Friday, August 31, 2007

David Cronenberg films I'd prefer patrons didn't see

The tech boys were in recently to install some new patron computers. In the process of making updates, though, they managed to ditch the passwords from all but one of the remaining old computers, so now patrons can log themselves on willy nilly, and do. (For some reason, the techies don't seem to care if patrons have immediate unregistered access to the computers, but they won't give us the admin passwords to make any changes to the systems we see fit.)

Now the only computer that still has a password is a recycled computer we had lying around. Trouble is, we've used a couple of different logins during its lifetime and damn if any of us can remember it on the first try. This is why former Newbie Greenhorn Ms. M called me away from an important "liberry" quest to assist her when she couldn't get it to log on for a patron.

"I keep trying the usual username and password, but it just freezes like that." She pointed to the screen, where the login box was grayed out as the computer considered whether or not it would accept the password she'd just entered. We watched it, along with the young lady who was waiting for it. After thirty seconds, or so, it refused to accept the password and popped me back to the login box. I tried a new password and the box grayed out for another thirty seconds before refusing once again.

During this time, I noticed that the young lady who was waiting for the computer—a late high school or maybe early college-aged girl, seated nearby—was staring at me and not in a good way. It wasn't exactly the hairy eyeball, but there was something in her expression that clearly wasn't rating me very highly. Sure, I was an employee who evidently didn't know his own password and was therefore making her wait far longer than she might have liked to get to her MySpac3 on, but the look seemed to go beyond even that offense. Did I smell bad? Did I have a booger on my face? What?

The log in box finally ungrayed, I tried another combination, the box grayed out again, and I received yet another baleful look from the patron. Only after the box cleared, another 30 seconds later, did I recall that this particular computer actually took a different login than the one we'd been using. I typed the proper one in and managed to guess the right password for it and the system loaded just fine.

"There ya go," I said to the girl.

I left the computer bank, determined to return to my important "liberry" quest, which was to find a toilet plunger and have a look at the men's restroom toilet. An earlier patron had reported that it wasn't flushing properly and suggested a plunging was in order. I found the plunger, stepped into the restroom, plunged the toilet, but didn't find any real problem with it flushing before or after. While I was there, though, I figured I'd take the bowl for a test-drive and have a wee myself. Only when I went to unzip my fly, I found it preunzipped for my convenience.

Chills of horror ran up my spine as I did the math and realized that the young lady at the computer had likely noticed this and disapproved. Not only that, but her seated perspective had been at about my crotch height. My cows were fortunately still tucked in the barn behind the safety of their boxer-brief barn door, so it wasn't like I'd been flashing her, but still it couldn't have looked good.

What was protocol in this situation? Should I go and apologize? No, I'd technically done nothing wrong, intentional or otherwise and apologizing for it would just draw more attention to it and might bring up questions as to whether or not it had actualy been unintentional.

For a minute I considered just staying in the bathroom until she left. Then, looking in the mirror, I noticed that with my arms at my sides, my untucked t-shirt actually covered most of my crotchal area. Even from her crotch-high POV, the chances of seeing that my fly had been unzipped weren't really that great. She might not have seen it at all. Then again, she had been staring daggers at me.

I left my sanctuary and returned to work, hopeful that the chick had just been annoyed that she was having to deal with a moron who didn't know his own password rather than a moron who didn't know his own password and who was additionally trying to show off his junk.


Anonymous said...

Hee hee! Funny.

Anonymous said...

You got the junk to show off?

Maybe she was thinking about how poorly her boyfriend compared.

Vampire Librarian said...

This is one of my greatest fears. I'm obsessive about checking before leaving the restroom. Glad you had a long shirt on to temper the possible embarrassment.

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.