Somebody at the library had an idea that has good intentions but is so horribly stupid that I decided to write about it. The library now has a Help Desk in the lobby. A good idea. In theory. It’s a plain old desk with a fake plant on it and a sign that says I’m a Loser For the Next Hour So Ask Me Questions. The rules of Help Desk are 1) you can’t get up from the chair to show someone where something is, 2) you cannot bring any other work with you to the desk. Different people sit at the desk for 5 hours a day; they still have to get their regular work done but aren’t allowed to do anything but smile. We can point to where people need to be: Tax forms? Hang a left at the stairs and walk 10 feet until you see the copy machine. Need to take a shower? Please don’t do a whore’s bath in the library’s restroom. Here are directions to the missions that have showers. We don’t get a computer and we don’t get a phone. If some really bad shit went down-and unfortunately a lot of bad shit happens at the library-we have no safety measures. No phone = no help.
Today was my day to “Help.” I brought a piece of paper with me because I refuse to stare vacantly into space for an hour. So I decided to write down whatever came into my head and whatever I saw. A lot of the library’s patrons are normal people dropping in for children’s story time or to pick up books or DVDs. The others that come in are homeless and assholes. I suppose there are homeless assholes. They come into the library drunk or high and pass out in the chairs and look at porn until somebody complains.
Here’s me on the Help Desk today.
God, oh God. Don’t look the crazy ones in the eye. Well, that one guy had two wall eyes so I really don’t know where to look.
I want a cookie.
Fuck me, the guy sauntering by the desk thinking he’s Brad Pitt is slowing down. He looks like Brad Pitt after being run over by two trains and a mule drawn cart. He’s so drunk I’m surprised he’s made it into the building. “You’re pretty. Better than that ugly guy that was on the desk last week.” I mumble something. Please don’t kill me and then wear my skin as a suit. He lingers too long. I can smash the fake plant over his head and try to brain him with the Welcome sign if he tries to, I don’t know, taste my brain.
I really want a cookie.
A patron complains to me that we shouldn’t allow dogs in the coffee shop (our library has a coffee shop and then gets pissed off at people for having uncovered drinks in the library). I pretend to write his complaint down. This is what I write:
ME WANT COOKIE.
The real question about life isn’t if God exists. The real question is why does Kim Kardashian’s butt look so deformed? I want to be rich and famous for absolutely nothing. I have a big butt.
IF I DON”T GET A COOKIE THIS PLACE IS GONNA BURN.
I think the library patrons are manufacturing a new perfume. They should call it Candy Crotch. I don’t think I need to describe the scent except for four words: tuna fish and Skittles.
Isn’t it a school day? Why are all these teenagers here? Why are they all wearing ultra skinny jeans? When did androgyny make a come back? Did it ever go away?
It’s 12:45. Do you know where your crack head is?
Maybe that small pink haired Asian lady browsing through the For Sale cart will get into a bitch-slap fight with that bearded midget. Oh. That’s not a bearded midget. I think it’s her kid. Or maybe that’s the dog I heard barking earlier in the coffee shop.
Is it meth Wednesday already? The desk is situated so anybody coming in has to walk by me. I saw three women with a combined number of 4 teeth between them serpentine past the desk. I say hi and then make sure my face slams shut so they don’t think we’re BFFs because I said hello.
You never bring me flowers. You only bring me tequila fumes.
Ha! That little fucker who was sticking his tongue out at me fell! And I didn’t even trip him.
Smiling so hard at people is God damn unnatural. I think that guy with the greasy back pack just tried to commune with the fake plant. He gave it a little caress. Both the fake plant and I feel violated and will be getting a group together to talk about our shared feelings on boundary issues.
Note to self: next Wednesday bring another sheet of paper. Note to self: find another job.
Shit. I just touched the corner of my eye after touching the desk. Am I going to get pink eye? I could probably get Ebola from the desk. I think I caught a dose of stupid from touching the desk last week.
Why is it when I hear one of my co-workers laugh I want to push her hyena braying ass out into traffic?
Thank God. My replacement’s here.
And I nearly knocked over four kids, two old ladies, and a meth head racing back to the safety of the library’s basement where I belong.
Bright side of the “Help” desk? I get stuff to write about.
The bad side? Making sure Buffalo Bill doesn’t try to wear my skin.