Tardiness

Tardiness doesn’t bug the shit out of me unless it’s done too many times at work. I had a talk with Loretta TWICE about being late too often.

“There was a train!”

“The stop light took too long!”

“Ok, I think the stop light is broken now.”

Really, Loretta? Really?! Then explain to me how I live 15 minutes farther from work than you and I almost always manage to drive into the library parking lot 10 minutes before my shift starts?! Tell me right now, Loretta since you know everything and all!

I overheard her talking on the phone with her husband about a new Kroger’s opening up in their area soon. She wanted her husband to tell their youngest son about it, who’s god forbid, enrolled in PUBLIC high school. (Read my previous blog post, The Good Catholic.)

Why would her son be interested in a new Kroger’s? I’ll tell you why. This sorry excuse for a 16-year-old teenager was over 10 minutes late to his first job interview at Kroger’s as a bag boy. I wonder where the fuck he learned that shit from! The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree.
I walked into her very angry phone conversation with her son about it. She was practically screaming into her cell phone.

The thing I absolutely hate about conservatives is that the majority of the ones I’ve had the displeasure of interacting with always criticize Millennials. They incorrectly consider anyone at least 10 years younger than them a Millennial. Ok, I’m sure there are worse generations than Millennials. For one, we certainly didn’t try to fight to legalize slavery, or anything heinous like that.
I’m a Millennial and I’ve never been over 10 minutes late to a job interview. I’ve been working since I was 16 years old too. I’m almost 30 now. How’s that for being a Boomerang Peter Pan Snowflake, bitch?! My mom didn’t even have to tell me to go anywhere on time. I just did it on my own!

Anyway, try to think twice before you criticize my generation, or any generation again because you’re probably a pathetic excuse for a human being anyway and raising your kids, Generation Z into hapless, hopeless asshats.

FarmVille

The Applegates are a married couple who frequently visits the library to use their two hours of internet access playing FarmVille. I shit you not. The date is April 29th, 2017 and yes, FarmVille is still around. I had no idea until I started working here.

I think the year was 2009 or 2010 when FarmVille debut during the early states of Facebook. You remember almost all your friends were playing it and you’d get these notifications, hoping it was friends liking your well thought out and profound status updates, only to discover that it was Morgan asking you to buy a Sad Cow for him.

Mrs. Applegate must have been a bearded woman from a circus at one point. Her beard should be envied by all facial hair challenged men. It covers 2/3 of her face and is nice and thick, and symmetrical. I sometimes notice her shopping online for clothes, though I dunno why because she always wears large mumus. She can’t fit into anything else.

One afternoon, Vivien went to the women’s bathroom and found herself in a dangerous shit warzone. It was everywhere. On the walls, on the floor, on the stall doors, on the handicapped rail. Vivien claimed she saw Mrs. Applegate go to the bathroom, left the library, then came back wearing a different mumu. Clearly Mrs. Applegate was responsible for launching the Shit Missile from her ass on our poor bathroom.

Mr. Applegate has a look on his face like he’s slowly undressing you, or slowly killing you, or maybe both. Those dark beady eyes see right through your soul, I’m sure of it. He also looks like he suffers from permanent chicken pox. I have no idea what causes all those tiny red bumps that cover what seems like every inch of his body and I really don’t wanna know. I have a feeling that maybe a few extra showers would resolve the issue, but I would never suggest it. I noticed recently he’s been wearing jelly sandals. He’s the type that wears sandals with socks, of course. His jelly sandals are a matte black. I wonder if he thinks they could pass as men’s sandals because they’re black. I wouldn’t think twice if he wanted to wear hot pink, glittered jelly sandals, though.

As mean as my descriptions of the Applegates are, they are two of the nicest library patrons I’ve ever had in my entire library career. Did I mention I’ve been working in public libraries since I was 18 years old? Anyway, they’re super nice and sweet people, if not just a tad bit gross. Then one day, Lauren mentioned Gerald’s name, our Reference Librarian in a conversation and Mrs. Applegate exclaimed, “oh, that little fucker!” That’s basically how most of us feel about Gerald. The Applegates are literally all of us.

The Good Catholic

Lauren called me yesterday to vent about work. We don’t have a lot of opportunities to have hushed and rushed vent sessions with each other at work. Lauren is the circulation supervisor at my library and she too deals with the woes of supervising petulant adults.

Somehow the conversation lead to Loretta. I mentioned how Loretta has been mysteriously taking a lot of sick time to take her son to the dental hygienist and doctor. It’s been often enough to wave a red flag at me. Maybe her son’s teeth are atrocious and maybe she’s got him going to gay conversion therapy a couple of times a month. I have no idea. It’s illegal to ask her unless it’s for a prolonged period of time and that calls for medical documentation.

