Sunday, February 22, 2015

Puppets get dirty too.

Several times a day I walk patrons through the printing process and only now, as a burgeoning trekie, do I falter in my instructions.  What was once the innocent print queue is now the ‘Q’, a destructive and irritating alien that may or may not charge patrons with the crimes of humanity.  I am waiting for that blissful moment when I tell a patron that their print job has been sent to John de Lancie and they give me the live long and prosper sign. 

Last week at the library we were evacuated because someone at a nearby gas station got a little crazy while filling up their tank and needless to say a less than exemplary gas station attendee decided to just wash it all away rather than following protocol.    

While shelving holds on a very quiet morning a patron approached me with two coffees.  She asked if we had a microwave, and after a quick survey of the regulars I chuckled.  Because it was slow I nuked her coffee in the break room and recorded the interaction as ‘procedural’ in our patron-tracker database. 

During a peaceful hour of shelving children’s books a little girl asked me where the puppets were. After questioning a youth librarian I discovered the whereabouts of the puppets. 
“They’re taking a bath.” I told the little girl.  Her eyes grew wide. 
“Where?” she asked. 
“In their puppet bathtub.  Puppets get dirty too.”
“Can I see?”
“Nope, they like their privacy.” 
This was met with a puzzled expression.
I guess this was too much for the little girl.  She scurried away and then very precisely relayed the entire conversation to her guardian who looked just as flummoxed. 

On my way to lunch Thursday I was flagged down by a man with a cane.  After helping him decrease the size of the image on the page he was copying I thought the interaction was finished.  Instead, he took the copy of the reduced image and asked me to reduce it the same way.  My expression must have conveyed my confusion because he then held out the shaky and age-spotted hand that wasn’t gripping the cane and flashed a handsome ring.  “This right here,” he said pointing to the image on one of the copies, “is my alma mater.  I need to make it small enough so I can tape it to my ring.”  So that’s what we did.  We lightened and reduced and tweaked until it was just right and then we carefully taped the piece of paper to a ring roughly the value of a Prius. 

My greatest triumph last week involved tax forms.  Yes, you heard correctly.  A tax form triumph!  After demonstrating the great ease of not only accessing tax forms online but filling them in digitally as well and garnering nothing but close-mindedness and grumpy faces, an elderly patron actually took the bait.  I walked him through the process with optimism that was never booed or cursed and he walked away with some of that optimism and a willingness to give it a shot. 

Tomorrow is the start of a new week.  I am wearing my elephant leggings and embracing the mystery.  Whether a drawn-in eyebrow furrows at me or lifts in a smile, I am ready. 


  1. Wow I wish you took a picture of the paper taped to his ring.

    Were you in danger of blowing up?

    About puppet bathing.... That is to funny. You are so quick and clever. I am impressed.

    I am too.... I might not have elephant leggings (I wish I did though) but no matter how many strange stares I get or giggles I am ready....

    I am more than girding the loins than you. I think.

    Love you.

  2. Wait.... where is your picture? Do you need one? I will share.

  3. I'm not sure about my banner thingy at the moment.