Thursday, August 16, 2007

Well, Yeah, As A Matter Of Fact, You DO Need YOUR CARD!

Truly, I am a bad, bad person: if one person told me today (I worked the window my entire shift) in response to "May I see your card?" that he/she didn't have his/her card, ten people did. I don't get it. I myself have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the....disorganized....among us, as I am the very definition of that term, but I myself was a library patron for many many years prior to becoming a library employee and I don't recall ever showing up at the library without my card and expecting to check out. One very nice lady in particular said that, well, when she'd placed the hold, all she'd had to do was tell the librarian her card number....over the phone. It was all I could do not to crack up: what, should the (no doubt long-suffering) librarian have asked her to fax in a photo of the actual card? I was tempted to ask for her card number then (even though, no, we don't allow people to check out simply by reciting a card number; we require a SOMETHING that verifies one is who one says one is) because I would've bet any amount of money that she had no idea what it was. She was definitely the most oblivious of the customers today (expected me to just....give her....her book) but not by much. I kept telling myself, as I try to remember to every working day, that they don't know________ (fill in blank with policies/procedures/rules/etc.) and I do. So when someone hands me an enormous bag of books and asks, "Are these late?" I can't snap, "How the hell would I know?!" because they....don't....know. I can't, when someone I've never seen before walks up to the desk and says "Are you holding a book for me? (Period. No "Here's my card." No "My name is_____") say, "Gee, let me get my magic wand and-" because they....don't....know. Theeeeeeyyyyyyy....dooooooooonnn'tttt....knnooooowwwwwww.....

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What Am I Going To Do?

Sarah had a physical yesterday and it went very poorly. She's healthy enough (as far as anyone could tell, as it was impossible to either take her blood pressure or actually examine her, although our doctor was able to get her to let him listen to her heart and lungs and peer into her ears) but began to cry as soon as we approached the office. This is one of those areas where she appears to be losing skills she once had: I can't say Sarah's ever enjoyed seeing a doctor, but certainly hasn't behaved in the past the way she did yesterday, and what's really scaring me is how she was so obviously not manipulating the situation. It was as though her fears took over and she was incapable of controlling herself. Too: Sissy HATES to be poked, and had to have four shots yesterday for routine vaccinations. Hmmm. In retrospect....okay: she's not old enough to make these decisions herself, and I'm a firm believer in vaccination. Still. It was traumatic and horrible and degrading and I don't know if I'm going to get behind this in the future. Had I known what was going to happen, I would've swallowed my own fear of being thought overprotective and insisted on sedation (as long as it's not administered as a shot!) if for no other reason than to spare Sarah the memory of how she behaved. Even as she was still in full outcry, she was angry and miserable ("I made a fool of myself! I can never show my face here again!!!!! WAAAHHHHHH!!!!") about how she'd acted.

Thank God Sarah is not blaming me (yet) for having to see doctors....she asked recently (again) why she has to see the psychiatrist, and I explained (again) why it's necessary and talked a little about her medication again...which she is beginning to claim she doesn't need. Hmmmm. Hmmmmmm. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. What she really means is that she doesn't want her blood tested, which is going to come up Monday when we're at the psychiatrist's office...because I haven't had Sarah's blood drawn since the last time we were there. I just can't. I know it doesn't really "hurt" her, but the entire experience is doing something to her that goes deeper than mere fear, and as her mother, it's become one of those areas where the answer SEEMS obvious (what am I, insane? Get that blood drawn! Don't let her push you around! This is important! Etc.) but isn't. Oh, and- this just in- I've officially given up on getting Sarah's ears pierced. Uneccessary, right? Of course. Buuuutttttt.....girls do it, like they go to get haircuts (another thing I've given up on after the traumarama last fall at WalMart's salon) and __________________ (fill in blank with any number of perfectly ordinary things my daughter can't/won't experience.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

She's Baaaaack......

I never remember what summer's REALLY like until it begins. I have to wonder: what shape will it take once my kids are grown up and gone?

I went to work last night with just about the worst hair I can remember having. This is why I need to hack most of it off: once it grows longer than an inch or two, it develops an attitude. I looked like the wrath of God and was irritable all evening. We've put a mirror behind the discharge computer (cool. Permits us to see if a customer has approached while our backs are turned) and every time I ran some item past the scanner I'd see my furrowed brow, surrounded by this...fright wig. Things seem back to normal today, coif-wise, but my eyes are watering to the degree that I appear to be very upset by something (my hair! Ha ha) and my eyeliner is washing off as soon as I reapply. And reapply. And reapply.

We ("we." Ha. My husband said, several weeks ago, that he thought we should have some plants hanging from our porch. I agreed and threw out an opinion or two- ferns! Nice fluffy ones!- but he thought something with flowers blah blah blah. Long story short: after weeks of this just not getting off the ground, I finally bought two fuschias, then the hardware to hang them, then hung them) hung some plants from our porch and I must say they look nice. I don't seem to have that "house beautiful" gene so they're barely adequate ( e.g., still in the white plastic baskets they came in when I bought them, at a discount, from Giant Eagle) but nobody's pointed and laughed yet when passing by my house so I guess they'll do.

