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.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Combat Pay (PART I)

Five O'Clock was nearly upon us, on my first day back at work, which meant the rest of the staff would soon flee the building, leaving me by my lonesome. That being the case, I went up to the staff bathroom to have myself a whiz before returning to the circ desk for my remaining two hour stretch. Upon entering the main room, I was greeted with the horrifying sight of Barbara Turdmurkle, bees of insanity buzzing frantically about her head, signing up for a computer.

Aw shit, I nearly said aloud. Mrs. B gave me a very sympathetic look as she walked past me to go log on a system for Barbie T.

This was not good. Not good at all.

Granted, a visit from Barbara Turdmurkle is never good, but it's especially bad when computers are involved. In addition to being BUGF**K CRAZY, Barbara Turdmurkle is also computer illiterate to an astounding degree. Yet she keeps purchasing services which require computer access to use.

After ten minutes trapped in the computer hall, putting her well past five o'clock, Mrs. B returned to the front room.

"Did you get her taken care of?" Mrs. C asked.

"I don't think so, but I'm going home," Mrs. B said. Then she added in my direction, "Sorry."

"Traitor!"

She quickly left, along with the rest of the gleeful traitors.

For the next twenty minutes I studiously avoided any library duty that might cause me to come in proximity to the computer hall. This was difficult, because people kept coming in to sign up for computers, causing me to have to actually enter the comuter hall to log them onto systems. Fortunately, the first one was at a system not in Barbie T's direct line of sight, so I was able to stealthily creep up, log it on and then creep away, much liken unto a ninja. I did notice what she was doing with her computer, though: she was trying to log in to her credit protection agency's site. No, no, no, no, no, no, not good. I instantly knew how this little drama was going to play out.

A few minutes later, one of the other computer users signed out and said, "That woman back there is having a lot of trouble on the computer. She kept asking me for help, but I didn't know how to help her."

I thanked the patron for the information, watched her leave and then stayed put at the desk.

Was this a demonstration of a library employee being actively and perhaps stubbornly non-service-oriented? Hells yes, and I make no apologies for it. I want NOTHING. TO. DO. with Barbara Turdmurkle if I can at all help it. Beyond being an exasperating and quite insane human being, Barbie T has a long history of claiming to have been groped, verbally abused or otherwise assaulted by men who have innocently assisted her in the past, regardless of witness testimony that such incidents did not occur.

An example: My boss Mrs. A told me that a few years back a neighboring library allowed a local man to conduct a computer class in their facility on a Saturday afternoon after closing time. One such Saturday, Barbie T came up and began banging on the door, clearly after the posted hours, and continued to bang on the door until the guy had to stop class to see what she wanted. Barbie T insisted that she HAD to make photocopies, that it was a dire photocopy emergency and she simply HAD to make them there despite his protestations that they were closed and he wasn't authorized to let nonclassmembers in the building. The man finally relented and let her in anyway. Being completely helpless with all forms of technology, Barbie T also required assistance in making her photocopies which, according to the legend, were numerous and complicated. The man had to stop his class to assist her, eventually got her to leave and then she went out into the community and told everyone she met that he'd felt her up and cursed at her when she declined his advances. Nevermind that the entire incident was witnessed by the members of his class who all said no such thing occurred. Unfortunately for many people, that was not the only time such allegations have been spread against innocents by Barbara Turdmurkle. I wish very much to avoid being her next victim.

Another example: Barbie T has a longstanding animosity with the neighbor in the apartment next to hers. I know this, as do a surprising number of people in our county, because Barbie T will tell anyone who strays near her about about how evil her neighbor is, how her neighbor has sex with her boyfriend against the adjoining wall just to annoy Barbie T, and how Barbie is convinced that the evil neighbor is trying to steal her identity. (And after seeing a glimpse of the kind of financial chaos that apparently exists in Barbie's life, I have to ask: Who would want it?) Rumor now has it that the reason we haven't seen Barbara Turdmurkle in just under a year is that she's had to spend some time away for psychiatric evaluation after leaving death threats on her neighbor's answering machine.

She is, as the medical establishment terms it, a Fruit Loop.

(TO BE CONTINUED...)

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