please. I want to put my hair in a ponytail." Once I began looking for a rubber band, she decided that she needed four. When I pulled out a hand full, she exclaimed, "That will do." I subtracted four from what I had and gave them to her. I was her new friend then. She skipped away while telling me to, "Have a nice day."

I am hoping that the special people will be gone when I return to the desk later this afternoon. Something tells me that it will just be a new batch ready for the night shift.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The nerve of some people

1 1/2 weeks ago my former boss calls me. She said that I had scheduled preschool videos for that day but the videos hadn't arrived. In the same breath, she also told me that the delivery for that day hadn't arrived yet. She then said, "I guess that I can pick out a video just in case the ones that you selected are not in the delivery."


My former boss calls me again today. " I am looking through the binder and I don't see a copy of your selection form for preschool videos for this coming Monday. I do see the fax cover sheet for the April and May preschool video selections. I haven't found a copy of the selection sheets. Should I call the AV Dept. and ask if they received your request? Who shoud I call?" I tell her that I don't remember the guy's name, but I wrote it down somewhere in the binder. As a matter of fact, his name is on the fax cover sheet. She ends the conversation by saying that she will definitely call AV. I tell her that she should call the department because I do remember submitting the preschool video request from April-October. Wait, "Why am I telling her anything?" This is a branch manager who has been without a children's librarian before. Surely, she doesn't expect me to complete the request from my current post.

While I am at it, why does she always begin these conversations by asking me if I like my current position and if I am happy. I am 95% better mentally. Physically, I am having some problems. I would never tell her that though. Is she asking this because she thinks that I will return to the branch? I hope that isn't the case. I truly want to give this gig a chance. I definitely don't want to go backwards.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Phony people get on my LAST NERVE!!

Thursday May 4th. When I arrived to work, I chose to charge my cell phone because it showed two bars. I hid the phone and charger, then went upstairs to drop something off. I wasn't gone 10 minutes. After having returned to my desk, I realized that the woman sitting in the cubicle adjacent mine was talking about me to another Librarian. Neither of them are black. They were discusing me charging me cell phone and the fact that they were not even aware that there is an electrical outlet in my cubicle. NOW in order for the charger and cellular telephone to be seen, someone would have to have been inside my cubicle or leaning into it from my neighbors. Either way, they were all up in my space. They went on to discuss what I have done on the floor when dealing with patrons. They ended their conversation by saying that maybe my actions should be a topic for the staff meeting on May 9th.

As they were talking about me, I began e-mailing a co-worker who sits two aisles over and the friend who works upstairs. I explained how two librarians were talking about me while I was sitting at my desk. I guess they didn't realize that I had returned to my desk. The friend who works upstairs sits next to a friend of the main woman talking about me. My friend called and suggested that we take a break outside the building and discuss the incident. My ex called on my cell phone in the middle of all this and wanted to know what was going on. I told him that I couldn't discuss it on the phone, but I would send him an e-mail. During the break, my friend told me to ignore the mess. I checked my e-mail when I returned and my ex wrote, "You already know what I have to say, F*CK THEM H**S!"

I had reference desk duty about 1/2 hour after the incident described above. I had no idea who my common cubicle wall co-worker was speaking to. The librarian scheduled to work the desk with me, immediately goes into this long speech. In her speech, she tells me that I should feel free to ask her any and everything about the material. She tells me that even if she is helping a patron, I should interrupt her and ask away. She says that she knows that the layout of the floor and the materials can sometimes be confusing. This is the most this woman has ever said to me. It also let me know who the other person was talking about me. I thought she may have been feeling a bit of guilt. I was looking at her like she was CRAZY the whole time she was talking.

30 minutes go by without me talking to this woman. She then announces, " I said all of that earlier because you might be able to answer some of my questions and help me out." I didn't even comment, I just looked at her once again like she had lost her mind. Thursdays are my Fridays, so I couldn't wait until the end of the day. Two days away from these petty women.

Sunday morning I arrive at work before the petty women. After sitting at my desk for 30 minutes; common cubicle wall woman pops over to my area, "GOOD MORNING." This is the first day of my third week, this woman has never spoken to me. I said hi, and turned my head. I couldn't get on the computer because for some reason I was unable to logon. I.T. said that my computer wasn't registered with the domain. After waiting for 45 minutes, I was able to log onto the computer and feel like maybe the day wouldn't be so bad. I tried my best to speak to the petty women as little as possible.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A brotha on the come up

Minding my own business at the ref. desk this morning. A homeless man walks up to the desk and ask me if we have any books on viagara. I, like a fool, start searching the catalog. This was all a part of his " pick-up line." He goes on to say that his girl is trying to leave him because he can't get it right. He then asks me if I would leave him if he couldn't get if right. I don't even answer the question.

Once he realized that I was not going to answer the question, he goes in for the kill. He tells me that he doesn't have a problem, but he is trying to get my number. I still don't answer, but I show him that there are some books on viagra in the catalog. I tell him it's no joke, we do have some literature.

He's sticking to his line. He asks me if I am married, I don't answer. He tells me that he doesn't see a ring, and asks me if I have one. I tell him that I do have a ring. He asks why I don't have it on, I tell him that it is at my desk. He asks how long I have been married and I tell him almost three years. He then asks me if I would leave my husband for him. I don't even answer, I just look at him like n**a please!!! He stinks and has on dirty clothes. He sees the way in which I am looking at him. He proclaims that he is not homeless, his coat is dirty, but he is in school (Big Rig Driving.)

He tells me that he will be clocking 10k a month once he finishes school, 8k after taxes. He asks if my man is bringing it in like that , I tell him no. He asks me again if I would leave my man for him because he will be able to pay my rent. I told him that as long as he is paying his rent, that is the only thing he should be worried about.

He has green eyes and I guess he was fantasizing about back in the day when he was able to pull any chick he desired. I am not the one. I am not trying to help anyone else get back where they feel they should be.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

You can never truly leave the children

The library opened at 9:00 a.m. today. I wasn't scheduled to work the reference desk until 10:00 a.m. When I arrived at the desk, I discovered that there were two high school classes visiting our floor today. Luckily for me, we are scheduled to work the reference desk in one hour increments.
When helping someone in a group; once you have helped one person locate what they are looking for, the news spreads like wildfire. I helped one young woman almost as soon as I arrived at the reference desk. For the duration of the hour, I was helping others in her group. She was looking for a biography of Martin Luther King Jr. Another student wanted the Autobiography of Malcolm X. One young man wanted art books, which aren't on our floor and I had a hard time convincing him of this. It didn't matter that he had been walking the floor for 15 minutes before he finally asked where he could find the book he was looking for. The next to the last search question was the kicker for me.

The young woman said that she was embarrassed to ask for my help. She said that she had been looking for the book and wasn't having any luck in locating it. She gave me a sheet of paper with just the call number. I checked the online catalog, to make sure the book was actually on the shelf. The title surprised me, "Lesbian sex scandals." I think that she was more embarrassed by the title than by not being able to find the book. She went on to tell me that she would hit herself if I found the book. I found the book and told her that I was waiting for her to hit herself. She did hit herself. She was accompanied by her girlfriend the whole time. After retrieving the book, they sat down to read it.

The students were supposed to find a book for their research paper during their visit. I learned from other students that they were given a list of choices for their topics. I am sure that lesbian sex was not on the list.

They were running, laughing, talking loudly, yelling, and eating. They were also more concerned with their access to the internet, than they were with finding a book.