Loretta has three strapping sons. Her youngest is still at home in high school. I can’t tell you how many times Loretta has bitched to me about having so many kids and having to pay for their private school tuition. Apparently all three went to the same catholic high school. I mentioned that to Lauren over the phone and she interrupted me.

“Which catholic high school?” she asked.

I told her I didn’t know. She then went on and on about how there aren’t any catholic high schools in the area. Lauren’s been living in this area for over ten years so it wasn’t like I could doubt her. I Googled it and she’s right! There aren’t any catholic high schools within a twenty-mile radius!

I just went into our shared office space and looked at Loretta’s pictures of her and her sons. In one picture, her two oldest are wearing soccer uniforms and she has her arms around them. Her t-shirt says ____ High School. I know for a fact that’s a public high school!

What the fuck? She’s been lying to me and possibly other people about all her children going to catholic school?! In fact, she bitched to me last week about how her youngest is failing his history class and she has to pay for him to go to summer school!
What the fuck is the point of lying about something like that? Does she think people question her devoutness? Or is this another weird form of Keeping Up with the Joneses?

Cheap Caitlyn

Years ago, way back when I was a freshly new librarian, unaware how civil service and customer service could slowly suck out my soul like a Dementor, I had a coworker named Caitlyn. Caitlyn was very cheap. She rode her bike everywhere, refusing to drive her car, or pay bus fare. If you read my first blog post, you will know that such a lifestyle is beneath me. Why waste time travelling? Unless the point is to enjoy a road trip, biking to get from Point A to Point B and back again is beyond my understanding! NO, this wasn’t a healthy lifestyle! This was pure cheapness! Caitlyn and her husband by no means were in good health. They once rode their bikes for hours to get to a little local theater in a neighboring city where they volunteered to usher so they could watch the play for free. Not exactly what I have in mind when supporting local community theaters.

I find that cheapness to such a degree is normally found within individuals equipped with all the means necessary to live a privileged life, but they choose not to and prefer to inconvenience themselves and often times other people. We threw a retirement party for a supervisor and were left with a lot of unopened leftovers. The staff responsible for hosting the party wanted to return the leftovers to Costco, but they couldn’t because Caitlyn took all of it home, leaving only half a packet of deli ham slices.

On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the circulation supervisor went to the library to empty the book drop. In case you didn’t know, book drops fill up fast when libraries are closed. And if you’re closed for several days, the thing could be overflowing. So it’s common for someone, normally the employee that lives closest to the library, to go to work for maybe a couple of hours during the holidays just to empty the thing out. The circulation supervisor found Caitlyn and her husband having dinner in the staff lounge, watching TV!

Now, if you ever worked in civil service, you know that you cannot use work resources for your own personal, selfish needs. Everything down to the measly paperclip must be used for work and work only. So watching TV with your spouse, who shouldn’t be in the staff only area, when the library is closed due to observing a national holiday is definitely on the list of things not to do. Who knows how long that was going on for! They didn’t wanna pay for their own TV and cable bill. Like I said, cheap.

I never found out what happened to Caitlyn because I left my job not long after that and moved onto what I thought were greener pastures, only to find the same bullshit, but with different folks. I wanted to buy egg shakers to be used during storytime and was willing to shell out $50 since these things last years. Someone at work suggested to save money, I use toilet paper rolls and fill them with beans instead. Hello, Caitlyn 2.0.

Who’s the Boss?

Jon and Gerald are supposed to do Adult Summer Reading and Teen Summer Reading. It’s literally in their job descriptions. Surprise! They don’t. So in previous years, the circulation staff have done it. Now that I’m here, that will all change this summer and those two lazy bastards are gonna do summer reading.

But Vivien was very upset upon hearing this. She apparently liked running the programs and couldn’t understand why she couldn’t anymore. I was frank and told her she’s been taken advantage of and certain people are going to have to do their own jobs from now on. She rolled her eyes in disbelief. Yes, sister. You better believe it. Your Saint Jon could give zero fucks about you! As long as you’re doing his job, he gets to do his Library Trivia and book thieving in peace! I didn’t say the last part to her, of course.

After I walked away, she told the other staff that, “Bunny Librarian is not my boss and she can’t tell me what to do!”

Come again? You might wanna run that by me one more time. I was hired as a supervisor. I am her boss. What the fuck does she think I’ve been doing here since I was hired?! Hanging out because apparently a young, attractive 30-year-old has nothing better to do with her free time?! Does Vivien think I’m only here because I enjoy the ratchet stories of her youth?! Being married five times is not an accomplishment, Vivien! If I were you, I would keep that heinous fact a secret. Because anytime someone has to wonder why the fuck you are the way you are, they’ll just think to themselves, “how the hell did Vivien not know I was also her supervisor?! Well, she’s been married five times so I shouldn’t be surprised.”

The Book Thief

No, this isn’t going to be a review on that award-winning book, though yes, I think it’s magnificent! This is about Jon, my library branch manager.

