Thursday, July 13, 2017
How to give us money
Lately I have been finding money lying around at the library I work at. Here's some in the aisle where I'm shelving books. I have had pleasant dreams like this: "Oh, here's a bill, and look at all this change! Oh, don't mind if I do. Why, there's so much!" Walking by the reference desk there's a dollar on the ground. I give it to the Reference Librarian. "I guess they missed your tip jar." I say. Someone leaves a quarter behind at the front desk. "Where'd this come from?" I just throw it into our cash register. I never keep any of this money. Somehow that would feel wrong, like I'm not some sort of physical part of my library. Like I'm a visitor.
I am not a visitor. Among all the comments and actions of patrons that I bristle at, there are few that get to me more than if I'm asked "Do you work here?"
"No, I sit here at this official looking desk with a name badge just to soak in what it all might feel like. Can I pretend to help you?"
Hmph! "Do I work here". One might as well ask a stack of non fiction bookshelves if they are part of the library.
"No." They would say. "We're just visiting for the day and adopted this clever camouflage in the hopes that no one would ask us any ridiculous questions!!!"
"Well excuse me. Everyone in this library is so touchy!"
So, okay, yes, I work here. I have two main jobs: Delivering witty, irascible quips at every possible moment, and collecting the money people donate. Oh, you'd like to donate some money to the library? How kind. No, we don't have a box anywhere. Just throw it on the floor.