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.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Parka Life

I had hoped I was wrong, but I guess my patented pervie-sense tingled one too many times...

It has been confirmed: the Parka is indeed a sick bastard.

I'd only suspected until yesterday, due to accidental and then stolen glances at his computer screen while he was in using the computers. I had hoped he was just using an online dating service and that the blonde faces I'd seen in thumbnails on his screen were just unusually good-looking women seeking 45-year-old, big puffy white parka-clad strangers with receding hairlines to come into their lives. Well, it turns out I was right about that part, only the women are working for a dating service that specializes in very YOUNG looking women who like to lounge on satin-covered beds, cuddling teddy-bears and looking for all the world like they were 14 years old.

I have Mrs. A to thank for this revelation. She saw his screen and got a pretty solid look at what he had there before she was able to avert her eyes. At least she knows about it in advance.

Parka is fairly creepy beyond his choice of surfing material, though. Unlike Chester the (potential) Molester, who's just obviously sick in the head on so many levels, but at least has the decency to appear stereotypically mentally unbalanced, Parka looks fairly normal. (Well, beyond the proclivity for wearing big puffy white parkas.) But that's what makes him all the creepier because he's more of a concealed, calculating, Gary Oldman kind of creepy. I'm pretty sure he knows that I don't like him, too, but I don't think he really cares.

Beyond just being creepy, he's also irritating. When he walks in the library, he's barely through the door before loudly saying "I need to use a computer!" It's as though he thinks announcing that fifteen feet from the sign-in sheet will somehow get him online faster. And today after I signed him in something went wrong with the computer I put him on and it wouldn't bring up the library commission's home page to his liking so he marched to within shouting distance and bellowed, "Your computer isn't coming up to the home page!" I slowly glanced up at him from the desk and then just as slowly blinked, hoping to convey the message "And so you just decide to shout at me from across two rooms?" Then, still remaining silent, I walked from behind the desk and calmly back to the computers where I logged him on a different one and shut down the old one.

Yesterday I finally got to kick him off one of the computers after his time ran out. It was great.

"Excuse me, sir," I said, "Someone else just came in for a computer."

Parka gave me a blank look at that point. "So, what? I have to get off, then?"

"Yes," I told him with a smile.

I know I'm being borderline rude to the man, but he's not helping matters. In fact, today he stayed on until after we had closed. At 10 minutes til close, I let him know we were about to close in 10 minutes. Then, at 1 minute til, I walked back to begin the shut down process for the other computers around him.

"I'm about to get off," he said.

I had to bite my cheek to keep from saying, God, I hope not! Keep it in your pants!

Then, at 7 p.m. exactly, I went back and turned off the other computers. He was still typing away. I told him we were now officially closed. He kept typing. I marched back up front and started my stopwatch. At one minute thirty seconds I marched back to the computer hall and stood there until he stopped typing and logged off. I sure hope to hell we don't have another Dufus on our hands. That's all I need is the unholy love-child of the Dufus and Chester walking the halls.

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