Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 19, 2009

MLK Day: Encounters of the Crazy-Kind (pt. 1)

Ah yes…Martin Luther King Jr. Day…a holiday meant to pay homage to a man who changed this country, and the world forever.


In the Midwest, we just call it ‘Monday’ and everyone goes to work, but out east it’s a paid holiday! Well, all ya’ll know what a paid holiday means in my head—bigger paycheck for working on the aforementioned paid holiday—as such I received a nice little chunk of time to work in our largely deserted library today and earn some much-needed extra cash.


Unfortunately, holidays in the library tend to leave a lot to be desired because the following are almost always true:


1) The normal nerdy-types aren’t going to be coming into the library.


2) The crazies will undoubtedly decided that a holiday is the perfect time to meander into (and/or call) the library and make your life a living hell…


Well, I was lucky enough to deal with a handful of crazies during my MLK day shift. Here is an excerpt from my first go ‘round…


telephoneEncounter Number One.


The phone rings, so I turn on my vaunted “Librarian Voice” and answer the phone…


Captain Charisma: “Hello…Barker Engineering Library…how may I help you??”

PhoneChick: “Hi, my name is “Jane Doe”…I’d like to speak to the owner.”

Captain Charisma: “Um…we don’t exactly have an “owner” per se…this is a library.”


This lead to a short pause, followed by some seriously snarky attitude.


PhoneChick: “No, son, I need the owner…or a manager will suffice.”

Captain Charisma: “Okay, again we don’t have an owner on site…because this is a library.”

PhoneChick: “I want to talk to the owner…or a manager.

Captain Charisma: “Uh…yeah, I’ve managed to gather that much…”

PhoneChick: “Good, then put the owner on the line, son.”

Captain Charisma: “Um, okay…ma’am…I can put you in touch with one of the Associate Heads of the library.”

PhoneChick: “No.”

Captain Charisma: “Okay well then…”


She cuts me off…


PhoneChick: “I said no.”

Captain Charisma: “Okay…”

PhoneChick: “NO!”

Captain Charisma: “Huh?!”

PhoneChick: “Son, I said no!”

Captain Charisma: “Yeah…ma’am…I get that, but…”

PhoneChick: “No. No. No!!”

Captain Charisma: “Um…no, what?!”

PhoneChick: “No.”

Captain Charisma: “I’m confused, ma’am…what exactly are you rejecting?”

PhoneChick: “I will not speak to an Associate Head, I want the owner.”


At this point, I take a minute and figure that if I just slow her down and talk this out, she’ll get what I’m trying to say.


Captain Charisma: “You want the owner of the library?”

PhoneChick: “Yes.”

Captain Charisma: “You would like to talk to the owner…of an engineering library…on a college campus?”

PhoneChick: “Yes…”

Captain Charisma: “And you would like to speak to the owner of this library in the middle of the afternoon on a holiday?”

PhoneChick: “Yes…preferably quickly, I’m very busy.”


At this point, I figure I’ve put up with just about enough of this crap.


sprintCaptain Charisma: “And who may I ask is calling?”

PhoneChick: “This is “Jane Doe” with Sprint. We want to know if you’re happy with your long-distance service.”

Captain Charisma: “You’ve gotta be freakin’ kidding me…”

PhoneChick: “No, son, we’re very concerned about your happiness with your current long-distance provider.”

Captain Charisma: “…” (blank stare at phone)

PhoneChick: “Son?!”

Captain Charisma: “Yeah…we’re done here.”




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