Note:

This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Burst My Bubble

Actually, it went beyond bursting my bubble. I ended up being LIVID. I hate having bad experiences for absolutely no reason. And actually, it's rare to have a bad experience for any reason, so let me clarify, I HATE HAVING BAD EXPERIENCES.

Of course, who does?

So last week, I wanted to return some library books. CJ pointed out to me earlier in the week that Mi-Mi had taken the stickers off the books she had checked out. These were the "upc" codes the library uses to scan books in and out. I explained to Mi-Mi that these books were not _ours_ and that she wasn't supposed to take these stickers off.

This has been a confusing issue for Mi-Mi, I think. When we go to Quail Ridge Books, she holds about five books and says "I want all of these", as she does when we are at the library when she can walk out with a dozen. But there are times when we are at the library where she will hold books and say "Can we buy these?" I've explained many times but I figure, if I'm not buying them, she ain't getting them...so soon, she'll figure out the difference.

The bottom line: she LOVES going to the library and the book store. And I do buy her many books (not to imply with the above statement that I don't) so we are spoiled with books.

When I reviewed the 'damage' to the library books, she literally pulled the upc codes off 12 of the 17 books she had. Great. I re-explained why this was not right. I gave her a monologue and she apologized: "I'm sorry. I didn't know."

I felt bad and at first thought, I could drop these books in the bin and not face the library folks, but instead, I thought that I would go through my account and write down the 14 digit number, in hopes that it would alleviate the stress of looking for it to relabel it. Do you know how difficult it is to write a 14 number down and feel confident that you wrote the numbers down accurately? And if you're anal-retentive like me, do you realize how time consuming a task this is?

So, I left with the bag of books, divided between the unlabeled and the untouched.

I get to the library and I wait patiently to be helped. The first sign of doom is that one person is helping another patron and not very happily. Two others have most of one side facing me and they cannot see me, and another is walking around, making eye contact with me several times, but not asking if I need help. So for ~3 minutes, I wait for acknowledgement.

Finally, the unhappily one looks at me like 'why the heck does she just leave the books there?' I smile GRACEFULLY and say, I am returning these books but these here, my daughter took the UPC codes off. Sorry about that but I wrote down the upc numbers for each one...

What did I get? A long silent pause then a big LOUD SIGH of irritation.

I repeat: I tried to make up for it by writing the numbers down...

Another big irritated loud sigh.

Okay, I'm pissed now but holding back. I ask the sigher, OKAY. WHY ARE YOU SIGHING? If there is a fine, I will gladly pay it. I don't need the sighs.

So one of the side-facing bitties comes to intervene. The sigher says to her cohort, exasperatedly "her daughter ripped the codes off the books". I say to them both "she didn't mean it"...whatever that meant. It just came out.

The side-facing bittie then pauses with a silent irritating look at said books -- and I'm like thinking, OKAY WHAT THE FUCK? IT'S DONE. MOVE ON. I'LL GLADLY PAY 50 BUCKS TO GET OUT OF THIS STUPID DRAMA.

Instead, the side-facing bittie says: well actually, she _can_ help it and she will next time because you will tell her that she is not supposed to do this.

WHAT DID SHE JUST SAY TO ME????????????!!!!!!???????!!!!!!

That's what my eyes did to her. My mouth said, EXCUSE ME?

And she said, oh, well, this happens a lot and I'm just saying that you'll tell her not to do it again...

Honestly, I can't remember what I said after that...it wasn't anything terrible (I think) because I was SO FUCKING MAD AT THE GALL of these two people, talking and treating me the way they did. I was shaking and I knew that I would be yelling and cussing soon and THIS TIME, I was very conscious of the people around me.

I usually lose awareness of my surroundings when I am this mad. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde -- a different person comes out of me and becomes someone I'm not comfortable being because, well, I get really mean. Yes, you doubt me but a few of my old acquaintances may remember parts of that bad personality trait. Nothing that I'm proud of and over the years, I have called people back to apologize for my behavior...

But I've never turned away before and I did this time. And let me tell you, IT DOES NOT FEEL GOOD. Does it feel good to go off on them? Yes, at the time, but then time passes and sometimes I think, I could've handled that better. But turning away and walking out without berating them was the most difficult thing I had done in this type of situation.

I shook with anger as I walked to my car. I was muttering BITCHES under my breath. I wanted to scream. I was just insanely pissed. I sat in my car for a few minutes trying to decide if I should go back and do what I wanted, which was to put these bitches in their place, thus, making a scene. And I remained this way for a good while.

When I got back to work, I shut my door and wrote DND on a sticky. I was breathing fire. I canceled all my book requests for that particular branch and decided I would buy every god-damn book I wanted to read. Free wasn't worth it if I had to deal with rude, holier-than-thou folks. This really wasn't the first time that these library people have been 'rude'. I just hadn't experienced this level of rudeness...and actually, I would say for the most part, they haven't been rude, they have been either 1) unfriendly or 2) humdrum. Hence, probably my reluctance to face these people with the un-UPC'd books.

But I couldn't let it go. I called. When the other end answered, I asked to speak to one of the two people that had helped me -- I was the one that brought in the damaged books. The person responded that she was one of the ones that helped me (ironic to say "helped).

I asked, "Are you the one that kept sighing?" and she said yes. But immediately said she was sorry about something or another...about either offending me or having me _feel_ offended (as though that's not what she intended). She seemed, at least over the phone, meek and truly sorry about pissing me off. But added "it's just that we have to go through every one of those books and put the upc codes on".

When I asked about her friend with the parenting advice, she said she was out for lunch. It was 2:30 in the afternoon...I kind of felt like that was horseshit but I didn't pursue it. I told the sigher that I didn't appreciate her partner giving me parenting advice. She has no idea what might have transpired between me and my child and she had no right to say what she said.

Then the sigher started defending her: that's not what she meant. She was just trying to ensure...blah blah blah. I am now speaking strongly (without yelling; i'm at work, mind you) SHE SPOKE TO ME IN A CONDESCENDING MATTER AND YOU KNOW IT. YOU BOTH WERE CONDESCENDING.

By that time, I lost her and her "sorry" became a "sorry ass" in my mind. I asked her to tell me what the rules were when books are damaged: how should parents bring in the books to avoid sighs and parenting advice? They both stated that this happens "all the time" so if it were to happen again, what could I do -- or say to my other parenting friends -- to ensure that we can properly bring the books in without attitude.

At this point, she was just repeating herself about what, I don't know.

I'm better now. Time and alcohol has soothe my ire over this and I have re-requested books from that particular branch. Up until that day I brought the un-UPC-coded books, I have not had to deal with these people. I alway order my books on-line and pick them up, then use the automated check-out to check-out. As I said, these folks seem to act like the McDonald workers: I hate being here but I'm here...now , what can I do for you?

1 comment:

  1. Start pulling off all the UPC stickers. It obviously irritates the old bitties and that's what they get for using cheap stickers that can easily be pulled of - lazy ass skanks. - James Lamm

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