Wednesday, March 5, 2014

lemme tell you some sad stories

Well, sad to me, at any rate.  It should be sad to the world, like other sad things, but really it's a symptom of many wrong things.

1) A young man (junior high or high school, I am now decrepit enough that it is becoming hard to tell) came up to the desk and said he was writing a paper on Mary Shelley and had to have an autobiography.  I told him that outside of a book of her collected letters, I didn't think she'd written one.  He looked sheepish and said something along the lines of well, I just need information about her.  After a quick clarification of whether he did, indeed, need biographical info or criticism of her work, we set off for the biography section.  No luck, so I took him over to the literary criticism section.  There were several about Frankenstein, of course, but there were also 2 very cool looking books about Shelley and her life in relation to Frankenstein.  I handed him one, took the other for myself, and instructed him to check the index for information specifically about Shelley.  He turned to the table of contents, flipped a couple of pages, then declared it, this book about Mary Shelley, contained "nothing" about Shelley. I looked at mine, showed him all the entries just about her, then he flipped to the back of his book and hemmed and hawed a little more.  I took his book from him, turned to the index entry (which took up nearly an entire page on its own, beautifully indexed under her name by topic even), and showed it to him.  He decided to take that book.  I am continually AmAzEd by the people, teen and adult, who don't know how to use an index.  Or a dictionary for that matter.  Hell, most of these kids can't even use the copy machine because they are used to just clicking an icon for the printer.  We had one middle school aged kid trying to use the phone at the front desk.  She picked up the receiver and put it down several times, never dialing.  Finally, when asked what was wrong, she said it was making a funny noise.  That's not a funny noise, sweetie, that's the dial tone.

2)  Let's have a lesson in the use of an automatic flushing toilet.  You sit down, or you hover.  You do your business and tidy up.  You get up, refasten your clothing, CHECK TO SEE THAT THE TOILET FLUSHED COMPLETELY, FLUSH THE FUCKING TOILET IF NOT, then depart to continue your day.  I have to be here 9 or 10 hours a day and do not appreciate having to wipe up and flush your piss and, thank god only occasionally, your shit.  Every automatic toilet has a manual flush button.  Shocker, I know.  Look for it.  Use it.  I mean, I get it.  There's one toilet in our bathroom that flushes if you bat your eyelashes too hard.  It's out of sync with stall use.  I understand.  But still, look back over your shoulder, notice if you've pissed all over the toilet seat.  Wipe it up.  Did everything go down?  If not, use the button please and make my working life just a tiny bit better.

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