Friday, December 31, 2004

And the Password is (Addendum)

I'm still not convinced that Parka doesn't somehow have our new password.

A couple days ago, I put him on the little computer by the stairs cause the other two were full. This always brings me great joy, because he hates the little computer by the stairs, probably due to its high-traffic and high-visibility status. He's also not fond of the third computer down, cause it doesn't have a nice scroll-wheel mouse like the others.

A while later, another patron came in for a computer and I went back to tell the lady on the middle computer, next to Parka, that her time was up. I returned to the circ-desk to wait for her to finish so I could log off her computer and log it back on for the new user.

BEEEEEEP, I heard from the back.

Ah ha! And so it begins anew, I thought. That beeping was no doubt Parka rebooting his computer so he could either stage a coup and take the more comfy middle computer with the scrolly mouse or so he could come complain to me that he'd locked his machine up, had to reboot and needed me to log him in again, affording him yet another opportunity to try and get a look at our password. Well I wasn't going to put up with it. I resolved that if he came up to ask me to log him on again I was going to... I don't know... tell him he had to wait in the children's room while I did it so that he wouldn't be tempted to try and nab our password. Sure, this was dumb and would be tipping my hand that I knew what he was up to, but if I had the evidence from his previous visits I felt I needed to use it to show his smarmy ass up.

Parka didn't come up to ask, though, and I was unable to go back and see what he was doing due to an unfortunately timed ringing phone at the desk. While I was on the phone, the lady from the middle computer departed, so as soon as I was able to hang up I went back. Parka was still at the little computer by the stairs. His computer was already logged in, though curiously he only had the desktop up and seemed to be in the process of clicking on Internet Explorer.

Ah hah, Ah HAH, I thought. He'd had exactly enough time to reboot and illicitly re-login his own computer while I was away! I'd caught him at last!

Then I noticed the middle computer. I had expected to find it still logged on from the previous user and in need of a re-login itself. However, this had already been done and it was now sitting there in default rest mode, awaiting a CTRL ALT DEL to bring up the login panel. My evidence was shot, cause I knew that it was quite possible that the BEEEEEEP I'd heard was the middle computer restarting at the command of the previous user as she left. Even if Parka was acting suspicious, I had no accusatory legs to stand on. Dammit.

I logged the middle computer on for the new patron, making a big production of sliding the chair out of the way so I could wedge my holiday-spawned bulk in to block Parka's line of sight. He made no move to run up the stairs and look, which would have given me an excuse to kick him out. Dammit.

"I think we still need to watch PARKA," I told Mrs. C yesterday as a precursor to telling her the above incident.

"Ohhhh, I didn't tell you, did I?" she said. "I had to yell at him this morning."

Mrs. C said that Parka had come in earlier and signed in for a computer. Mrs. C went back to log him on and saw that the middle and third computers were still logged in from the previous patrons. She went to the middle computer and did a log-off and was about to proceed to the third computer to do the same when Parka came back to the hall. She was just flipping down the laminated orange "Get Thee To the Sign Up Sheet Or Denied A Computer Thou Will Be'est" sign that's taped to the top of the monitor when Parka spoke up.

"I want to use the middle computer," he reportedly said, no doubt in full Officer Barbrady monotone. Mrs. C noted this and continued on to log-off the third computer down, but she had already flipped the orange sign down over the screen before moving to log off the third computer. Parka was enraged.

"Hey, I said I want the middle one!"

Mrs. C said she turned on him, eyes blazing, and shouted back, "I heard you the first time! I have to log them off and wait for them to come back up before I can give one to you!"

Parka notched his anger down at this, but still said, "Well, you flipped the sign down."

"Yes. Yes, I did."

Now Mrs. C is on the Parka war-path. Later in the morning, he managed to lock his computer up again and then shut it down completely rather than simply rebooting. When Mrs. J came to log him back on she had to stand there for the minute it takes for it to completely boot up, Parka looming over her the whole while. Mrs. C wants to tell him that if he does that again he'll be banned from the computers. She has to wait for Mrs. A to come back from vacation to get the authorization for this, though. I somehow don't see Mrs. A having a problem with it.

He may also still have our new password, as a simple log-off of a computer, as might have happened with the middle machine, does NOT cause a BEEEEEEEP. Only if the previous patron had told it to RESTART would it have done so. Could be either way at this point, but I'm going to have my eye on Parka to make sure.

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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.