Help Desk Wednesday

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:


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.


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.



About jkhughes2

I'm fat and I hate my job. Well kinda. Kinda on both of those. I love to read and work in a library where they don't let me read. But as long as I get to be around books I'm happy. I once wanted to be a writer and then realized that I'm too lazy to write a book but not too lazy to write a blog. And blogging is like keeping a journal except my posts are the equivalent of verbal diarrhea. And oh yeah. I have really low self-esteem. I have a dog named Max but I call him Maxhole. He's the first dog I've ever had. I find his daily life way more interesting than mine or most people I know. That's about it. I hate politics and computer books. I secretly wish I was Doctor Who but can't remember if that's "was" or "were." Now that's it.
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9 Responses to Help Desk Wednesday

  1. Gloria says:

    Hahaha….and those soul stealers! Nowadays (god that’s a stupid word) when you look someone in the eye, smile and say “Hello” most those people think you’re coming on to them…great! When I have help desk duty…I kick back, relax and wait for the crazies. The druggies that go in and out and in and out…refuse to look at you…we should at least get to count the times they go back and forth and do what? Sell drugs in the bathroom, do drugs outside the library, come back in to score some more?!!! It will be interesting how long this lasts…it’s so not safe…it would make good punishment for employees…but let’s not make supervisors have to supervise! And I haven’t gained my serial killer boyfriend yet…like Kathy has….

    • jkhughes2 says:

      The patron that wanted to wear my skin asked me if I was writing down how many people walked by the desk. I said no. I was writing down “This fucker keeps walking by me. I’m pretty sure he’s drunk and mentally unstable. I’m really short so am I going to be able to launch myself over the desk to get away?” When I’m sitting up at that desk I do feel like I’m being punished.

  2. Kathy says:

    I think sometimes the sign says “I’m your captive audience so go ahead and tell me your excessively long, extremely boring story. I’m already having a hard time staying awake.”
    Gloria, you can also find serial-killer boyfriiends on Craigslist. There’s a whole section.

  3. Sunflower says:

    I would so have dropped off some cookies for you.

  4. “Note to self: Find another job.” Oh, goody! Please let me know when you do, as I have been unemployed since I was laid off 5 months ago and I would be so happy to go sit at the help desk and watch the loonies for a paycheck every two weeks. Don’t forget Uncle Guacamole: Needs a job and is willing to travel.

  5. Morguie says:

    Reminds me of my waitressing years…holy crap! The characters are just too hard to imagine all by yourself…they really ARE the way they are…I could really tell you some stories…I like that little joke: What has a toilet seat and a waitress got in common? They can only wait on ONE asshole at a time…

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