A 60ish woman came in today to use one of our computers. She was wound so tight it was palpable. She had all kinds of problems logging on that I helped her with amidst her prolonged complaining and sighing. She typed something for about a half hour, then called me back over to help her email the document to herself, and print the document. As I was selecting the text I noticed that it was a letter to her attorney… Apparently she was recently sexually assaulted.


~ by Woeful on March 10, 2008.

13 Responses to “Sad”

  1. Oh my goodness….This is so sad on so many levels. Obviously, it’s terrible that she was sexually assaulted. Also though, this is one of those awkward situations in dealing with the public when I wonder whether it’s ok to cross that fake boundary of ignoring what the person you’re helping is working on. I’m sure I would have said nothing, but I also would have wondered if saying nothing is the right thing. Super sad.

    Also further proof that rapists don’t just target 20 somethings in tight miniskirts.

  2. She was a real pain in the ass, but I cut her a lot of slack after accidentally reading about her plight. Her behavior was totally understandable. I didn’t read much, just the beginning as I selected the text. It read like she was assaulted by an alcoholic acquaintance, or coworker… I didn’t say anything about it, I just helped her the best I could.

  3. yes very sad. it would be difficult to acknowledge the part you read too, I’m sure you did your best.

  4. wow. Oh wow. what is the world coming to?

  5. What indeed…

  6. I’ve also seen some of the saddest of the human condition as a notary. Like a woman who was in her 20’s and had three children by three different dads, all of whom were in prison and none of whom were paying child support. Very sad.

  7. Thanks for stopping by HK!

  8. I hate being in the position of reading what people write; I try to just look at the format of the document. And through my chanting I’ve learned to “not see” words like “murder” or “dismember” or “chainsaw.” But once (not made up), I looked at what one guy was typing and saw it was a letter of apology to the judge in his case for forgetting that the pistol was in his carry-on bag. This was pre-9/11 when you could avoid jail time for carrying a concealed weapon in an airport by writing the judge a nice note.

  9. Hi Effing. I do my best to avoid reading anything I see when helping someone. This was unique as the term “Sexually assaulted” was right up front and I read it as I followed the cursor highlight the first line… I would have preferred not knowing. The apology to the judge is a nice touch BTW!

  10. I haven’t accidentally read anything of that sort, but it’s amazing the things people will tell their librarians. I sometimes wonder if we are a stand in for the Catholic confessional! I get told the most amazing personal things (prison time, custody disputes, financial meltdowns, fights, etc.), and no I’m not a warm fuzzy kind of person that encourages that kind of disclosure. You would think people would be reticent in telling their librarian more than the barest minimum in order to get help. Gah! I do NOT want to know!

  11. I hear ya’.

  12. 😦

    That reminds me of times checking out books on divorce to sad looking women, or books on cancer to sick looking women…

    You can’t help take it away, but I do think just helping with the simple things like that (even though it is your job) is one of the best things you can do, especially in her situation, it’s got to be hard to trust people. :/

  13. While weeding, I once found a letter that a woman wrote to her husband about her affair and how she intended to leave him…

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