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.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Solo Monday Hell?

Well, my much dreaded Monday solo-shift was no problem at all. In fact, if I didn't know it was Monday, I would have sworn it was a Sunday shift.

There was none of the usual Monday rush whatsoever. The computers did steady business, but I only had to bust off patrons twice and then it leveled out.

We didn't even have a call from Mr. Kreskin--an almost unprecedented occurrence considering that both Mrs. A and Mrs. C were gone. In fact, we didn't even have any calls specifically for Mrs. A or Mrs. C. I was dumbfounded.

Of course, Parka rolled in around 2. I told him I'd have a computer for him as soon as I could ask a patron to get off. He went back to wait in the next room. At that point, I noticed a woman standing in the front room who was giving me the stink eye. It occurred to me that she'd been standing there for quite a while.

"Um, can I help you?" I asked.

"Computer," she whispered. She seemed to have lost her voice.

"Ohhh... And you signed in already?" She nodded. "I'm sorry. I didn't know." I realized then that she'd signed in when I was out of the room about ten minutes before and I never realized what she was there for. And even though I'd already told Parka he could have one first, I didn't mind bumping him for the lady. Oddly, Parka didn't seem to care either, when I told him.

Once he got a computer, Parka stayed all the way to close. Correction: He actually departed at 10 til close, which was a good 5 minutes later than he should have. I had gone back at 4:35 to tell all the computer users that I was shutting the computers down at 4:45. I was hoping Parka would complain, but he didn't. Instead, he verbally acknowledged that he understood and thanked me for telling him.

The other computer users departed before the deadline, but I had to go back and remind Parka at 4:45 that it was time to get off. He didn't, but unfortunately I had a minor closing time rush to deal with up front, so I wasn't able to go back and tell him off. I so wanted to go back and say, "Look, I told you it was time to get off five minutes ago and I'm not playing around. Do you really want me to tell MRS. A that I'm having problems with you? Because she's already told me that she told you that if she gets one more complaint about you from her staff you'll be banned from the computers. Seems to me with as many computer access points as you've been banned from recently, you'd be a little more concerned about not pissing off the only one that will let you in."

Before I could get free from the desk to go do this, he finally relinquished his system and left at 10 til. He even shut it down for me. Bastard.


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