An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Dearth and Taxes

It's not even April yet, but tax season has begun at the "liberry". Soon as the new year hits, our tax forms go out and we gotta find space for them.

For the past two years, the tax forms have had a home atop one of our three-foot high floor shelves positioned directly in front of the front door of the library. We did this on the theory that when tax-form-seeking people walk through the door, they should be able to immediately note the tax forms and go right to them without having to bother anyone (i.e. me) with asking where they are. Barring that, they should notice the giant yellow sign we have always placed there directing their attention to the tax forms.

For the past two years, this theory has never... EVER... worked.

No patron has ever managed to notice the sign nor the forms despite their incredibly obvious position. Instead, they walk in the door, practically walking into the forms themselves in the process, then completely overlook them in favor of marching up to the desk where they ask the question we grow to dread and which becomes grounds for an ass whuppin' come April 13, "Do you got tax forms here?" This is when we raise a hand and point over their shoulder at the tax forms directly behind them in front of the door. The patrons then blush and look deservedly embarrassed at their entire lack of observation skills, collect their forms and depart.

This situation leads to many fun patron impersonations that we in the library staff engage in when patron's aren't around to hear us. They go something like this...

"Uhhh, hey! I'm pawin' through all yer tax forms, here, which took me half an hour to find cause I somehow didn't manage to trip over them when walkin' in the front door, even though they're right there in front of ya, with a big ol' arrow pointed at them and a yella billboard for a sign, an' I jest don't see the State of Georgia 1028-C form for color-blind arc-welders who's mothers didn't love them. You got one of them? I want the short form, now, y'hear!"

Fun.

This year, we've moved the forms. Instead of putting them directly in front of the door with big signs, which has never ever worked, we moved the forms across the room, atop a completely different floor shelf, with plenty of stuff blocking any direct line of sight of them from the door, including a support beam, and we have no signs whatsoever.

Where do you think people now habitually look for tax forms when they walk in the door? That's right, atop the floor shelf directly in front of the door where they are quite obviously NOT AT and where we have been practically begging people to look for them for the past umpteen years!!!!

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