6/23/2006

On Crack Library Woman

Before I met the "widow" yesterday, I took the kids to the library for the first time by myself. The one time Dear Sir went with us every single woman that worked there was so kind, I just had such a down home feeling. (We live in a fairly small town) So we get to the library and Eraser-Eater is eager because he has a book on hold he has been waiting a whole week for. I tell the kids to pick out a few books and the lady will give us the hold when we check out.

Finally, we get to check out. This lady who is in her forties stands there and I am trying to get my library card. I am telling her that I think the "hold" is on Eraser-Eater's card, so I have to fish to find it. She, in the meantime, silently but impatiently tries to grasp a card that is not presented to her yet, like a five year old. She reaches out for the card like three or four times, wringing her hands. Finally, she drops her hands in a huff when I don't produce in time, and at this moment I finally have the card in my hands (mind, this whole process took about fifteen seconds!) and hand it to her while she swipes it as fast as she can. I thought, "Maybe she has to pee." It gets worse.

She scans the card, gets the hold, scans it, and says, "You can just check out the other materials on this card, yes." She did not wait for me to even answer. I sort of said, "uh, ok."

The kids were all holding their own books to check out, and she raises her voice, saying, "Other materials, please! Other materials, please! Other materials, please!" as we are all scrambling around to stack the books and present them to her in time. While stacking one of the last books (and this was all in a matter of a few seconds and there were only about eight books to check out!), I look up at the woman, wondering if she is for real. She has her hands on her hips, clenched fists, set jaw, clenched teeth, and the nastiest look on her face. I could not believe it. She looks like she will explode with impatience. I hand the books to her. She takes them, slams them down, and starts her scanning frenzy.

"I'm sorry!" I say.

She completely ignores me.

She gives me my receipt and says, "There you go."

I would almost understand a fraction of this behavior in a person if say, the line was heavy and there were some tough patrons checking out books. There was not a soul there in line, I had to wait for HER to come to the desk, and there was probably one person on the computer. Just a bunch of nothing and NOBODY.

I definitely did not experience a "down home" feeling at that point.

I talked to Dear Sir about it and he said that she was probably on drugs.

I think I will call the library today to tell them that I am unhappy with the way I was treated yesterday.

I guess when I picked up how she was trying to grasp the card, I should have pretended like I was going to hand it to her and then pulled it back to frustrate her. That would have been funny. She probably would have slapped me.

LESSON: Don't act impatient. It is really noticeable.

3 comments:

Rick Capezza said...

That's just totally unacceptable.

R said...

Yeah, I just called the library and they said they will take care of it. I spoke to the head Librarian. She said that she has an idea who the woman was and said that she is a "tense person." The Librarian was wonderfully helpful, which is a real reflection on the place over all, but for some reason they got a bad apple.

I find that any sort of customer service is terrible now days. I call any doctor's office, any place to get help with an account like a phone bill or even the power company and they are ALWAYS rude. I have gotten ONE helpful person in the past MONTH and it was the lady at the Costco pharmacy. People just don't care to be civil even anymore.

Mindi said...

I am sorry that you had a bad library experience. When we came to visit Boise, one of the first things that I did was to visit the children's section of the library to see if I liked it. It helped to determine my whole view of the city, and whether I wanted to live here or not.

The library people here are great. The children's librarian sought me out at Winco, of all places, to tell me, "Hello," yesterday. I haven't frequented the children's section of our library for a few years. She is a remarkable woman. It was absolutely amazing to me that she would care about her patrons like that.

Maybe your next visit will be better. If not, maybe you should wear a threatening type of t shirt with a scary message when you go to make them afraid to be mean to you.