Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 20, 2009

MLK Day: Encounters of the Crazy-Kind (pt. 3)

worst_patron_ever

Encounter Number Three…

So my favorite (read: biggest pain in the ass) crazy to come into the library today was some chick that we’re just going to call “Crazy McPsycho.”

So she comes into the library…and I can tell right from the start that she’s going to be trouble. Once you’ve worked in a library for awhile it only takes about five seconds to tell which patrons are going to ruin your day.

…and away we go.

Crazy McPsycho: “So I’ve got a bunch of food.”
Captain Charisma: “Um…okay?!”
Crazy McPsycho: “Where can eat it?!”
Captain Charisma: “…a cafeteria?!”
Crazy McPsycho: “What? You guys have a cafeteria in here?”

…okay, so clearly she didn’t the joke. So I pump the brakes on the funny and go with a more direct approach informing her that we have a ‘no food’ policy in the libraries. As is the case with crazy folks, she can’t understand why. I explain that it’s not so good for the books. At which point she tells me…and I quote…

Crazy McPsycho: But, I don’t want to eat the books.

…as is customary in a situation like this, I promptly dish out one of my patented blank stares.

Captain Charisma: “Riiiiight, that’s not exactly what I meant.”
Crazy McPsycho: “Okay, so where’s the cafeteria?”

…so this went on for a little bit until she got my drift and left the library to go eat. She came back in later and asked for a private study room. I told her that we only have three rooms that can be closed up for privacy. She had no interest in going to the room up on the eighth floor. She had no interest in the media room and when there were other people in the group study room…you know…the room for GROUPS to study in…she came back and complained.

Crazy McPsycho: “So I can’t get a personal room?”
Captain Charisma: “No…we just went through this like two minutes ago before you walked over to the group study room.”
Crazy McPsycho: “Okay then…is there an office or something I can use?”
Captain Charisma: “Yeah….not so much. The staff offices are just for…you know…the staff.”

…she then huffed and puffed and wandered off to find some place to set-up camp. I didn’t hear from her again for awhile until she came up to borrow some Kleenex. That went off without a hitch. I thought, maybe she’s cooled her jets and she’s gonna turn off the crazy.

Then she came back about five minutes later looking to borrow a piece of paper. Only no regular paper would do. It couldn’t be lined notebook paper. It couldn’t be scrap paper. It couldn’t be anything but fresh, clean white paper. I grabbed some from out of the cabinet and she said she wanted a piece directly from the printer. Apparently only the exact same paper we use would suffice.

Crazy McPsycho: “I want the paper you use…”
Captain Charisma: “This is the paper we use.”
Crazy McPsycho: “No, from the printer.”
Captain Charisma: “It’s the same paper…”
Crazy McPsycho: “I. Would. Prefer. Printer paper.”
Captain Charisma: “…seriously?!”
Crazy McPsycho: “Yes.”

…so I went ahead and grabbed her some paper from the printer and she wandered off. I thought/hoped/prayed this would be the end of it, but when this type of crazy wanders in…it’s NEVER the end of it.

About another ten minutes later or so she comes back up looking to borrow a pen. I offer up a pen holder stock-piled full of pens. She proceeds to pick her way through each pen, one-by-one. Holding each one up. Shaking each one. Drawing little circles on a piece of scratch paper with each one. Eventually she found the one she wanted and walked off.

Roughly half an hour later she comes wandering up to the desk asking about printing. Needless to say, printing in the libraries can–in fact–be a bit of a rigmarole for non-MIT folks. Essentially they need to purchase a TechCash card and then send the job to the printer…and then go to the printing menu on the new copier-mer-bobbers and swipe their card and find their job on the listing of printing jobs and then print it out.

I figure I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, because come on…it’s not exactly super easy. So I go through the run-down of how it works. She tells me she’s got it and then wanders away again. She comes back up a little bit later and tells me she doesn’t have any cash to purchase a TechCash card and asks if she can borrow five dollars.

Somehow…and I don’t know how…I manage to hold in my initial reaction of laughing hysterically in her face. I mean seriously, if I had a dime for every time some crazy patron has asked to borrow money I wouldn’t need to work holidays just to pay rent!

