Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Parka Adendum (yet another unpublished Robert Ludlum novel)

Now that Parka seems to be back in full force, I guess I can finally share the following tale without the risk of jinxing his departure.

Miss E, our weekend warrior "liberry" ass., recently told me that she had to bitch Parka out for being an annoying patron a couple of weeks ago.

It was a Saturday afternoon and the library was uncharacteristically eat up with patrons. When not checking out books to them, Miss E was in the midst of wrestling with the Devil Copier for a guy who kept insisting on trying to copy the same dark single page despite the fact that the copier was jamming with EVERY SINGLE ATTEMPT. Right on time, through the door walks Parka.

"MAY I PLEASE SIGN UP TO USE A COMPUTER?" he robot-droned, still 15 feet away from the sign-in sheet.

Miss E told him it would be a while because the computers were all full and there was a lady upstairs who was already waiting ahead of him. So Parka paced the floor while Miss E continued to pull accordions of paper out of the copier's guts.

One of the internet users left shortly after that. Much to Parka's dismay, though, Miss E continued to wrestle with the copier rather than immediately hunting down the lady with dibs on the open computer.

"Um, don't you think you should go find the other lady?" he asked impatiently.

"I will when I get a minute," Miss E said, unjamming the copier for the umpteenth time.

"I'll go look for her," Parka said. He went upstairs to search. Never mind the fact that he had NO IDEA who had signed up nor what she even looked like; he only knew she was a woman and was allegedly upstairs. He returned mere seconds later to claim, "I don't see her anywhere upstairs. I don't think she's here anymore. Can I please sign up for..."


Wisely, Parka backed down. Miss E is not someone to be trifled with and, as her ex-boyfriend can attest, you DO NOT want to have her as an enemy.

This may seem like unprofessional and non-service-oriented behavior for a library assistant. However, I assure you that had "Liberry" Director Mrs. A herself been present Parka's stupid ass would have been verbally handed to him a long time before that.

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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.