Saturday, April 24, 2004

Freaky Friday

  • Our National "Liberry" Week open house went okay today. Mrs. A made her pecan pie squares, which are an old favorite of mine from back in my pre-Atkins days. I had a sneaking suspicion, though, that the celery I brought with lunch probably tasted better than the pecan pie bars, so I did a taste test between the two just to make sure. I really couldn't decide from just one of each, so I had a couple more pecan pie squares and a couple more sticks of celery to better make the determination. Eventually, I ran out of celery, but I didn't let that stop me. The patrons also seemed to appreciate our having goodies out, some a little more than we might have hoped. Parka, for instance, made at least four trips to the table to gobble up our food.

  • One guy who I think was glad we had food was our very first drifter--or at least the first that I've met. I read other library blogs from library staff in larger cities (I highly recommend the ones in the side bar to the right) and one of the major issues they have to deal with is that of homeless people and drifters some of whom are quite troublesome. We don't get a lot of that in our little Tri-Metro area. Our drifter today was a drifter by the definition of the word; a guy who was passing through town on foot, hitchhiking and walking his way from Pennsylvania to Florida. He had the big pack with sleeping bag, supplies, etc. and an American flag on a stick that was protruding proudly from a pocket of it. Probably helps him get lifts. He seemed about five years my junior and struck me as a pretty smart and world-saavy young man who was just trying to get from one place to another as cheaply as possible and wasn't afraid to hoof it. I imagine he appreciated the grub and I didn't begrudge him eating it at all. I chatted with him a bit and learned of his destination. He asked what the best way was to get to I-77 and I pulled out our Atlas and showed him a couple of routes. "Is it hilly?" he asked. I just smiled. It's West Virginia; of course, it's hilly. I gave him a map of the local area, as he seemed like he might want to stay in the area for a few days.
  • An older couple, visitors to our town, came in to use the internet. They were doing geneological research and mostly printed several things and then began making photocopies from some of our geneal0gy books. Unfortunately, this meant they had to use our devil copier. We hate this bloody contraption. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It's extraordinarily tempramental and refuses to do its job without jamming, compressing the offending copy into an accordion of paper, about 80 percent of the time. And if anyone other than a staff member tries to do anything with it, it jams twice as fast. We used to think it was just picky about copying anything dark, but we've recently concluded that it's just a big ol' cranky piece of shit no matter what we put in it. We pay a local company to service the copier and we used to call them on a regular basis to come bludgeon it into working order. However, whenever the repair guy comes in, the copier is suddenly on its best behavior and nothing we do will cause it to jam. So the repair guy thinks we're a bunch of loons. Unfortunately, it's not a rented copier, so we're stuck with it.

    So the couple camped out at the copier with a stack of books. Every minute or two one of us would have to go over and unjam the copier for the couple.

    While this was going on, Wal-Mart Jesus came in and went to the reference hall. After 20 minutes or so, he came into the main room with a stack of books of his own, which he was planning to have us copy pages for him. After standing in line to get to it for a few minutes, though, he abandoned his plan, gathered up his bag and cudgel and left.
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    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.