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.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Deadbeat Club

My major project of the day was creating new Seefiles.

Seefiles are the files we keep of deadbeat patrons who have kept our books well beyond the customary loan period, refusing to return them despite numerous attempts on our part to get them to do so. The name comes from the note we put in their patron record so that when they attempt to check anything else out we will notice "Seefile 97" and know that we are to SEE the FILE containing all the deadbeat patrons from 1997. We go to the filing cabinet, drag out Seefile 97, find the deadbeat patron's slip with the offending lost books on it and we show it to them. We then get to watch the deadbeat patron's feigned look of shock and horror that we might even think they've had eight of our books out for the past seven years.

Well, let's see... you're Irwin Wazonkowski, we only have one Irwin Wazonkowski in the system, nay, the state... we're betting it's you. Give us our money. What? No money? Okay, get out. That's right, get out. Get your crappy little car out from in front of the building and don't come back without our money.

(That last bit will only happen in the Tales from the "Liberry" movie version, but the point still stands.)

So, let's recap: Seefile people are scum of the earth. They are the lowest of the low. They are old crusty boogers found stuck to the bottom of our computer chairs. And the Fagins are their royal family.

Well, we didn't have any Fagins in today, but we're shoring up our defenses against them for when our new circulation computer system goes live in t-minus a couple of weeks. So my job today was to take our enormous stack of overdues from the past two years, write the barcode numbers of their books on each overdue slip so we can remove them from our records later, then check those books back into our computer and mark the patron records of the deadbeat patrons who still have them as Seefiles, thus preventing them from doing Jaqueline Schidt at the library until they pay up or return their books. It's incredibly tedious and boring work, but I tell you I absolutely love it. It's one of the most satisfying parts of my job. I know deep down that we're probably NEEEVER gonna see these people again. Hell, most of the ones in our Hopeless Causes pile have long since fled the state, or at least the county and will never again darken our door. Doesn't matter. Cause to me, Seefiling deadbeat patrons is my small way of stickin' it to The Man...

...Actually, this doesn't stand up to scrutiny, cause it's really more like The Man stickin' it to the little guy, when you think about it. Doesn't mean the little guy's in the right, but that's more like it...

...Okay, forget about the stickin' it to The Man part. That was just bullshit. Look at it this way...

...Seefiling deadbeat patrons is my small way of fighting injustice in the world. There ya go. That's the analogy I want. I'm the superhero squashing the scum of the earth, wiping out the very toejam of the rotting foot of crime, putting right what once went wrong, beating the ever-living hell out of poop-brained morons with no regard for how a polite society is supposed to work. It is my joy of joys.

Even better... Mrs. C, who knows full well just how much I love Seefiling, intentionally didn't let Mrs. B and Mrs. J do much of it yesterday just so I could have the pleasure of Seefiling deadbeats all day today. It was wonderful! I spent my day giving off evil cackles of glee as I added loser after loser to the pile.

I suspect I'm really not supposed to get quite so much enjoyment out of this, but dammit, I do.

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