Had an incident or two last night which could've been avoided had the people in question HAD THEIR LIBRARY CARDS WITH THEM when the y came TO THE LIBRARY.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Back On The Chain Gang

Okay: I took a nice long break from formal work while raising my kids (ho ho: as if that job is done) so maybe I'm still in a honeymoon phase, but..... I'm surprised anew every day that I arrive at my current job and am still as excited to be there as I was the day I started. It's not like it's always easy/pleasant/fulfilling, necessarily, but I seem to've found my niche. I still can't believe I get PAID to service my addiction (that would be my PRIMARY addiction: books. Books. Boooooooooks) and was a bit unsettled to discover, during my vacation this past week, that I actually

I went directly from work to my brother-in-law's 50th birthday party tonight (I've become someone who has engagements IMMEDIATELY AFTER WORK, which isn't and brought my girls home not too long into the evening. What this family needs is some grandchildren. We seem to be in a holding pattern of blandness while our kids mature, though, God willing, not TOO soon. The granddaughter of a friend was there tonight (gorgeous little child; smart and polite, too. Her parents are divorcing now, after...I don't know. Yes, they were very young, but I can't convince myself that those marriages are doomed to failure) and it gives me an odd feeling to realize that while I'm anticipating that next step, some of my own peers are just starting their own families. Yeeeesh. I wouldn't want to start over again, but what would I know, if I didn't already have a half-grown family? Forty isn't considered "old" now, gestationally. Huh. I don't want to sound ageist,'s a young woman's game. In my opinion.

Sisyphus In A Dress

The standing tub (I wouldn't call it a "clawfoot tub" as it has no claws) in my bathroom is so old now that the finish is letting me down, appearance-wise. Wednesday (not coincidentally, the day after I colored my hair) I poured a gallon of bleach into the !@#$%^ and started the hot water running while I tackled the groceries Sarah and I'd just bought (goodbye, $200.) I'd covered for a friend at work that morning and was due back for a meeting in the afternoon, so I was attempting- as always- to make the most efficient use of my available time. I've been a bit overwhelmed since arriving home from vacation and the days are just flying by, with a handful of tasks that need to be completed just plain not getting done while I sprint through my house like a chicken with no head. So: I manage to forget that the tub's running until it was too late. Upon realization, I hoof it into the bathroom, where there's an inch of extremely hot, bleachy water on the floor and more spilling over the sides of the !@#$%^& tub. I- reflexively- wade in, burning the bejesus out of my feet. But wait! Even as I register the sensation of my feet being incinerated and try to levitate up and out of the area, straining something in my back, I crank the tap off and STICK MY ARM INTO THE BOILING, BEACHED WATER in order to pull the plug. It was a veritable trifecta of stupidity. Floor's really clean in there now, though. Or was until today- when I couldn't help but observe, while contorting myself in order to install the new toilet seat I'd just purchased this morning (I had no idea what a crisis it is when ones toilet seat breaks down) that the floor is once again hairy and grimy and disgusting. How does this happen????

I was thrilled to finally leave and get to work (no toilets to repair here!) but still. Sheesh. As I was crouching by the potty, all dressed up for the afternoon shift, screwdriver in one hand, clock ticking away, I couldn't help but think, "Someone else has MY life... and I want it back."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back To......."Normal"

I tend to forget over the span of the school year what summer vacation is really like. We've been back from the beach only two days total and already I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown: I should not have had children, or rather, I should've stopped at two. (I remember how I felt back when making these decisions- ho ho, as though I REALLY "made decisions" regarding this area- that two kids wasn't quite enough, but three was too many. A dilemma, this.) Sarah (aka "The Barnacle") is draining all the life from me, one loony question at a time. Thank God for my job, which I'm delighted to report I still have despite the bizarrely irate customer I "helped" my last day at work prior to leaving town. To say that I worried about the impact this dude's over-the-top and completely unfounded anger would have on my career ("career!" Ha ha! Ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!) understatement. I obsessed so thoroughly about what had happened that I may as well have brought that nut along on the trip.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rodent-Free Zone

In the wake of my recent mouse dilemma (if he's still there when I get home, I'm giving him a name) I'm reminded of the only other rodent I was able to tolerate: Bob, aka The Mouse Saved From The Jaws Of Death. My daughter Sarah had come home from school one day when she was in the first grade and showed me her closed fist. "Susan (not her real name) gave me something, but I know you won't let me keep it," she said. Susan was a friend situation tended to make my hair stand on end, and I braced myself: what was it? Something that belonged to Susan's mother? A piece of her jewelry? Her crack pipe? "Well, what is it?" I asked, and Sarah opened her hand to show me a tiny black mouse. I screamed so loud that he shot up in the air like he was levitating, then collapsed back onto Sarah's palm.

Susan's mother kept snakes, and that morning Jessica had smuggled the mouse into school in her backpack to prevent him from being consumed. I don't like mice. In fact, I HATE mice. I have a physical reaction to mice/bats/birds when they appear in my house that I swear will one day kill me: my heart pounds painfully, I can't breathe...the sight of something scuttling/flying/swooping indoors turns me into a screaming, sobbing maniac, and this time was no different. Against my better judgment, I agreed to provide temporary foster care to the vermin. We named him "Bob" and made him a home in a mayonnaise jar. The first night, he fell into his water dish and I woke up to find him soaking wet and shivering. The next night, he moved into my room, where I could keep an eye on him. I plugged in the heating pad, covered it with a towel, and put Bob's jar on top of it. I touched the jar several times during the night to make sure it wasn't too hot, but the next morning Bob was stretched out on his back, limbs splayed, sweating and panting. So far he'd spent a day in a backpack, had been frightened out of his wits by a shrieking giant, then endured back to back nights of alternately freezing and roasting. I borrowed a cage from friends who kept rodents and Bob seemed visibly relieved to move in.

While I was fond of Bob (who lived to a ripe old mouse age and was charming and friendly to the end) he didn't exactly change my opinion about vermin as a whole. I'm not sure if our current mouse will, either, as I'm leaving on a long-anticipated vacation this morning and told my son that there'll be a cash reward if he disposes of the interloper while I'm gone. "A mouse?" he said when I filled him in. "I HATE mice." Atta boy!