Ahh, that was refreshing!
We had a nice, mostly unchaotic Monday, for once. Okay, sure, seven people assaulted the front door in an attempt to get before our 1p opening and most of them demanded computers after we actually opened, but we weren't packed full for the whole day as usual. The book return had only one armload of books in it and Ms. M and I were able to stave off and/or help the usual amount of needy Monday patrons, "assisted" occasionally by Lennie, (whose major conversation theme of the day was how well WVU is doing in sports).
The only real challenge of the day came when Ms. M became entangled in a telephone conversation with someone for the better part of ten minutes. I didn't know who she was speaking to on our main circ-desk phone, but from her answers of "No... yes... no... no... yes..." and occasional recital of vital "liberry" contact information I knew that it had to be some sort of telemarketing situation. From the sound of it, it was for some national directory listing. While it's always nice to have the library properly listed in such directories, I couldn't see why they needed to grill her for 10 minutes on other minor points better left answered by officially licensed librarians, I'm still not sure, but grill her they did and tenaciously so. Not wanting to do the wrong thing or be perceived as rude, Ms. M held still while they applied her to the coals, but her expression changed from nervous to frustrated to bewildered during it. I kept giving her the international sign-language for "hang the hell up" but she wouldn't do it. I even offered to tell the person off for her, but she again refused.
Then the other line began to ring and I whispered to her that this was her grand opportunity to get off by telling them she had another call she had to take. She attempted this, but their little Telemarketer-teeth hung on fiercely as the line continued to ring. After three rings, I gave up on Ms. M and went to answer it in the staff workroom. As soon as I picked it up, though, Lennie bellowed, "It's okay, JUICE got it!" This, as I later learned, was easily overheard by the telemarketer who tightened her grip on Ms. M's phone ear and said, "Oh, so you can keep talking, then."
Fortunately, the call I took was from a patron looking to renew a book and with the circ-desk phone being the only one near a circ-desk computer, I was able to convey to Ms. M that I would be needing that phone and that she had to wrap it up with the telemarketer. I tell you, it took a hot match-head to remove that particular phone parasite, but eventually they let go of Ms. M and scuttled back under their rock.
"Who the hell was that?" I asked.
"The Yellow Pages," Ms. M said.
"Wow," I said. "I got a call from Yellow Book last week and they weren't nearly as bad."