L is for library, and since I've managed to stay employed there for five months now, I thought I'd share a few stories.
After my kiddos grew up, I rarely visited the library, so I'm still amazed that, in our small town, there is a line of people at the door, waiting to be the first to come in as soon as we open.
I was quite flustered and nervous those first few weeks, and unfortunately, I don't have the gift of hiding those flaws very well. Case in point: library card applications. Recently, a man was having trouble checking out items. He said his pin number wasn't working, while also explaining that this was the first time he had used his new card. So, I scanned his card, checked on the pin number (the last four numbers of their phone), and saw that numbers had been reversed. I quickly,(and may I say expertly?) made the change and handed him back his card. As he took his card, he mentioned that the lady that had given him his new card seemed pretty flustered. I'm going to rest in the thought that he didn't recognize me, because it was me.
My next big flustery moment happened when a lady wanted to pay for her express movies (new releases - 53 cents). Then handed me a $10 bill. Then, as an afterthought, said to just put the rest on her fines. I was already in the computer cash register, and now the process was backwards as to how I should have done it. By that I mean, I was going to have to use my little brain to figure out the math in my head. I started to sweat and get that flustery feeling. Then I happened to glance up and see that my high school math teacher (of all people!) was waiting at the desk. Now, she wouldn't remember me from Eve, but still, knowing she taught math, made the sweat start rolling down my brow, my face felt red, a hot flash was coming on, and I could not for the life of me figure out how to do the math. I got out pencil and paper and started writing it all down. It turns out, she just did the math in her head and told me how much change she should be getting. "Oh, I said, laughing nervously and wiping sweat away, "you're one of those walking computers. I live with two of 'em!" She smiled sympathetically, with eyes that said, I'm sorry you're so dumb. After she left, I moved on the help my math teacher. I felt compelled to say, "I'm so embarrassed because you were my math teacher." She responded that she was embarrassed because she had fines to pay.
But, life at the library is almost as entertaining as going to Wal-Mart. Surprisingly, the police have been called three times (that I know about) in the short time I've been there. We get some unruly patrons who like to be noisy and holler at no one in particular. Some people think that we are just adding fines onto their accounts for the fun of it. Some people make sure they have 99 items (the limit) checked out at all times. Some will check out 50 movies at a time. Seriously, who can watch 50 movies in a week? It is an interesting place to work.