I yelled at a library patron today. YELLED. I screamed at the top of my lungs.
No, I wasn't mad.
I was helping a regular named Richard Smalls. He doesn't hear so well anymore. That might be an understatement. It would be more accurate to say he only hears anything in extreme situations, like explosive devices being set off within a hundred feet of him or someone yelling short, declarative sentences as loudly as they possibly can, usually three or four times in succession. An added problem to this situation is that Richard Smalls has become so unaccustomed to hearing anything anyone says to him that he has gotten out of the habit of understanding anything when he does hear it, as in:
"I need your library card."
"I need your library card!"
"I NEED YOUR LIBRARY CARD!"
"One more time?"
"I NEED YOUR LIBRARY CARD!!!"
"Oh." He said. "You need my library card. I don't understand. What do you mean?"
I didn't explain it to him. I said "Yikes. I dropped my pen!" Then I crouched down behind the service counter where I couldn't be seen, lay on the floor, and took a 15 minute nap. I was exhausted.