Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Journal of the Plague Year 

Flu and winter season is upon us and even my well-to-do patrons, the ones not overexposed to the elements and suffering from haphazard nutrition and pitiful hygiene, are sick. The library sounds like a TB ward. All day sniffling patrons have been handing me books or pieces of paper, and I'm certain each item is crawling with disease. I refuse to worry and have vowed to be completely fatalistic. My Purell seems as effective in warding off this pestilence as a pocket full of posies or a crucifix or the flu shot. Last year during flu season a lot of the Asian support staff began wearing SARS style surgical face masks, but my manager issued an edict against them because he felt the staff wearing them 'sent the wrong message.'

Winter weather also brings in the homeless in droves. My manager had to throw out 3 people before noon yesterday because they violated our odor policy. The first patron expelled had a putrid smell that filled the entire library, so much so that even the other homeless were complaining. When my manager asked him to leave he became belligerent and muttered threats, which, my manager told me with a sigh, he will probably make good on. My manager said that this man has an M.O. of retaliating against establishments who throw him out by leaving a bowel movement smeared on their front door, sort of like the mark of Zorro. One of a pub's hot tempered Irish dishwashers caught him in the act and came close to killing him with his fists, but this didn't deter him and as soon as he soon recovered he resumed leaving his signature fecal calling cards. The next person asked to leave, a woman who stank of dried urine and sweetly rancid decay, almost made the page shelving books near her faint. She left only after threatening to go to the mayor. The final man was a classic wino and was redolent of Night Train and vomit. Before he was sent packing he had to be awoken several times and told to put his shoes back on. One time I looked over and his head was so far back over his chair he was practically doing a back bend and his mouth was completely open. It's going to be a long winter.

I have often wondered why poo pickup bags are only marketed to dog owners. It would make sense to make them available for homeless people as well. I "smell" a terrific opportunity!
Odor policy, eh?

You wouldn't happen to have the wording of that would you? I'd love to run it by my boss for possible future inclusion in library policy here.
Off topic sorry - but I felt you should know that BizGirl - the New Zealand female librarian whose blog you link to - won New Zealand personal blog of the year.

It was then revealed that she does not exist and it is written by a male non-librarian. All the stories are made up. Very sad.

You may wish to reconsider the link under librarians...
// written by a male non-librarian.

I *am* actually a librarian (MLIS). I think what some people are missing is that the blog isn't *totally* fictitious. I've just created a fictional environment in which I can stage a lot of my real-life experiences without fear of upsetting work-mates and the people I have work dealings with. Although, that's all out the window now...
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