Yukon Cornelius, 2-XL, and Special Ed & Sanity.

I really am Woeful. In fact, I’m really at the end of my rope. I’m getting burnt out very quickly as we are down a key person @ the Library. This is compounded by the fact the Summer is our busiest time of the year and this Summer has been exceptionally busy, especially the last two weeks.

I can’t even think straight anymore. We had a supervisor’s meeting this morning where I addressed our staffing issues and I got NOTHING for my efforts except more work in the form of Internet classes that I will be running. I realize that there is no money, but something needs to be done. Therefore I suggested augmenting our supply side meaning that we severely limit what we will Inter Library Loan (ILL). NOT!

CRASH & FUCKING BURN! Thanks. There is no end to this situation in sight either…

So, on top of it being crazy busy we also have an influx of extreme freaks into the library. One situation that occurred this Summer a while ago was so fucked-up I can’t even write about it here as it made the papers… And TV, and therefore, writing about it will out me and I can’t have that as I need my job… Such as it is.

Anyway, the volume of people, Irregulars, and the lack of off desk time have been escalating and reached a crescendo today. At noon I was stranded at the Reference Desk with a part timer who a colleague refers to as, “Every day is her first day.” She’s a nice person but totally useless @ the Library even though she has been “working” there for years.

So, at one point I’m helping this woman locate a book in our catalog, at the same time this drunk middle-aged guy who keeps orbiting the Desk nearby says, “If I find the guy who has the ‘local paper’ I’m going to kick his ass.” While this is happening my clueless colleague begins uttering, “Woeful, how do I do this? Woeful, how do I do that? Woeful, how how how, etc…” All the while this is going on (as I’m still trying to help the woman find her book), I hear the voice of Special Ed calling “Woeful! Woeful! Woeful!” from across the Library.

At this point, I calmly turn to my left to address Clueless but the incessant badgering from Ed has made it almost impossible to breathe let alone think. So I turn to Special Ed’s location and calmly and firmly shout across the Library, “Ed, do NOT shout across the Library floor!!” Ed then immediately apologized for his antics and stopped, so I turned to the patron before me and commented, “I can only do 20 things at once.” There were other patrons waiting who witnessed all this BTW who were waiting for assistance. I finally located the book the woman wanted so I excused myself from Clueless and led her out into the stacks to find it.

Shortly after I got back, my colleagues returned from lunch and as I was explaining what occurred another patron peeked her head into the Reference Office and began, “Woeful! Woeful! Woeful!” and laughed. I was mildly amused as she is an harmless (Ir)regular who couldn’t believe what she witnessed. I was like, “yeah, amazing isn’t it?” And she said that she loved the way that I handled the situation facing Clueless all the while and then slowly turning to totally cut down Ed while I was helping someone else. I thanked her, and then excused myself as it was my lunchtime.

I proceeded to go to a nearby bar where I pounded a Johnny Walker Red on the rocks, and then a McSorley’s Ale while I ate my fish and chips. When I returned, I went back to the Desk uttering the words, “Into the breech” which made the Assistant Director laugh, only I wasn’t joking.

Upon my return the first thing I have to do is pacify Yukon Cornelius. Yukon is a published author and researching a new book he’s writing, a memoir. He was born to a whore 85 years ago in Chicago. Anyway, apparently his mom used to bring him to speakeasies and he needed some photos of such places. This transaction lasted at least 20 minutes…

Then 2-XL called.

Fuck me. Hard!

Why me? Why must I get the call from the guy who sounds like the toy from my childhood and doesn’t make any sense whatsoever except to him? Why God? Why? Why me?

Anyway, 2-Xl this time around is looking for mint. I shit you not my loyal readers. Actually, he’s searching for a shitload of mint as defined by 2-Xl, “A trashbag full of mint.” When I hear this I repeat it out loud. This makes another colleague of mine burst into laughter at the Desk, as does the patron he is assisting. This is the only satisfaction I get all day long… The alcohol merely barely numbed my Woe, but this was the highlight of my day…

After some thorough searching I find a few mint wholesalers for 2-Xl and he then regressed to a questions he had a few weeks back that I helped him with regarding Goodwill and how tax deductions work. At this point I tell 2-XL to stay focused on the task at hand, the fucking garbage bag full of mint! He mulls this over and agrees…

After this transaction is completed 2-XL asks me for a list of Asian Markets in our county… WTF? OK. I oblige.

