It’s Raining Weirdos

I was hoping to have a relatively stress-free day. Sadly, this was not in the stars. I’m not sure what was in the air, but along with the wind and the rain, every freak in Town blew in to pay us a visit today. Along with our usual cadre of Irregulars, notable among them Virus Guy, and Special Ed, was a woman wearing a dress, who despite all outward appearances of being “normal,” happened to be a card carrying whackadoo. It didn’t take long to discern this…

She approached me, and said that she was in “Crisis Mode,” and added that she has been in crisis mode for a while, that this was an ongoing situation. In an urgent tone, she said that she needed access to the Internet ASAP to respond to an email. I informed her that a spot was opening up in about 20 minutes and she said that that was fine since she was waiting for a telephone call, and that the Library staff knew to page her when the call came in.

Now, it isn’t normal that the library accept personal calls for people, but as I wrote, she “seemed” perfectly normal. She was well put together, well spoken, and gave the impression that something really bad had just happened that required immediate attention. So, the staff floated her uncommon courtesy to help her through whatever it was she’s going through. Perhaps someone close to her just died or was dying?

Later, when she got onto the Internet, she had numerous problems logging on to her Yahoo account that prompted her to ask for my assistance. First she involved another patron in her lunacy. When he couldn’t provide a solution she called on me. I tested the connection and informed her that the problem was either her username or password. She attempted to access her account once again to no avail, then asked if I had any other suggestions, while reminding me that it was URGENT for her to respond to the message she received. I told her that the quickest way would be for her to create a new email account. She didn’t like the idea and mumbled something about staying at the nearby shelter in the evening, an how she, “feels safe” in the library.

While she was mumbling, I looked down at the squirrel’s nest of papers that she amassed, and noticed that they consisted of scribbled rantings about dreams, and dream analysis. I gave her instruction on what she had to do to create a new account and went back to the Reference Desk. A short while later, she approached the desk again and said that she was still having difficulties and that she didn’t, “want to burst into tears” but that she was very close, and that it would be common for someone else in her situation to be a blubbering incoherent mess.

I led her back over to the computer, where I surfed over to Hotmail, and had her register for a new account. Finally, she had success creating the account and logged on. She composed the message and sent it off to Elvis, or the Tooth Fairy, or Mr. Blobby or whoever. She thanked me for the help; I took a break, and a colleague commented that it was kind of strange @ the Library today…

“Yeah, kinda’,” I responded.

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~ by Woeful on July 18, 2007.

22 Responses to “It’s Raining Weirdos”

  1. Personal calls through the library? Yeah, I’d say that definitely takes nerve, Woeful! Hell you can’t even get return calls these days at payphones!

    Too bad you weren’t able to snap up a cell phone pic of her lunacy on paper.

  2. There were pages of scribbled rantings in blue ink all over like confetti!

  3. Well, poor lady, probably bored as hell at the shelter!

  4. As it turns out, one of the calls she was waiting for was from the shelter. They turned her away because they didn’t have any more room..

  5. Are you worried about her at all?

  6. I mean, do you ever wonder what becomes of these people?

  7. She eventually called a friend who put her up for the night. We often wonder what people do when they leave. However, many of our Irregulars don’t want help… They’re professional vagrants who have a “system” worked out. It’s the n00b homeless who you really wonder about. At least it’s summer. We had to call the cops on a guy over the winter who refused to leave the building.

  8. I e-mailed Mr. Blobby just last week and got a bounce back.

  9. LOL… Not many Americans know Mr. Blobby!

  10. That’s insane looking! Mr Blobby? lol

  11. Hehehe… He’s disgusting. It’s a British thing…

  12. Too bad you can’t mess with these people. Wouldn’t it be funny to tell her you dreamt this or dej vu or something? LOL I am sick. You are really patient though…good for you. When I loose my mind and I have one last conscious thought ,it will be to point myself in the direction of the local library.

  13. This post was really difficult to write. It was like reliving a nightmare, and it wasn’t really funny the that I try to spin most of my stories. This wasn’t the only incident like this that day either, only the most trying. Everyone was very needy that day, and everything was a big personal crisis for people.

    LOL… You wouldn’t even need to consciously head to the library. The library is like a vortex for the rentally challenged, and the mentally ill that would eventually draw you in like a magnet anyway.

  14. But it’s a friendly vortex that folks obviously don’t mind getting sucked into. There must be some social study out there that explains why public libraries are “home” to the illiterate and inept.

  15. Libraries are public buildings. They are heated in the winter, and cooled in the summer. They provide a vast assortment of reading, viewing, and listening material for… Everyone. So it’s not really surprising that the homeless are our best customers. We really are like their living room. But at closing time, they have to find a place to retreat to that might be hot, cold, wet or a combination of all three, before we open the next day, and they begin the cycle all over again.,

    You don’t have to go home… But you can’t stay here.

  16. I’ve forgotten how wonderfully cool a library can be in the swelter of summer.

  17. The library is a good place to come, cool down, and read a book or magazine… Or bring you laptop and use the WiFi!

  18. ooo good to know free wifi, so anyone with an Iphone can stop in and be online ….From the lobby? From the parking lot?

  19. Wait is this starting to feel like work to you? So sorry Woe! : )

  20. The WiFi strength is going to be on a case by case basis. Some libraries make sure that the signal is available in their parking lots… Work? blogging? Not normally, it’s more like some days work is too frustrating to blog about.

  21. […] basic. Tonight we take a look at one prominent and visible symptom of a much much grander problem. Woeful calls them “irregulars.” Sometimes they’re homeless, they’re not always […]

  22. […] about something like “weirdos at your library” but realized this had not only been done here by Woeful but also that this wasn’t all that weird […]

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