Friday, August 31, 2007

Miss Information is annoyed by an emergency

The library has a pay phone for the tiny minority of its customers who are cell-phone deprived. Even so, people ask to use the staff phone. After witnessing many phone calls made by kids who were too lazy to walk home, Miss Information now directs almost everyone to the pay phone. She makes exceptions for small children, genuine emergencies and bad weather. But if you’re not bleeding and you’re old enough to have money, you need to use the payphone.

The woman asking to use the phone is wearing sort of a trampy skirt, but she looks like she probably has some cash with her. However, the kind-hearted librarian working with Miss Information allows the woman to use the staff phone for her “emergency”. Maybe she’s calling someone to bring her a less slutty skirt. Miss Information eavesdrops on the conversation.

She is disappointed. “Hi. I’m at the library. What are you doing?” counts as an emergency phone call only if the person on the other end is Kim Jong Il or Lindsay Lohan.

The next time Miss Information encounters Trampy-Skirt-Wearing, Phone-Call-Making-Woman, she is dry humping a guy in a very public area of the library. So basically she used the Reference Desk phone to make a booty call. Nice. Maybe it was an emergency. Both participants did seem rather overwrought.

Miss Information, although she is mighty impressed by the stretchiness of the trampy skirt, thinks that adults should be able to refrain from such activities in public places.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Miss Information is annoyed by Ralph, Piggy and the gang

Summer is winding down and the children have gone feral. The library is now like Lord of the Flies except without the civility. One of the little bastards was inexpressibly rude to the very pleasant woman from IT who was trying to fix one of the computers. Like she'll ever be back.

Meanwhile some of the urchins in the children’s department actually attempted to burn the library down Saturday, lighting matches and throwing them on the floor. Foolish children. A proper fire requires tinder and kindling. If you went to camp instead of spending your entire summer in the library you would know that.

The adults are strange too. There’s a guy who brought his own peroxide. He shared a nice story about how he contracted herpes because he failed to sanitize things properly. Ew.

Another man became incensed when asked to take his feet off the chair. There are no signs saying that he can't put his feet on the chair. If the library wants him to stop putting his feet on the chair, there should be signs!

Look, buddy, there are many things the library doesn't want you doing, among them--exotic dancing, kickboxing, and roasting marshmallows. The library is not going to post signs for everything. When you are asked to take your feet off the chair, just take your damn feet off the chair.

And obviously, marshmallow roasting is out of the question unless someone learns to build a proper fire. Maybe there's a video on YouTube?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Miss Information is annoyed by the French Guys

The library has a wheelchair. It is useful when people trip over one of the many hazards in and around the library. French Video Guy recently asked to use it. His back hurts. From what? He spends entire days looking at lame music videos on the Internet. If Miss Information watched old Triumph and Boston videos all day her brain would hurt but her back would be fine.

Anyway, it isn’t that far from the front door to the Internet terminals. If he can’t make it without using a wheelchair, he should probably be spending his days at physiotherapy.

Older French Guy, unrelated to French Video Guy, also had a problem. His back is fine. His brain is a different matter. He is one of those people who aren’t Internet compatible. And yet, he persists in trying to use the Internet. Miss Information would admire that blind refusal to face reality if only he didn’t have the mental prowess of a sack of hair.

Today Older French Guy shows his diskette to Miss Information. He wants to check if any new gmail messages have been received on his disk. Um. In cases like this, Miss Information has found that the best thing to do is to answer a question that makes sense instead of the question that has been asked. She sincerely hopes it is a language barrier rather than a tragic misunderstanding of computers.

Yes, she assures him. He can use the library computer to read his gmail. He can also use the library computer to open files on his diskette. This sounds good to the man who goes off happily. For about 30 seconds. He comes back. He’s gotten an error message when trying to log on. Miss Information clears that up but it’s a bad sign. Logging on is the easy part.

