Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stop Now

There's nothing like yelling at the top of your lungs in a library. Especially when it's at a bunch of idiots.

For the past couple of nights, students have been beating up our clear front drink machine like schoolyard bullies after the weak kid's lunch money. It's highly annoying and dangerous.

Kyle has been dealing with it the past couple of nights, but tonight, I decided to handle it.

The vending machines are on the far side of the floor. They're as far away from the circ desk as you can get. Students punch, kick, or rock the machine to get free drinks. All activities are very violent and stupid, but we don't pick up on the violence till after a loud enough hit reaches our ears, which is usually when the first drinks fall. When the machine gives up some drinks, the students don't slink off with their pilfered Doubleshots, they decide to see if they can empty the machine and so the violence escalates.

Tonight, when a bunch of drinks fall indicating a beating in process, I start marching to the back. As I'm going back, I see one idiot raise his leg to karate kick the machine.

I yell the first thing that comes to mind. "STOP NOW." Everyone on the floor freezes for a moment. (I have a very good yell. My father was a drill sergeant.) The karate kid slowly lowers his leg and turns to me.

I walk to the student and speak loud enough for everyone else in the area to hear because it wasn't just karate kid beating up the machine, "What you're doing is basically stealing from University Z, and it's dangerous. I'm telling you right now, I am not waiting with you for the ambulance after you break your foot on that machine. Do you understand?"

He stammers he's sorry.

"Are you one of the ones who've been doing this every night?"

"No, this is my first time." I roll my eyes.

"Well, quit it, and never do it again." He just sort of stares at me. I shake my head in disbelief. The machines are in profile to the circ desk. We can't tell what drops down, but we can see when the students hit the machine. Can't they understand that hey, stealing's wrong, and it's really stupid to do it where EVERYONE CAN SEE YOU?

I give up. Buddhist. I shouldn't have to give these kids morality talks. I point my finger at my head and clearly enunciate, "Common sense."

I walk back to the circ desk and tell my two co-workers, "I think I just entered my forties." (Which means I've completely skipped my thirties. Oh well.)



Blogger Happy Villain said...

Clearly your library doesn't give refunds for vending machine mistakes. Our patrons used to stand at the machine, eye their item of delight, and then walk over to ask for a refund because the machine ate their money. They didn't even think that someone might have seen them NOT put money in, NOT press a button, and therfore NOT lose a penny. Idiots. Now that we don't give refunds, the abuse of the machines goes on daily. I'm hoping someone breaks them and they take them out for good. Or, perhaps, put them in the staff lounge where they belong. People and vending machines don't mix.

12:31 AM, September 25, 2006  
Anonymous Edward Shaddow said...

The public library I used to work at had a vending machine (in very clear sight of the circ desk) while it never got abused as such, one unlucky client found a dead roach in their can. Put me off Coke for a while.

Possibly you could print out and post up near your machine a snippet from the Darwin Awards might make them think a little (or not).

3:53 AM, September 25, 2006  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

HV, these kids aren't losing money on drinks either. They see one drink hung up in the machine, try to shake it loose, and shake a lot of OTHER stuff loose. What kills me is they decide to keep shaking after the initial dump of drinks.

Mr. Shaddow, thinking for these kids would be a new concept.

7:53 PM, September 26, 2006  

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