Friday, May 26, 2006


Not too often I get to complain about this (see hours to right), though it is a common complaint among other librarians.

I announce the library is closing in thirty minutes, fifteen minutes, and finally we’re closed, and people act like they don’t need to listen to any of the announcements. Of course, all of my coworkers have fled the building like rats from a sinking ship long ago so now there’s just me and the student assistant.

Fifteen minutes later, I’ve hussled everyone out. I think the building is empty when one guy comes up from the stairs. Where the hell did he come from? I watch expecting him to exit through the doors, maybe with a wave or a guilty smile, but to my horror, he comes up to the circ desk. Oh dear Lord, NO!!!!!!

“Hi, do you have a lost and found?”

“We’re closed.”

“I left some papers down in a carrel like two weeks ago.”

“They’re gone.”

“I know. Are they up here?”

“No, they’ve been recycled. We’re closed.”

“Could you just check? They’re really important.”

I stare at him in complete wonderment at his utter obtuseness. I turn around in a daze and pick up the stack of notebooks and papers that we keep in lost and found. I set the stack down in front of the student. He glances through them.

“No, they’re not here. Do you really think they’ve been recycled?”


“But they were really important.”

“When did you say you left them here?”

“Two weeks ago. Kyle said it would be okay.”

“Then Kyle was mistaken. We don’t like stuff to even be left here over night. After graduation, we did a major cleaning. I wasn’t here, but the staff is very aggressive with what they’ll throw out.”

“But I left a note of in it saying I’d be back for it.”

“Yes, two weeks ago. We’ll leave stuff alone for two hours if there’s a note but not two weeks. We are not a storage facility.”

“But they were court documents!”

“Then maybe they were shredded. We’re closed.”

The guy opens his mouth again.

“We’re closed.”

And finally he LEAVES!

I mention the guy to Kyle the next day to see if he remembered the dude.

“Yeah, I remember. I thought he meant for just that night.”

“Well, he pissed me off yesterday.”

“He’s got mental problems.”

“Yeah, he doesn’t know when to leave.”

“No, I mean he seriously has a condition. He got like a brain injury that messed him up.”

“Well, I’m sorry for him, but he still annoyed the hell out of me.”



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the people who argue with you about closing.

guy walks in 5 minutes before closing
ME: “Were closing in 5 minutes”
GUY: “NO you don't close till 8 pm”
ME:” That’s on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Friday and Saturday we close at 5 pm”
GUY: “No I know you don’t close till 8”
I look around, the rest of the staff are nowhere in sight. Cowards
He argues with me until it is actually 5 pm then says well it will only take a minute to send my email.
He is still arguing as the lights are being turned off. ARRRRRR

12:56 PM, May 26, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

Brain injury huh? More like he accidently used it one day and sprained it.

7:08 PM, May 26, 2006  
Blogger MadameBoffin said...

bwah-ha-ha Spike! Good one lol

VL, you have the patience of a saint! :D

4:24 AM, May 27, 2006  
Blogger Katya said...

I hate the closing thing -- I always know these people who will not leave the library would be the first to rush me out of the place they work if I were there near closing time.

Two weeks? I doesn't seem to me they could have been that important if he left them there for two weeks and was just then coming back for them.

11:52 PM, May 28, 2006  
Blogger Nike said...

The library I work for requires everyone to be out exactly at 5. We use the very handy and hard to argue with The fire marshal says.
Very few people can argue after we bring the Fire Marshal into it.
Look into it and if you can use that one!
Works wonders. Helps to have the library hours posted in several places too. On doors, the internet and near the circ desk. I point to them. Then you get, Oh when did you start that? My standard answer is at least 10 years ago.

11:27 PM, May 29, 2006  
Blogger The Laundress said...

Oh wow.

I work in a public library. We have one Evil Customer From Hell. She has "physical disabilities" that require staff members to carry her books to her car. She knows exactly what our hours are: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm, M-F and 9:00 am -5:00 pm on Saturdays. Somehow, she can never stagger in unless it is 2:00 minutes before closing time. Then argues about needing medical waiver to renew dozens of titles with others waiting, because her disability impaired her ability to use them in the allotted time slot.

Yeah, so I am wondering how much the other folks waitng for "Knitting for dogs" can stand... we are all pretty wrist-slitty about it here!

Yeah, this is the formidable lady who carries one big walking stick. She is scary but not really too terrifying, mostly just one big pain in the...

9:23 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger L.C. said...

Oh, closing favorite!

We actually have an announcement that says they have to be ready to leave by the time security (me, usually) closes their area. But yet we always get the ones that argue with us that they have x number of minutes yet. Then of course, I ever-so-nicely tell them that no, they do not in fact have x number of minutes, they have to pack up their crap and get out of my library so I can make sure that they and every other single patron in the building are out BY closing time.

9:18 PM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

Laundress, one word. Tazer.

11:20 PM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

I don't know why people think that rules don't apply to them? I like Spike's tazer suggestion...

10:13 AM, June 04, 2006  
Blogger Librarian of Darkness said...

Ah yes, as another night shift Librarian I have my closing time regulars too . . . I think all closing time patrons have formed some mysterious club to try our patience. No, it's not the Breakfast Club . . . it's . . . The Midnight Snack Club! P.S. Just found this blog and it's wonderful!

2:15 AM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

I and my predecessors have all requested tazers for dealing with problematic patrons, but for some reason, the adminstration does not agree that weapons are valid library service tools.

And sorry for being such a slacker. I hope to post something new soon...It's been really boring around here.

3:04 PM, June 06, 2006  
Anonymous perfidia said...

This is astounding. A ranty department email I sent out not half an hour ago recommended partitions for people who are emboldened enough to walk behind the reference desk when you're answering questions for them, a huge circut breaker type shut-off switch for those 'one-minute-til' lingerers,and electric cattle prods for general intimidation [I am a baby vampire, here by myself until 11pm]. I guess I'm not that out of line with my wish list after all!

9:49 PM, June 27, 2006  

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