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, November 19, 2004

Good Omens `04

No worries about material for the coming year.

Outside the door to our tiny little non-sound-proofed under the stairs cubbyhole public restroom is a tall white “privacy” screen extending from the edge of the stairwell wall out to around three feet from it. We keep it there to provide the illusion that the restroom door/sink/water-fountain area is actually separate from the rest of the computer hall/reference room area. This is, of course, not really the case, but we do it anyway because it amuses us.

When I came in yesterday, the screen had been pulled over in front of the restroom door itself, blocking it off. A note on the screen read, “This Restroom Has Been Closed For Cleaning.”

Aw, hell, I thought. This was bad news.

I went back up front, where Mrs. B, was womaning the circulation desk

“Uh… what’s up with the bathroom?” I asked.

“I’m not sure. I think it got messed up by some of the UNOBSTRUCTED DOORS clients and MRS. A closed it off.”

Aw, hell, I thought again. My fears were now fully realized. The mentally handicapped clients of the local Unobstructed Doors group are infamous for voiding the warranties of restrooms throughout the Tri-Metro area. We don’t generally have many problems of this sort ourselves, though we’re absolutely certain that the legendary Serial Shitter is among their number. We have, however, heard horror stories about incidents at Town-C’s library branch, where the former librarian there, Mrs. V, once had to threaten one of the UD aides with a call to their supervisors to get the aide to go back in and clean up the fecal festival one of the clients had had in the restroom there.

Like I said, not a lot of that kind of thing at our branch, but on occasion it does happen. Typically, when it does, the UD aides wait until it is nearly time for them to leave anyway, then send their clients into the restroom for one last "johnny" session before they hit the road. On occasion, the clients use this opportunity to befoul our restroom in most unholy ways. Then the aides gather up their clients and flee the building before the mess can be discovered and anyone can tell them to go clean it up. And on these occasions, I'm almost always the guy to discover it, hours later, after everyone else has left, and am then the guy who has to clean it up. In fact, I'd say that if that restroom gets cleaned at all, it's usually me that does it. And this was precisely my fear yesterday, as I stood quaking at the circulation desk.

If Mrs. A had baracaded the restroom door it was obviously because it had not yet been cleaned. That she was saving it for later at all did not bode well for me. Still, I kept quiet about it and made no offers. I really didn't want to know what was in there.

Eventually, Mrs. A came downstairs. She saw the look on my face and said, "Don't worry. You don't have to do it."

Whew.

Just to help make me feel even better about it, Mrs. A described the carnage that awaited her in great detail. Evidently, the UD aides had not checked out the restroom beforehand and did not note that both the lid and the toilet seat had been left up. The first UD client to go in didn't lower them before having a squat and wound up defecating all over the porcelain rim as he slid around the bowl. The aide failed to check the room after the first client and sent the next one on in to add to the problem. It was a poo party chain-reaction from there.

Mrs. A said she now appreciated the tales I've spun about the horrors I've seen in there. She could scarcely imagine anyone, UD client or no, doing what was done in there by accident.

"Oh, I've seen things in that room that could not have been done without forethought," I assured her. I would certainly not count out the Artiste Factor in any of this.

No comments: