The following is a reprint of my very first blog post. This was published before I had any followers – insert sad face – and it just floated around in the twilight zone where no one saw it. Today I’m giving it another chance.
DISCLAIMER – Lest you get the wrong idea, I never have, nor do I intend in the future to write articles or blog posts that focus on the topic of . . . Urine. I was reluctant to do so in my very first Library Lady installment, but I think you’ll agree if you read on, that the following post simply HAD to be written.
Let me start by saying that in calling myself the Library Lady, I do not mean to imply that I am an actual Master’s Degree weilding Librarian. I am what is called a library CSS. In layman’s terms that is a . . . drum roll . . . Customer Service Specialist. I specialize in customer service, I customize in special ser – never mind, I think you get the idea. And In our library, being a CSS is not difficult to do. My job is what I call a ‘yes I can’ job, which means that most requests for my help can be answered with a hearty, “Yes I can”.
Can you check these books out for me?
Yes I can.
Can you find my lost CD?
Yes I can, (providing you actually turned it in).
I can also shelve your books, place holds for you, explain that nasty fine on your account, and share my current list of favorite books.
Very rarely do I come across a situation that requires a negative answer.
Can I get a library card even though I’ve failed to bring in photo I.D. or a proof of address? Is one of those. Another slightly less common but equally important, ‘No’ question goes like this:
Can I urinate on my library items and return them through the automatic book drop in hopes that no one will notice my transgression?
Now watch, here it comes – this is the library lady raising her voice. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! IN THE ENTIRE SEVENTEEN YEARS THAT I’VE WORKED HERE I’VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF SUCH A THING!
I will now pause to catch my breath, and give you a chance to recover from my outburst.
Wait a minute you say, no one is going to ask a question like that, and truthfully, you’re right. They didn’t ask, they just did it – approximately 13 books, CDs and DVD’s were returned in the book drop smelling of urine. Not smelling just a little bit mind you, but to the point where we considered breaking out the hazmat suits and calling in the fire department.
Since I am a Lady, I will not divulge any more of the gory details, but suffice it to say that I and my co-workers spent far too much time trying to reconstruct the chain of events that might have led up to this situation.
Was a toddler with a leaky diaper to blame? Was it teenagers thinking they were funny, a drunk, a sleepwalker? But no matter what the cause, the real puzzle is, why would anyone bother to return this stuff?
Is this someone with a warped sense of humor? Were they unaware of the condition of the items? Maybe they hoped we wouldn’t notice. What could the returnee have possibly been thinking? It boggles the mind, and now I must quit obsessing and focus on the fact that most library patrons are delightful, intelligent and scrupulously hygienic.
To sum this up, if you are even considering urinating on your library books, please think again. First of all, you will incur a hideous fine. We know who you are – remember that photo I.D. and proof of address? Second, we will track you down and kill you. No, not really, but we might track you down and return your library items to you. Mind if we leave them on your kitchen table?