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.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Gonna be a Nettin' War

Had us an Internet Crowd Gang War on Thursday. Nearly all the IC Rogues turned up at some point during the day and most had to wait a while.  They were thus very grumpy campers. Oddly, Parka was not among them. I kept trying to keep all the computers tied up by letting patrons log back on (including Nearsighted Dave and his apparent step-son, who's not nearly as nearsighted) just so he'd have to wait when he got there, but he didn't turn up. Almost as bad, though, Mr. Big Stupid lurched through the door with his usual, "Got`ny `puters?" Oh, so sorry. There's a 10 minute wait for you. He looked satisfyingly disappointed.

Two Rogues who did turn up and who were summarily turned away were Jimmy the "Anonymous" Snitch and The Amazing Bladderboy. I had to bite my cheek to keep from saying, "Hey, I thought your ass was in jail."

The computers were all full when they came in. I told Jimmy that it would be a 15 minute wait at the very least. (And by the end of 15 minutes, we would be hovering at 15 til closing time, at which point I could shut the computers down due to all the signs we have posted saying that the computers will be shut down at 15 til, thus sparing Jimmy the use of a computer at all.) My master plan was only partially foiled, though, when Jimmy and Bladders simply left.

Suddenly, at 15 til close, ALL the computer users gave up and fled the library all at once. I quickly dashed back and turned the computers off to prevent future attempts. Not that this stops some of the computer crowd. One of our newer internet addicts turned up exactly at closing one day last week and asked if she could check her e-mail "real quick."

"I'm sorry, but we're closed," I told her.

"Guess that means you turned off the computers, then?" she said hopefully.

"Yes," I said, dashing her hopes. She'd already been in three separate times that day. What more did she really need?

By the end of the day we had 37 computer users. ("Thirty seven?  In a row?") Which is a good 10 more than usual.

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