So I politely tell her no and suggest she use one of our blank cards and put money on it using her credit card. She says okay and heads over to the computers. She’s fumbling with the system for about five minutes before she starts yelling from the computer cluster…

Crazy McPsycho: “Help! Sir! Help! Come over here!”
Captain Charisma: “Could you please keep it down?! This is a library.”

…somewhere deep inside, what’s left of my youth just curled up and died with that one phrase. *sigh*

I walk over and she tells me she can’t get things to work with the online TechCash form. So I direct her to the webpage…apparently finding the webpage (which is printed on both the instruction form and the empty TechCash card) was her first issue with getting the form to work. So I start to walk away and then she gets her scream on again…

Crazy McPsycho: “I need help again!”
Captain Charisma: “Okay…please stop yelling.”
Crazy McPsycho: “Okay…what do I do now?!”
Captain Charisma: “Well…fill in the form.”

She then starts to fill out the form. I take a few minutes to explain the difference when she asks whether to select TechCash box or Dining Dollars from the drop-down menu. The major difference, aside from the blatantly obvious, is that she’s filling out the student form and not the guest form. Despite the blatant labels at the top of the page and in the instructions on the sheet she’s holding.

Somewhere…a village is missing it’s idiot.

Crazy McPsycho: “Okay come back now!”
Captain Charisma: “Are you serious?!”
Crazy McPsycho: “I need more help.”
Captain Charisma: “Just. Fill. Out. The. Form.”
Crazy McPsycho: “Help me!”

I’d like to take a second to let all ya’ll know that there is nothing more emasculating…in the entire f’n world…than having some crazy chick with a better mustache than your own screaming at you in your place of employment.

Crazy McPsycho: “What goes in this box?”
Captain Charisma: “The box labeled email?!” You want to know what goes in the box labeled email?!”
Crazy McPsycho: “Yes, do I just put ‘yes’ or do they want to know what my email is?”
Captain Charisma: “Well it says ‘mail receipt to?’ in the box. So logically one would assume it is asking for an email address…you know, to send your receipt of payment to.”

She then asks what’s supposed to go in the box asking for a credit card number.

(It’s about this point that I’m pretty sure I’m on an episode of “Punk‘d“ and Ashton Kutcher is hiding around a corner waiting to pop-up and tell me that he got me good.)

As one might expect she receives a blank stare. No doubt, if I had the ability to make people implode with my brain this would be the perfect time to debut that ability.

Crazy McPsycho: “Oooohhhh, my credit card number!”
Captain Charisma: “Correct.”
Crazy McPsycho: “Go away now…”
Captain Charisma: “I’m sorry…what?!”
Crazy McPsycho: “Go away, I don’t want you to steal my credit card information.”

I let out an audible sigh as I contemplated where I would hide her body if I were to strangle her to death with a mouse cord…you know, in lieu of piano wire (the machine room for anyone who’s interested). I wander back up toward the desk and then she yells at me again.

As one might expect she then needs a run-through on how the printing processing works. She would need this same run-through not once, not twice…but EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME that she went to print.

Finally, she comes back up one final time telling me that she just tried to print a fifty-five page instruction manual for something…by the time she got to the words fifty-five pages I was already unplugging the mouse and wrapping it around my hands.

Crazy McPsycho: “Why isn’t it printing?”
Captain Charisma: “I’m going to assume it’s because it’s fifty-five pages long. It’ll probably take awhile to process.”
Crazy McPsycho: “Okay, can you grab it when it prints out and hang onto it for me?”
Captain Charisma:Go Fuck Yourself! …no.”
Crazy McPsycho: “Why not?! I’ll be back later, I have to go to the Gynecologist.”

…yep.

That’s right. She said she had to get to the freakin’ gynecologist!

You know those moments when your whole body is asking you…begging you…damn near forcing you to hurl all over the circulation desk?! Well if you don’t, lemme go ahead and tell you this was one of those moments.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really recall any of what she said after that, because all I was doing was thinking about how badly I wanted to blog about what had just happened.

Roughly an hour later Standards Guy came wandering up and handed me her fifty-five page instruction manual…what a sweet guy?! Apparently those two had been chit-chatting before she left and he promised he’d bring the manual up to the desk when it finished printing.

I don’t know if she came back to pick it up or not…and personally I don’t care, because Crazy McPsycho is without a doubt going to cause many a nightmare this evening.

Needless to say my apathy is entirely warranted.


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