Jon is probably the most unassuming person I know. In fact, he’s so unassuming, he might as well not exist. However badly I want people I know personally to be just as unassuming, this doesn’t work well in a workplace where we’re supposed to manage a library and its staff together.

Jon doesn’t like to face…well, anything. I’m not even sure if he wants to face himself in the mirror!
Meth addict patron passed out in our chair? I wake them up. Mentally ill patron screaming on the phone about being taxed too high? I tell them to shut their yap. Staff getting bitten by fleas because apparently we had a flea infestation? I called pest control. Diaper Lady’s diaper leaked on our decrepit furniture again? I got the furniture reupholstered. Get my drift?

Do you wanna know what Jon likes to do? I can give you a hint: not his job! He spends a bulk of his time working on Library Trivia, which is an email he sends every couple of weeks to all the staff in our library system. It contains library humor, library news, quirky library services, and this:

Literary Lines

All the numbers from 0-100

“I am riding the bicycle and I am on Route 31 in Monument, Massachusetts, on my way to Rutterburg, Vermont, and I’mpedaling furiously because this is an old-fashioned bike, no speeds, no fenders, only the warped tires and the brakes that don’t always work and the handlebars with cracked rubber grips to steer with.”
Robert Cormier, I Am the Cheese (1977), opening line

“And what was the first thing her husband said to her, after the birth of their child, as she lay reverent, chastened, smug, and remarkably uncomfortable, owing to thirty-two stitches?”
Ellen Currie, Whatever You Say, Say Nothing (1977), opening line

“Allie was in a fitting room with a thirty-three-year-old man named Jonas, pulling pinches of cocaine out of a Wonder Bread bag that was more than three-quarters full.”
Jessica Anya Blau, The Wonder Bread Summer (2013), opening line

He really goes from 0-100. I shit you not. Where does he find those lines, you wonder? In our library books. Yes, he spends countless county-paid hours going through pages, looking for numbers. Try it. You’d think it would be easy and fast, but it’s pretty hard trying to find specific numbers in a book that isn’t already the page number. This is what my boss does while I deal with the likes of Loretta (see previous blog post), or getting yelled at by another grandma because she thinks her precious grandbaby (actually spawn of Satan) should be allowed to walk and climb on our furniture! Bitch, does your house look like the Marauder’s Map?!

Oh, but it gets better. It really does. See the title of this post? Yeah, he STEALS books! It took me weeks to uncover this truth with my sleuthing skills and yes, I have brought this up to administration and no, it seems they are doing nothing about it because this is a government job where everyone is afraid to confront anyone and we just pretend nothing sinister is happening and hope for the best.

Besides his Library Trivia, Jon is passionate about books. Rare books, first editions, out of prints. You know, the things that sell in the book collectors world. Of course the best places to obtain such commodities is a used book store and, you guessed it, THE LIBRARY! Not only does the library often have first editions sitting on the shelves, but we get unaware people donating books to us daily. You know that ratty box of moldy, smelly books sitting under boxes of baby clothes in your attic? You might have something worth more than just a couple of bucks in there. And Jon knows it.

Public libraries have the most angelic group of selfless volunteers called The Friends. Friends handle donations, sort through them and decide what could sell and what should be recycled. They sell used books in the Friends Book Store and all proceeds go to the library. But sneaky, unassuming Jon gets to the donations first! He sorts through them, claiming he’s just making things easier on The Friends. How saintly! But he secretly bags and boxes the ones that sell well online. And when he thinks no one is looking, he loads up his car.

Now, if he was only taking one or two books at a time, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Our Friends are kind enough to let us have our pick. But when you’re taking tote bags and boxes full of books? You might wanna throw in a couple of Lincolns in our honor system Red Box. Keyword: honor.

You see, I like rules, policies and structure. I can’t deal with chaos and mayhem. If I’m getting paid to do a job, I’ll do it to the best of my ability, fuck up sometimes, lose sleep over it, learn valuable lessons and take on the next day like the goddamn winner that I am. So for me to know someone is doing something wrong, illegal even, at my workplace and I can’t do anything about it? I feel helpless. Like the world is unfair and unjust and well, why should anyone else around here feel like they need to actually do their jobs? Sometimes my morale is incredibly low. But I hold onto hope that people get what’s coming to them and it will work itself out in the end somehow. People have a knack for shooting themselves in the foot around here. Two employees were fired before I came along. (Those stories will be blogged later!)

Also, Jon was written up for not changing the Saturday rotation work schedule when his bosses, our administration, told him to. Changing the schedule would have forced him to work every other Saturday, which of course he doesn’t wanna do because that would be inconvenient for him and he deserves the best Saturday rotation!
Can you tell I’ve been seething? Anyway, him being written up for the Saturday rotations is a good start. For now, I’ll just continue fantasizing how I’ll celebrate his termination.