Mrs. A and Mrs. C, our wondrous librarians, left today for a meeting out of town. It's rare for both Mrs. A and Mrs. C to be gone at the same time. Probably only happens five times a year. However, on each and every occasion when it occurs the phone begins to ring and it does not stop.
Who's calling? People.... People who are DESPERATE to talk to either Mrs. A or Mrs. C. And Sweet Merciful Rob Van Winkle,
it's like the callers think the world is ending and the only thing that
can halt the impending tide of carnage is the answer that Mrs. A and
Mrs. C have locked away in their brains that these callers have to have right now.
more irritating is that half the time the callers know good and damn
well that Mrs. A and Mrs. C are away at a meeting. I know this because
more than one of them said, "Aw crap! They're at that meeting, aren't they?" To which I long to respond Yes! They're at THAT meeting! If you knew that already, why are you calling my ass?
the callers don't already know exactly where Mrs. A and Mrs. C are then
they WANT to know--nay, HAVE TO KNOW--exactly where Mrs. A and Mrs. C
are so they can get on the horn and try to track them down. Nary a soul
in the WV Library network is willing to wait patiently. With
long-distance communication in this country striving to be more
instantaneous every day, people just can't be bothered with patience. I
personally blame Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas and her enticing T-Moble ads.
do you think for one instant that Mrs. A and Mrs. C left any kind of
contact information as to where they were going or when they would get
back? Uh, that would be "no", Pat. They left us Jaques Shite.
Understandable, really, since they don't want to be contacted by any of
these people in the first place. So the whole day was just a never
ending stream of calls that Mrs. B and I had to field.
hey. I'm a liberrian registering for WV Liberry Association conference
and I wanted to know if I could FAX it in? It's due in two seconds, y'
ME: Well, I don't know. Probably so, but I
don't have the definitive answer and there's no one here today that can
answer definitively. I do have a FAX machine that's spitting out
registration forms as we speak, so the forecast is good. If you FAX it
and you're not supposed to at least you won't be alone.
only person who didn't call that we fully expected to call was the
president of our board of directors, Mr. Kreskin. He always, ALWAYS calls when our librarians are both away. In fact, I've never known him to call at all unless
they are both away. It's like he innately knows that they're not in and
that none of the rest of us can answer his questions so he calls anyway
just so he can get mad about it. The fact that Mrs. A has already told
him at least once that they're going to be out of town on X day makes no
difference. He calls and gets upset anyway then verbally kicks himself
to me over the phone for forgetting that they'd already told him they
were not going to be there. However, his anger instantly reignites if he
asks where Mrs. A and Mrs. C went (information that he has already been
hand fed by Mrs. A) and we don't have an answer for him. He doesn't
get mad at us, mind you. We're just innocent victims in the
information withholding wars, you see. But when Mrs. A gets back and he
actually gets through to her, he gets royally torqued.
is also the same man who swears he keeps getting an answering machine
when he calls the library before 9 a.m. Mind you, we don't open until 9
a.m., but our librarians are usually in by 8 a.m. and turn the answering
machine off when they get there just so he can get through. So if he's
getting the machine as he claims, he's calling before 8.
I don't mean to make fun of him, for the man is very nice. We were just shocked that he didn't call today. Maybe he's sick.
other "liberry" news, I finally figured out why one of our mentally
handicapped patrons insists on unleashing blood-curdling screams on a
regular basis. It's been a big mystery for several months now. The
Screamer, you see, is a client of the local Unobstructed Doors office
that assists the mentally handicapped in the area. She's usually among a
group of clients that they bring to the library at least once a week.
They're all very sweet people, but during nearly every visit the
Screamer gets something stuck in her craw and just opens up with an
unsettlingly accurate impression of someone being stabbed to death. You
can hear it throughout the entire building and it just makes your spine
seize up with sympathetic pain for the poor murder victim you think
you're hearing. Any other patrons standing around suddenly begin looking
in the direction of the staff as though we're just inhuman monsters for
not immediately running up the stairs to defend the poor girl. We sigh,
roll our eyes and trudge up the stairs a bit quicker than usual to see
if we can do anything to help quiet things down, which we can't.
I at least got a clue as to why it happens. In the past, when the
Screamer's started up, the Unobstructed Doors staff immediately gathers
their clients and everyone leaves the building. I've assumed that they
do this because they know the Screamer's just caused a massive
disturbance and so they leave out of apology.
Turns out the whole reason the Screamer is upset is that the
Unobstructed Doors aides are trying to make her leave in the first
place. She evidently doesn't want to leave and when it's time to go so
she drops to the floor and starts a-death-wailin'.
I was on the phone today when the Screamer started and by the time I
could ditch the caller and get upstairs the screaming was mostly over.
The other clients didn't seem put out that one of their own was calling
down the vocal thunder. One of them asked me if I would tie her shoe,
which I did. She then said I was her buddy, which I'm proud to be.
fellow, a short man named Calvin, came up and gave me a hug. I like
Calvin. In addition to being generally sweet-natured and given to hugs,
Calvin's also distinguished for his cursing. When he and his aid were
coming into the library one day, Calvin tripped slightly on the front
"Oh, shit," Calvin said.
"Calvin!" his aid snapped.
"Oh, my," Calvin corrected.
finally, I had yet another pleasant encounter with Mrs. Carol Satan.
Today was the day the Danielle Steel book she has on hold was due to be
pulled and given to the next person on the list. Just as I suspected,
the book was still in the hold shelf when I got there this morning. I
even pointed it out to Mrs. B so she could be sure to pass it along to
the next patron should Carol not show up. Around 3 this afternoon, Mrs.
Carol Satan called. She very politely, even humbly, asked if we would
please hold it for her for one more day as she couldn't get out due to
weather and a massive pile of gravel blocking her driveway. I sighed and
relented. After all, she was being polite and that should always be