Thursday, September 28, 2006

Educating Librarians

My fellow cocoa librarian stopped me yesterday and informed me of the conversation he had with a few of the vanilla librarians earlier. He was asked by one if there was a Negro National Anthem and if so, what is it? As he was explaining to one, another jumps in and admits that he had never heard of the song(folks are nosey up in here and they will butt in on your conversations from 1-3 aisles over.

He was disturbed by that lack of knowledge that our fellow librarians exhibited. I told him that maybe it depends on where and how you are raised. He insisted that a person's upbringing had nothing to do with what they should know in aduthood.

Final Result: He will be conducting a mini-cultural awareness training during the next staff meeting. The sole focus will be what the Negro National Anthem is and it's history.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sending messages through people............

Like we're in high school. Most of the security guards in this building are black. For a while now, I've figured out that one of them has a crush on me ( everytime I think of this, that Jets song plays in my mind.)

Yesterday the other black librarian on this floor(male,) announces, "Oh yeah, C said to tell you hello last week." My reaction was on pause. This is a grown azz man sending messages through someone else.

Co-worker, "You know he likes you."

Me: " Yeah, but did you tell him that it won't work?"

Co-worker: "That ain't my problem. Yaw need to work that out."

My co-worker and I have discussed this situation before. C is married with a child and rocks a gold band on that left finger so there is no mistake about his situation. He has not come out and said that he likes me, but he takes every opportunity to make small talk whenever he sees me.
(Read: makes a beeline to wherever I am or whatever direction I am walking)

I noticed him five months ago when I started this gig, but I also peeped the ring. My response to him has always been pleasant, but I also keep it moving. In no way shape or form am I trying to give this man the impression that his situation is okay with me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I done pissed off somebody..........But I could care less!!!!!

Today is when I finally realized that I had pissed this woman off. She usually speaks to me whenever she sees me, be it walking past my cubicle, or in the staff elevator. NOT TODAY!!!!

There are only three black females who work in this department. One is a Technical Assistant (assistant to the clerk), one is a page( shelver/assistant to the assistant clerk,) and myself, a librarian.

Yesterday the Technical Assistant brought some damaged books to my desk. It is my job to determine if the books will be repaired or replaced. That's fine, because the books were a part of the collection for which I am responsible. Here is where things got funky.

She returned with a cart that held three stacks of those books. She asked me where she should place them, I told her and she left. Since I hate clutter, I began to sort the books once she left. The books were not a part of my ordering area. I didn't tell her this. I went to my boss to ask whether or not he had added another section to my responsibilities and failed to let me know(We had discussed this possibility last week.)

He asked me why I wanted to know and I explained what happened. He told me that he hadn't made any changes and he would talk to the TA. I told him it wasn't a problem and I would place the books on the correct librarian's desk. He told me, "It doesn't matter, I have to talk to her anyway because she does this all of the time. I just told her whose desk she should place those books." This occured early afternoon.

When I saw her later that afternoon, she didn't speak or look my way. I didn't think anything of it at the time because I am not fond of speaking to most of these folks anyway.

When it happened again today, I had to stop and think what could have happened. It dawned on me that "ol girl" is saltly because I caused her to be called on her lazy actions. She don't know me! She is one less person that I have to waste my breath on!!!!!

I did have to laugh to myself when I figured out what her problem is.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Passover dates for the next five years

Last five minutes of my last hour at the reference desk.

Patron: " I would like a computer printout of the Passover dates for the next five years."

Me: "Didn't I give you a printout of national holidays for the next five years a few months ago?"

Patron: "Yes."

Me: "And...................What happened?"

Patron: Oh, I threw those papers away because I just read stuff and throw it away.

Me: "Well, that is not my fault! You should remember the dates since you had them before."

Patron: " I don't keep or remember stuff, just look it up! It's in a book back there."

So I give the patron a book of American Holidays and Festivals. By this time another librarian was on the desk and he proceeds to complain to her about the book I gave him.

I did look in one more book, but then I decided to leave the search and him alone. My time on the desk was over and I wasn't waisting my desk time on a search that I had done a few months back for the same person.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

This was my day for drunks

Why I gotta get the questions from the drunks that smell like they had the liquor drip in through an I.V.?

The last one kept tellling me he couldn't find the books because his eyes are so bad. Let's try, you are too drunk to read the small print. After I located the book for him, he tells me, "You are so pretty."

My response, "Un huh, thank you." Yet he didn't go away, he wanted more.

*****The kicker: He only wanted books by Sandra Browne! *******

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You can run, but you can't hide

Yesterday evening, as I looked up from the computer terminal, I see a man waving to me as if we are long lost friends. Not! This is the same man who tried to make my days miserable at the old location.

Example #1: He would call whenever my boss was on vacation and ask for "The most senior

My response was always, " You know BB is on vacation, so how may I help you?"

