It's hard to support the union (AKA library rants part 3)

So next door to the library I work at there’s a Walgreens being built. Apparently Walgreens is somewhat known for using outside labor and not the local union contractors. This has made the union guys a little mad and they’ve been picketing the construction since it began.

Well last week two of the union guys were caught urinating on the library (in the back thankfully) and were warned that if anyone else was caught doing this the police would be involved.

So what happens this morning? Another union picketer decides to use the library as his own personal toilet. When he was caught he managed to slur out (in a drunken ramble) that “it was an emergency!” Did I mention this drunken rambling was at nine in the morning? Unfortunately, it was decided the police wouldn’t be called this time.

Other days I’ve seen the picketers dig their signs into the ground and set up several of them as a make shift card table. Other days they setup the signs in the morning and then just leave.

I’ve honked in support of the union picketers before, but a healthy handful are making them look really stupid.

Oh, and yet another patron was dumbfounded when I suggested that all of the new DVDs were checked out because they’re popular. :smack:

Do you allow volunteer library aides to chime in? If so…

There is a particular woman who has mistaken the local library for her own private reading room. She is a very hoity-toity type, who only reads the most elevated of magazines, doncha know. The small press literary magazines, but mostly those really classy slicks that sell for $10 and more an issue – tasteful but frugal, is our Mrs. Hoity Toity.

But at least TWO times EVERY SINGLE MONTH for over three years now I have had the same conversation with her. My volunteer stretch is Wednesdays from 11 to 2, which just happens to be the time slot Mrs. Hoity Toity chooses to visit her domain. She sweeps into the library, heads to the new magazine shelves to scoop up an armload and then heads for the circulation desk where I am usually holding down the fort alone while the real librarians are doing other Real Librarian duties elsewhere and also getting lunch hours in.

“Where is the October ‘Architectural Digest’?” she demands. “The November issue has arrived so the October issue should be available for circulation.”

(Yes, thank you for telling me the library policy on magazine circulation. I’ve only volunteered here for eight years, my first duty each week being to insert the newly received issues into binders and then put the now-superceded issues onto the shelves so patrons can check them out. Somehow I hadn’t grokked the full import of that process despite having performed it several dozen times on each of 400 days…)

Me, as pleasantly as I can manage. “The available issues are kept on the shelves below the current issues. If that isssue isn’t there, it means someone else has either checked it out already or is reading it somewhere in the library.”

“Well!” She practically snorts in indignation EACH and EVERY time. The idea that someone else should have DARED to grab a magazine before Mrs. HT could get her hands on it clearly offends her.

And then each time I offer to put a reserve in for the magazine for her, but she huffs about not wanting to do that because the magazine would probably become available on “the wrong day” and so that would be “inconvenient.”

Gee, life’s a bitch. You know, since this clearly matters to you so much, there’s a way you could be sure of getting first crack at each and every issue of your chosen magazines: Get your own damn subscriptions!

How much trouble would you get in if you just printed this on a card and held it up for her to read the next time? It might be worth it anyway.

Very little trouble, I suspect. Hey, I’m a volunteer – what are they going to do, dock my pay? And if it weren’t for the volunteers, they’d have to reduce the hours the library is open.

So maybe I’ll give it a go. :smiley: