Friday, April 29, 2005

pubic library

The first job I ever had (besides baby-sitting) was at the local library. I won't use the name but NOT because I'm interested in protecting their sterling reputation. After all, this is the library system where a patron actually pooped in the books. I'm just protecting my own ass.

I worked at this library for over two years, all through junior and senior years of high school and then the summer after my freshman year in college. It was a good job. I got paid more than minimum wage, got regular raises, and got away with doing a minimal amount of work most of the time. Plus, they gave me a going away party when I left for school. And, while there were times where I was so bored that I thought my eyes might actually seep out of my head, the library was usually an endless source of entertainment.

I was friends with most of the people there and work usually ended up being more play than actual work, something I think bugged our superiors to no end. Most of them had no sense of humor. Sure, there were times when we were just screwing off, like the time I put stickers on all of the plants that said "water me." Or all the time we would spend giggling over books called Mommy Laid an Egg or How to Be Your Own Private Dick. Or the time I spun one of the paperback racks as hard as I could, pretending I was on The Price is Right or some nonsense, and all of the books literally FLEW off the rack all over the floor.

So, yes, we messed around A LOT, but usually only when there wasn't much work to do. And, my god, we were teenagers. I think my boss should have had better things to do than follow us around and make sure we didn't giggle too loudly. I remember how paranoid it made me. She was so sneaky. Even when I didn't work there anymore, and I just went in to get some books, if I saw her walk by the aisle I'd immediately start straightening books because OH GOD SHE'LL FIRE ME.

The best day ever was one Saturday when I was working at the front desk. An older lady came in, put her books on the counter and said, "I don't want to alarm you, but someone stole the 'L' from the Public Library sign." Luckily, I was facing the other way so no one saw me start laughing. Pubic Library. Hee. The lady sounded so indignant. So shocked! I expected her to put her hand to her forehead, sigh "woe is me," and then fall to a crumpled heap on the floor.

A few days later, I noticed that the L had been replaced. Ever inquisitive, I went to the sign and pulled on the L, but they had bolted it there and it was NEVER coming off.

Which is a pity, because I think the original L, the one sitting on the desk in my apartment, is getting lonely.

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