SETTING: My "liberry". A male patron enters, walks past the large and obvious display of tax forms atop one of our floor shelves that is located directly in front of the front door. In addition to the stacks of tax booklets and the large gray metal obscure-form display, this patron has also failed to see the two rows of tax forms in the brightly colored plastic magazine-storage-style bins. As in accordance with tradition, he approaches the circ-desk.
PATRON: Hey, do you got any tax forms here?
ME: Yes, sir. They're right behind you.
PATRON: (Turns and notices the aforementioned large and obvious display of tax forms, though not on his first try.) Uh, thanks.
(The patron leafs through a few forms and booklets, picking out what he needs from the Federal side of the shelf.)
PATRON: Uh, you got any state forms?
ME: Yes. They're on the other side of the shelf there, in the plastic bins.
(Patron walks to other side of the floor shelf and then begins looking in random directions.)
ME: In the bins, sir.
PATRON: (Random, random, random)
ME: The bins.
PATRON: (Looks at floor)
ME: No, the plastic bins, sir.
PATRON: (Looks at the J.A. Jances on the mystery shelf directly below the bins)
ME: The yellow, black and white plastic bins, sir.
PATRON: (Looks at ceiling)
ME: The yellow, black and white plastic bins there in front of you, sir. (Y'know, the ones with the little signs on them that read: STATE %$&#ing TAX FORMS.)
PATRON: (Still looking in the wrong direction, practically trying to find them by touch.)
As I'm coming around the desk to go over and place his hand on them myself, he finally spies them. He then looks up and gives me an expression conveying deep offense that the forms are indeed in the yellow, black and white plastic bins exactly where I've been saying they were.
Because the situation above has now played out exactly like that for several of our employees, Mrs. C has consolidated all the state forms into one bright yellow plastic bin, hoping to eliminate confusion by removing the mesmerizing black and white plastic bins. It doesn't help in the slightest.
PATRON: (From the Federal side of the form shelf) Excuse me, do you have any state tax forms?
MRS. C: They're on the other side of that floor shelf in the yellow box.
PATRON: (Goes to other side and begins doing bad Stevie Wonder impersonation.)
MRS. C: In the yellow box.
PATRON: (Switches to bad impersonation of Ron Eldard from TV's "Blind Justice", which was already bad to begin with.)
MRS. C: In the yellow box, there to your right.
PATRON: (Looks left)
MRS. C: In the yellow plastic box.
PATRON: (Got nothin')
MRS. C: Yellow. Yellow box.
PATRON: I don't see any yellow. (They actually said this, I kid you not)
And to think it's barely February.
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, February 08, 2006