Friday, January 04, 2008

Miss Information is annoyed by a hanger on

Miss Information once spent a lot of time in a Christchurch, New Zealand Starbucks without realizing that it had closed. The store hours weren’t posted and the counter person never actually said they were closing, because obviously then Miss Information would have left. Reasonable people leave when a place closes.

The Starbucks had closed because it was closing time but sometimes a place needs to close for another reason—flood, fire, sarin gas leak. All good reasons to evacuate and sensible people would go away, at least until the hazmat team clears out. Miss Information’s library rarely closes to the public. It has remained open during times of no heat, times of too much heat and a really neat flood…The library briefly closed when some joker set fire to the toilet paper dispenser in the men’s washroom but only long enough to determine the smoke wasn’t toxic. Anyway, staying open during chaos is the library’s only claim to fame and the staff lords it over more feeble branches who close for a stiff breeze. Closing is a last resort—which happened on Saturday.

It was a power failure. The library remained open for an hour or so but when the emergency lighting faltered and parts of the library were plunged into darkness, the decision was made to evacuate. Most people distressed over the inability to surf the net left peacefully. One man, the man in the yellow coat, refused to leave. He didn’t understand why the library was closing. Miss Information tried to reason with him, the library was getting cold and the washrooms were unusable. It’s ok, the man replied. He had a coat. Also, he had gone to the washroom before he left home. This was a little too much detail for Miss Information so she turned it over to one of the senior staff librarians. She confirmed that the library was indeed closed and the man should exit. The man didn’t feel that this applied to him because he only wanted to read the newspaper. The librarian in charge got involved. The man wanted to know why he should have to leave—the encroaching darkness, the falling temperature, the many hazards, and the library asking him to leave not being enough of a reason. Eventually he demanded an audience with the manager. Miss Information suspects that her fellow staff members, not being fellows, did not have that masculine authority Yellow Coat Guy was looking for. Sadly, the duty manager was also a woman. She had a seemingly endless phone conversation with the guy who repeated the phrase “but it isn’t logical” about 1000 times. After about 20 minutes of this, the man slowly made his way to the exit, vowing to write letters of complaint to, well, everyone.

So, Miss Information has a new appreciation for that Starbucks employee who let her stay in the store even though it was closed. While acknowledging that much better coffee is readily available almost anywhere in New Zealand, she urges those in the vicinity of Cathedral Square to drop in and visit the Starbucks there. You don’t have to have the coffee.


At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Fun in Texas said...

I understand the mentality of staying open no matter what. I worked in an elementary school (PreK - 5th) where we had major issues with our plumbing not once, not twice, but three times one semester, ie we couldn't use the restrooms! With over 1,000 students under the age of 12 the administration in its infinite wisdom said no problem, who needs restrooms on site, we can bus the kids twice to the school down the street. Some kids were on the bus and off-campus most of the day. Needless to say not a whole lot got done on those days. Amazingly I don't think we had any accidents either.

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous adrienne said...

Here in Oklahoma, we have trouble getting people to leave their computers when we are under a tornado warning. For real. They don't even have to leave the building, just go hang out in the bathroom for 15 minutes.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

Texas: that is quite a story!

General note: Does anyone else wish that "because I said so" was a professional, polite retort in these situations? "Maybe the tornado alarm is usually false, but I said, Get to shelter." "Maybe it's not rational to kick out a man who used the washroom before he left home: but you have to go because I said so."

At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reader actually likes Starbuck's coffee.

At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have told him he had to leave to prevent the appearance of his obituary in the next day's newspaper.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Large Marge said...

Hi Miss Information,
I just discovered your blog when I did a search for "Miss Information." Your blog rocks! I used your blog as a link to an article I wrote about our local (horrible) newspaper. The newspaper editor printed an editorial about how it is o.k. to publish "misinformation" on newspaper blogs. Please take a look if you have time: Also, I'm adding a link to your blog on my blog! Cheers from Northern California! ;-)

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading your blog for ... oh quite some time. I just now realized that we are in the same city.
I have a whole new respect for the dullards who work in my public library now because one of them really does have a sense of humor.
Thank you.


Post a Comment

<< Home