Friday, March 23, 2007

"Oh, the Irony!!!" (L is for Lazy Week: Day 5)

In addition to working at the "liberry" part time, our perpetual Newbie Greenhorn, Ms. S, also works in the fast food industry. Often she comes directly from a shift at her fast food job for a shift at the "liberry." You might think this would cause us problems of having to smell that fast-foody smell that tends to sink into your pores and follow you around (believe me, I've worked in enough pizza joints to know), but, both fortunately and oddly, she doesn't smell that way at all.

The rest of our staff have often speculated on the many ways she probably handles her fast food job, imaginging much the same behavior as we witness in her "liberry" job. None of us, however, have been brave enough to venture to her particular restaurant since we learned of her employment there.

Last week, while Mrs. B and I were engaged in some book processing, Ms. S arrived for her shift. She soon announced that she had been very annoyed at her fast food job. Mrs. B inquired as to why.

"There's this new girl there and I had to train her," Ms. S said. "I was showing her how to take orders and I took a few orders and was showing her how and then I told her to try a few on her own. Well, she kept stopping to ask me questions and ask the manager questions. It was just one question after another until I wanted to scream!"

Mrs. B and I became very silent at this point. I kept my eyes locked onto the circ-desk computer screen. I knew that if Mrs. B and I were to make eye contact at that point, we would both completely lose our shit due to having just been subjected to the most ironic statements we're likely to hear all year.

Yes, Ms. S—an employee who after 9 months on the job still has to be told and retold some of the more basic functions of her job—was complaining about a brand new employee not having mastered the finer points of taking a fast food order.

Yes, Ms. S—a person who thinks up the most inane and obvious questions, holding them like a pool of mercury in the hermetically-sealed vault of her little pea-brain, saving them until 5p when we are all headed out the door to leave her on her own, then releasing them upon us in a blinding, drowning, takes ten minutes to answer `em all torrent—had just complained about someone else asking too many questions.

Yes, Ms. S—the author of some of the dumbest questions on record, with the most painfully apparent answers, not to mention the same newbie greenhorn who thinks nothing of phoning up Mrs. C at home, repeatedly, over the course of an entire weekend, to ask said moronic questions, ("Uhhhh, hey, whut do I cover books with when I run out of ten inch book wrap?"; "Uhhhh, hey, whut am I supposed to do with the interlibrary loans that won't fit in our already overstuffed mail pouch?"; "Uhh, hey, one of our patron computers isn't working; should I keep putting patrons on it, anyway?")—was complaining about dumb questions being asked by a newbie greenhorn.

During the midst of my fight to keep from belting out cackles of irony-spawned laughter, Mrs. C entered the room and gave my quivering dam of a face a quizzical look. I tried to convey, "I'll tell you later" using only my left eyebrow, but didn't think the message quite communicated through my barely-contained amusement.

"I'm... going to go... take some books... to the basement," I said.

"Oh, take MS. S with you and show her where we keep the bindery books," Mrs. C said.


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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.