Then my colleague came to relieve me and I went back down to me desk and finished a few things that needed tending to and then I came home. Which brings me to now… Here I sit writing this as I finish a bottle wine.

And it isn’t even Friday yet. I’m not sure how I continue to do this?

~ by Woeful on September 3, 2009.

12 Responses to “Yukon Cornelius, 2-XL, and Special Ed & Sanity.”

  1. I have trained myself to forget. I forget shit five minutes after it happened. Sometimes I forget as it’s going on. If someone asks me about my day, I tell them, “Yes, I might be able to remember and tell you, but then I would scream and scream and scream until the police came. Is that what you want?”

  2. Generally I’m numb to it all at this point. Yesterday was just pushing the limits while we’re understaffed and all… Even the “incident” that I can’t write about didn’t strike anyone @ the Library as particularly strange. When the police were taking statements from other staff members one of my colleagues calmly commented to me, “We call that Monday.” LMAO!

  3. I totally relate. We all have days like that. And with the economy the way it is, and the almost palpable stress/tension in the air over health care reform, it seems like things are worse lately. We’ve had an increase in the number of crazies too, as an entire wing of our state’s ONLY public mental health hospital just shut down due to lack of funding. And even the old crazies are getting MORE crazy- crazies who, in the past, were definitely crazy but mostly kept to themselves.

  4. It’s like a permanent full moon. You are not alone. *sending virtual booze* How the hell can I be feeling burned out after 5 years? Oh yeah, I’m staffing an entire floor of this library by myself, with two scary patrons and three mildly creepy patrons to keep an eye on.

  5. This all sounds horribly familiar. And of course, just because they don’t fill key posts for months, or years, or ever, and add new shit for us all to do there’s never any question of actually stopping doing anything we don’t actually need to do. What a world.

  6. you need the drugs we issue to staff at the gimcrack 😉

  7. I was VERY pissed yesterday. I felt totally hung out to dry by “management.” Then, I was assaulted repeatedly by some of our worst Irregulars. All the librarians here know that it’s the luck of the draw, “civilians” have NO idea. Anyway,

    Batgirl: Welcome to full-on Deinstitutionalization! Thank Reagan for that idea! Soon we will be in the same in patient program together, but only because we have “healthcare.”

    And thanks PL for the virtual booze. However, at one point last night I actually thought, “I wonder how close I can come to ODing an still be alright?”

    Kevin, we are staffed pretty lightly anyway, but this extended absence has nearly broken us. Thank the Maker that our slower season is now beginning!

    Ah, Nursemyra. I need a vacation, but I would accept the right “holiday” if you know what I mean. 😉

  8. Ouch! I totally love your stories, and working in a library I can relate, but that is the kind of blog post that might get a person fired. Look up “dooced”. Please be careful because I want to keep reading these stories for years. Hang in there. 🙂

  9. Hi Carly: Yeah I’m familiar with the term Doceed. Anything here could probably get me Doceed. That said, I’ve been extremely careful not to mention any of my coworkers here. The one I mentioned is a part-timer who everyone has the same problem with so it thought it couldn’t hurt. I would never write anything about my cowerkers… LOL, that could be a whole other blog though!

    Incidentally, nobody I work with knows that I write this blog. Not many people do actually. It isn’t easy keeping it secret and it’s even harder working it around my real identity online with the social web growing. I have to make a concerted effort to make sure I am logged in as whoever I am at the moment and it’s getting harder and harder to maintain every day.

  10. @ Woeful, re: dooced- I worry about this too. A couple of my coworkers know about my blog, but they’re the ones I’m friends with “in real life” and I’ve told them to not go spreading it around. I was already given a stern talkin’ to by our digital librarian for putting information about library events on my own personal facebook page. She is paranoid about such things.

  11. Wow…..I fell for you…at least you have this blog in which to let out your ANGST!

    I will refrain from explaining what was awaiting me on return from my vacation….twas nothing in comparison, and would only make me sound like a whiner.

  12. Only my closest friends who have nothing to do with libraries know that this is my blog.

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