idiot’s club

In honor of my last week as a Library Assistant, I would like to share with you a few untold tales that have occurred during my working life. Most of them took place at my current job, but I pulled a couple from the archives.

The Top Five Dumbest Things I’ve Done While On The Clock

#5: Librarians Who Didn’t Pay Attention in Physics Class

One Friday in the not so distant past, there was some sort of holiday which allowed the good children of my town to stay home from school. Subsequently, they stayed home from the library as well. One of our staff members is a kindergarten teacher who works a split schedule, and a day off meant she was working here instead of at school.

So what else do you do when your side of the library is devoid of patrons but has surplus staff?

Why, you rearrange the furniture!

We did such a massive overhaul on the Youth Side that people are still coming in and going “WOW! WHAT DID YOU DO?” six months later. They also ask us what happened to all the books, as if we threw them all out instead of pushing them all to one side.

Anyway. So we have these double sided shelves for all the picture books, and since we completely rearranged them, we had to rearrange the books so they could remain in the alphabetical order that lends itself to easy finding. Or as easy as finding a picture book on a toddler-grabbing-level shelf can be. We rigged up this system, where the books that needed to be moved were loaded on carts. We stole carts from the whole library, filled them to the brim, then unloaded them at the proper shelves.

Little did I know, one book cart remained largely stationary for a practical reason.

That practical reason would be that when you unload one side without unloading the other, the entire cart tips over and buries you in books.

That was fun to clean up.

#4: Guitar Nemeses

credit to fiskfisk

Despite our well-attended  after school, and preschool programming, we still have trouble getting anyone under the age of 18 (or maybe 65…) to show up to an evening program. Based on the level of interest during school visits, I thought I’d hit a winner by planning a Guitar Hero tournament for an August evening. I had plenty of kids who wanted to sign up in June (too soon), and had 8 kids sign up when the sign-ups started (which is definitely considered good turnout) but when that fateful evening showed up, I had 4 kids.

But the show must go on. I took role. When I asked one child’s name, his mother said “Oh, he’s only in 4th grade. Not old enough.” I invited him to join anyway! 4th is only a year away from 5th. The kids were all in the 5th-6th grade group, including his older brother, so not so far away as to leave him in the dust.

However, 4th grade is probably far too far away to provide the maturity to participate in a competition without screaming with delight when you beat a competitor by a few hundred points, or throw the guitar down when your brother beats you and then start sobbing for the duration of the tournament.

Poor little guy. And poor little program…

#3: Animal Instincts

credit to archangel_raphael

I spent a summer putting in volunteer hours at my local Head Start preschool. It was a 3’s and 4’s class, and I really enjoyed it a lot. Probably because it was the perfect ratio of responsibility and fun: lots of playing with the kids, assisting with meals and keeping them from running off/hitting each other/sneaking into the playhouse to practice kissing, and not in charge of any of the structural, responsibility type things.

Anywho, I was asked to read a story to the group – 20 or so kids – to wind them down before naps. They were having trouble focusing on the story, so I employed what I thought was a clever tactic to engage them.

“The kitty was soft and had white fur. What do kitties say, kids?”

The kids meow, meow, and lick their paws.

“Good job! <turn the page> The puppy was brown and liked to lick. What do puppies say?”

The kids yip and bark and growl and generally get out of hand. I try to settle them down, and quickly finish the book. The head teacher then takes over for me, and while I lay out mats for naptime, I can’t help but overhear a lecture.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into you! You are supposed to be quieting down for naptime, but you are being so loud! You are acting like animals! Next time, you better be good and listen to Miss Jessica, or else we won’t have any more stories and you’ll just have to go straight to napping.”


#2: Bag Lady

Going to work requires a lot of stuff. Everyone knows you need your make up, your laptop, your phone charger, your planner, your overdue library books, at least 2 books you are currently reading, at least 50 markers and pens, your purse, your lunch, your half-empty soda from the car ride over, your really big water cup, your sweater in case it gets drafty, your pillow and contact lens case in case you decide to spend the night…

So anyway, I’m coming into work with my hands full. There’s an overstuffed bag on my shoulder, lunch bag in one hand, Rockstar and keys wedged in the other. I just need to unlock the back door and I’ll be in the clear.

I drop my keys. Of course.

I contemplate putting something down to better attempt to bend over and pick them up. Lunch bag. I let my lunch bag slide down my arm and then BANG, my Rockstar hits the ground! Pink pomegranatey goodness spills all over my flip-flopped feet,

and all over my keys.

I still mourn that lost drink a little.

#1: Strict Five Hour Limit

When I first began work at my job, I left my car in the parking lot across the street. I was told the closer lot was reserved for short-term use, and signs declaring “FIVE HOUR PARKING – STRICTLY ENFORCED.”

A week into the school year, I gave up. You see, the kids that are bad in the library often get asked to leave for the day. The first place they tend to congregate is the parking lot across the street. Disgruntled teenagers who can’t adhere to very basic library rules, often weilding sports equipment. Who may have a vendetta against a certain library worker who kicks them out day after day. A certain library worker who parks her disabled, duct-tape laden car in the parking lot where they throw footballs and wrestle.

I decided to take my chances with the parking police.

One morning, I pulled into the lot in a sleepy daze. It was early. The coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. I slid into random parking spot in the completely empty lot and went inside.

At 12:30, one of my coworkers arrived to do the late shift.

“The parking lot’s a little busy today!” she said to me. “I tried to park next to your car, Jessica, but you were parked too far over!”

“Oh no!” I said. “That was dumb of me.”

So I went outside to correct the situation, only to find that I wasn’t just double parked…

And I wasn’t just TRIPLE parked….

Out of the entire parking lot, there were 3 empty spaces because I parked directly in the middle of FOUR PARKING SPOTS.

At least I called the bluff of those lazy local parking police 🙂


5 Comments to “idiot’s club”

  1. I’ve never had a whole cart tip over on me (though I have used carts that were obviously abandoned for a reason), but I’ve accidentally pulled books down on top of myself from high shelves before. When you see a book falling on you, it’s just instinct to do a drop and cover. I’ve actually done that a few times when I book wasn’t falling on me and my eyes were just playing tricks.

  2. hahahaha how do you take up FOUR parking spots?

  3. You never fail to crack me up!

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