As she feared, the man returns in another minute. He really does believe that his new gmail messages should have appeared on his diskette automatically, even though the disk has not left his pocket all that time. Miss Information helps him open gmail, you know, the website. Success! There are new messages. From the government. Miss Information realizes it’s probably unethical but she peeks at the contents. Nothing too exciting, just an acknowledgement that the man’s letter had been received. Since the man’s original letter is attached, she peeks at that too. It’s pretty damned terrifying. It seems that Older French Guy believes that the government is spending too much money on humans and overlooking the needs of angels. Who have needs, apparently. That the government is ignoring. Oh, that can’t be good. Miss Information imagines that angels can get pretty pissy when they’re feeling undervalued. But what angelic requirements could the government supply? Tax deductible halo cleanser and harp lessons? And where’s all that money the government is supposedly spending on people? Clearly it isn’t going to mental health services.

Until now, Miss Information honestly believed that Old French Guy was more or less normal. Turns out he’s way less normal. She is such a lousy judge of normal.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Miss Information is counting the days

Summer has worn down even the nicest of staff members. A woman who is so nice that she comes in to work early to bake treats for everyone recently disclosed her fiendish plan to get rid of troublesome patrons and clean up the cupboards in the staff kitchen at the same time. It involved melting old tupperware containers into bullets.

"It might not kill them, but there's a good chance of toxic shock," she said cheerfully.

Miss Information was delighted and more than a little frightened. She herself is sick to death of playing Manhunt with the band of future felons who inhabit the library. This week she spotted a couple of new athletes on the playing field.

"Please, don't chase each other around the library," she said to the girls who were chasing each other around the library.

"We aren't chasing each other around the library," one of them said indignantly.

Oh. Miss Information checks. It is still a library, isn't it?

She's pretty tired when she answers the phone. The man wants a copy of the Old Testament. Miss Information describes the several translations the library owns but the man is disappointed. He wanted the "original" Old Testament. Miss Information urges him to give the King James version a try but no. It isn't "original" enough for the man.

What did he expect? An illuminated manuscript? Gutenberg? Something in Aramaic carved on stone tablets?

Speaking of the Old Testament, Miss Information remembers some kind of rule or law or commandment or something in there somewhere about theft. She can't confirm that though because all of the library DVDs of the Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston have been stolen.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Miss Information is annoyed by new teaching methods

A future teacher comes to the desk. She wants books about children sitting still. Sure, those books exist. Miss Information gamely suggests the woman look at some books on classroom management.

Oh, no, no, no. Those books will be about making children sit still. Sitting still is bad. The teacher-to-be wants books on why children should not sit still. Oh, right. Those books.

It is becoming less likely that Miss Information can help this woman. For one thing she likes children to sit still, at least when they’re in the library. She hates those running, jumping, bouncing children. They make her dizzy and cranky.

It is however, a really excellent book idea. Miss Information can put her personal feelings aside long enough to write a best selling book on why children shouldn’t sit still.

Here’s what she’s got so far:
1. If children sit still they won’t wear out their shoes as often and Michael Jordan will go broke.
2. If they sit still they can’t get lost.
3. Moving targets mean more exciting hunting.

Hmmm. That’s a good start. She can expand that into a couple hundred pages. There will be a media blitz. She will give lectures at important universities. She will become famous. She will promote her book on Oprah. Oprah will hate her and the rest of the world will realize the book is crap. She will be denounced by teachers and parents everywhere. There will be lawsuits galore as children who would be better off sitting still get broken arms from running around willy-nilly and tripping over their own feet. She will become destitute and spend her remaining years sleeping off hangovers in the library.

Not much different than now, really.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Miss Information's essay has that little extra something

Yesterday Miss Information finished her latest academic product. She printed it on the library's public printer because she is no longer on good terms with the staff printer. She dashed over to pick up this masterpiece but another woman got there first.

Before Miss Information could stop her, and she tried to stop her, the woman licked her fingers and began shuffling through the papers. You know? Miss Information's papers.

Miss Information's essay has now been slobbered on by a complete stranger.