His response, " Well, that makes you the most senior librarian on duty!"

Me: "Well, is there something that I can help you with today?" While thinking:
"Did you call here to just mess with me or do you really have a reference

He would proceed to ask me to search the online catalog for a book. Whenever I
would return to the telephone, he would proceed to tell me the call number, the
location of the book, and whether or not it can be checked out.

At this point, I would be heated but I didn't let him hear it in my voice. I always
felt as if this fool sat at home and thought of different ways in which he could
annoy the library staff.

We went through this same routine if he came into the library.

So yesterday as I realized who it was waving at me, I gave him a look that said,"You must be
crazy. You know we ain't friends, never have been and never will be!"

Monday, September 11, 2006

Racism 101

Sunday September 9th. 4-5 pm hour. It was my turn on the reference desk. The floor manager was working yesterday. He was helping a patron and there was another patron in line waiting to be helped.

I asked the elderly anglo man if he needed help and he told me that he would wait for the manager. I thought that they might be friends, so I just let it go and went about my business.

When the manager finished up the reference interview with the female patron, the man approached him. The manager asked the man if he would kindly refer his question to me because his time at the desk had ended. The elderly man said, "No, I will simply return when you are at the desk again. When will you be at the desk again?" The manager told him that he would not be on the desk again until today. The elderly man then asked, "Will anyone be replacing you?" The manager said, "Yes, a female librarian." The elderly man then asked if he could just direct him to the World War II history section. The manager did, and the elderly man moved in that direction.

The manager turned to me and asked, "Should I have let him know that the librarian relieving me is a white female?"

I answered him by telling him that I had asked the man if I could help him and he turned me down.

The elderly man returned later and asked the other librarian for help. She wasn't able to find what he was looking for and I didn't offer any help whatsoever. I had an idea of what might help him, but he wanted help from someone who looks like him, so I left the situation alone.

The whole time he was at the reference desk, I thought: I hope he finds himself in a situation where the only person who can help him happens to be of African descent.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thursdays scenes from the library

1-2 o'clock hour. 10 minutes into the hour "CALL SECURITY!!!!!!............CALL SECURITY

There are two 15 minute express internet computers on this floor. You don't need your library card to access them. Grown men were arguing over the use of said computers.

Security finally arrived and the area was clear.

Another 15 minutes pass and we hear "HEY!"............."NO, CALL SECURITY!" It was a different set of adult men. They finally settled their issues without the help of security.

5-6 o'clock hour. Ladies don't ever complain about cellulite. My eyes were assaulted!!!!!

Anglo--- about 6'2" Headband (think Oliva Newton John in the "Let's Get Physical" video)
Similar hair also.
Grey gym shorts revealing cellulite thighs, calves, and legs.
Blue tank top revealing cellulite filled upper arms.
He circled the floor twice before approaching me.

Patron: "What is that room in the corner with the beautiful metal doors?"

Me: "That's the Gay/Lesbian Center"


Me: "Ummmm......I guess."


Me: "Oh, okaaaay!"

The patron made a big show out of making a semi-circle around the floor. Once again he approached me.

Patron: " Where's the closest pay telephone?"

Me: "Near the men's restroon."

He returns 15 minutes later.........................................

Patron: "The same man has been on the telephone the entire time that I waited. When I asked
him when he thought he would be done, he told me when he was good and ready." If I
worked here, I would call security because he should not be allowed to hog the

Me: "There are pay telephones on each floor, you can always go to another floor and use the


Patron: " I don't want to go to another floor. I want someone to make him get off the
telephone. He just keeps dialing 1-888 numbers. If I go to another floor, someone
may be hogging the telephone on that floor."

Me: "There is a bank of telephones on the first floor and in the basement"

Patron: " I am not going to another floor. That is why I don't like coming here. The books are
never where you can find them and there are always a lot of strange people in here.
This is the third time I have been here since this building opened." (This building has
been open since April 1996.)

Me: " Would you like a map of the building? It is a diagram of each floor and where the books
are located."

Patron: "No, I think I will just go back to my hotel room!"

It has taken me a few days to figure out the best way in which to share this experience.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It must be magic in the number 6!

Today, I heard two of my co-workers discussing the things they have seen while in the staff break room on the 6th floor.

a) An elderly anglo couple having sex.

b) A young couple near the point of......

I commented on Miss Ahmad's blog not two weeks ago that the 6th floor men's restroom was the spot at Georgia State Library. Well, they are not in the confides of a restroom here because there aren't any public restrooms on the 6th floor. Each couple has been in clear view of the staff break room and terrace.

At least when I worked down the street at the Department of Human Services Bldg., they saved it for the alley behind the building. They would be in clear view of all staff who had access to the windows facing the alley.