Monday, January 09, 2006

A HARD Days Night

I have pondered long and hard over whether or not to publish the following story. Some truths are better left unsaid. However, in favor of "advocating for the victimized librarian" and as a subsequent warning to all librarians for any future occurrences, the committee for deciding all things RIGHT and WRONG has reached its final decision. Seeing as how leaving this story untold may cause more damage than telling it.

It was my unhappy duty about a week ago to be the official Librarian-In-Charge when one of our frequent internet users decided to cross that delicate line between appropriate and inappropriate viewing of the female form. I approached him and informed him that he was not permitted to view that kind of material at the library. Of course he argued that since our filter hadn't blocked it, he thought it was okay. In my nicest angry voice I told him that this assumption was incorrect. This particular individual had been kicked off our computers before (fortunately not while I was in charge), and so, this time, I told him, he was banned from library computers for a month, not just the rest of the day.

Not the most exhilarating part of my job, but, fine . . . it was over with anyway. And I wouldn't have to worry about him for another month.

Now you'd think that after being kicked off, and made a spectacle of in front of other internet users, that he would have some kind of shame? I kid you not, he came in WITH HIS WIFE not even two days later! He did not come anywhere near the computers, but "browsed" the stacks, while she perused email.

But WAIT . . . it gets even better!

That same evening, after working the late shift, I stopped at the grocery store (literally on the same block as the library) on my way home to buy baby food. Of course they can't sell these tiny jars in bulk. So I have to buy a kazillion miniscule jars that are a pain to carry and each have to be scanned individually. There are only two check-out lanes open at this lonely hour. The express lane is blocked by a woman with a Y2K supply of food. I head to the other lane. Just as I am putting my kazillion baby food jars on the grocery treadmill, I realize that the clerk is none other than Porn Guy!

Small world!

He was embarrassed enough not to look at me while scanning my kazillion jars. But he's not embarrassed enough to cease re-entering a building where the entire staff knows his "secret" and watches his activity like a paranoid mom at the playground?

Maybe someone can help me out with this one . . .


At 6:15 PM, Blogger Lori on the Plains said...

We marvel at this behavior at our library, too. I've come to realize that anyone using public computers for porn purposes clearly doesn't have the gene that allows him to feel any embarrassment,nor do they subscribe to the same social parameters that we "normal" folks do! It gets even more interesting when the offender is a female.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Happy Villain said...

I think it ups the ante, the threat of getting caught and humiliated. Either that or the true draw is to make the librarian uncomfortable. Just to make sure I don't give them some sick satisfaction of seeing me squirm, I try to appear as casual as possible and I even giggle a little. No, it's probably not professional, but at least I know that he's not doing it just to make me uncomfortable.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger part time librarian said...

I have had similar experiences with teenage boys. They try to make the librarian uncomfortable. The porn is bad enough, but I discovered something worse... Last week two male patrons were sharing a computer. They were viewing pictures of real dead bodies- possibly from the Iraq war, but I don't know. The pictures were the worst I had ever seen and in full color. We do not have privacy shields at my branch. I asked them to go to a different website since I was about to place a young girl at the next computer. Luckily, they left that website.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

Don't do anything. You now have his "secret" behavior attached to his public identity. You win.

Or next time you see him looking at porn in the library you can shout across the room "Hey, do your friends at (grocery store) know that yo enjoy masturbating?!"

He'll like that.


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