Tuesday, February 28, 2023

They who must not be named


At my library, in any given time period, there will be two to five regular library patrons who are notoriously...


I know that's a general term, but these problems can be extremely diverse, ranging from the mildly horrifying, like someone with hygiene problems, or a person with interactive paranoias that can involve their insistent reports and complaints about the people following them, all the way to almost charmingly irritating highly interactive patrons who visit us relentlessly. There are people who need to greet us and say goodbye dozens of times for every one of their regular visits, and others who need help with the same tasks over and over, every day. All of these people are known to all the staff and sometimes even possess their own internal, describing nicknames like "Mullet Man" or "Mr. Magoo". 

But here is the amazing thing: Even though we are quite busy these days at my library we currently have zero of these regular, problematic, patrons.

This doesn't mean there aren't problems and problem patrons. It just means that none of these problems have taken a corporeal form, that is, the shape of a regular, specific, personal, individual nuisance to the library.

I was talking to a co-worker when this outlandish quirk of fate occurred to me. Zero problem regulars. My co-worker was amazed too. There is no commonly known, regularly difficult patron visiting our library on a regular basis right now. And so musing, we started naming all these wild and difficult patrons that, for whatever reasons, weren't coming around. We came up with an impressive list, past and present, and then, in a moment of absolute horror, we realized our terrible mistake;

Naming them summons them.

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