You know you’re officially through the month of hell when the boss leaves for a 10 day hunting trip. That would be fantastic news, but for the fact that it coincided with our long awaited moving day. The major furniture is moved in, but then my husband jumped on a plane to jet off to California to play with bugs in petri dishes and look at said bugs under a 2 million dollar microscope, leaving me to unpack and arrange and assemble everything. In addition to the fact that I don’t remember what, it’s like to not have a back ache, I’ve been running a low grade fever and going to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 all weekend, and I woke up with a horrific, “get me the migraine meds” headache this morning. I didn’t take a sick day last quarter, and I am definitely due.
So here I am, possibly going back to bed. But before I do, I shall leave you with a guest rant from my friend Laura. Laura write a blog about her love of all things horse (but really loves animals in general), and her disdain for the stupid people that would cause them harm. She also happens to be a public librarian who has watched the dregs of humanity do as they are wont. I believe that she hates people and doesn’t know it yet or won’t admit to it. She, however, would insist that her horse, Annie, gives her the therapy she needs to continue confronting the evil of humanity head on. The following is a tale of her interactions with a different form of cretin than you’re used to reading about on this blog, but a cretin nonetheless. So without further adieu, I give you:
Trashy People & The End of Civilization
I am a public servant, and I am here to rant.
On the front lines in the war against stupid, entitled assholes, there are cops, teachers, public servants, retail workers and landlords. We see how bad things are getting here in America, because dealing with the public is our sole job– and “the public” is quickly becoming a mob.
Too many people are convinced that they are owed everything, and can grab what they want, whenever they want it. Too many people have no shame. Even though I am just a small-town librarian, I deal with many of these people. One incident drove me to near-desperation. I’m not even sure you’ll believe me, but the following is all true.
There’s a family in town that owes the library system about $300 between them all, mostly in stolen dvd charges. They were able to get away with so much for so long because they keep signing up for library cards at different libraries, using different names. This is a viable method of deception when your biological baby-daddy has a different last name than you do, and your baby has his adopted father’s last name, and all of these names are hyphenated/divorced-remarried ones (like Maria-Theresa R. Mendoza-Roberts nee Gatica) so that you can just pick one to use at any given time. Fortunately, we eventually tracked down all of their aliases and addresses, and blocked the whole family from library access (meaning, they can come in and read or attend free programs, but they can’t use the internet or stea- I mean, check out, any more dvds). It’s people like this that have made us create the rule, “No one in the household can have over $10 in fines, or you’re all fucked.” Harsh, but necessary.
Somehow though, we let one slip through the net. Let’s call her Browntrashie. Browntrashie had actually paid her $12.00 in fines and provided proof that she was living in a different household, one with no fines. Okay, she was clean– library access granted! We’re very grateful for our twelve bucks, smiles all around, thanks for taking care of this, let us know if we can help you find anything, etc etc. Browntrashie signs up to use a computer.
Then a second chick steps up to the desk. We’ll call her Whitetrashie. Whitetrashie wants to get a library card, but I deny her due to fines– she’s a member of the $300-fine-household and she herself owes us $70 for “lost” (never returned, i.e. stolen) dvds. I explain to her what’s going on nicely, give her a printout of everything she owes, and congratulate myself for finding her record in the system despite her use of yet another different name/ID.
Whitetrashie gives me some attitude, walks off in a huff, then goes to sit by Browntrashie at the computer. Now, our policy technically doesn’t allow more than one person on a computer, even if the others are just watching. We post the rule on big signs. But I don’t like being a shushing-bitchy-strict librarian and Whitetrashie doesn’t seem to be getting Browntrashie to actually do stuff for her on the internet, so I let it pass. But something bothers me.
Ten minutes of record-research later, I discover Browntrashie and Whitetrashie are not only stepsisters, 19 year old Whitetrashie is actually the stepmother of 16 year old Browntrashie. How does that work you ask? Well, Whitetrashie’s mom broke up with hubby Clemente, Browntrashie’s father. Teenage Whitetrashie then married 47 year old Clemente, not her biological father but her stepfather (or at least, step-hubby). Apparently I’ve walked onto an episode of Jerry Springer. I decide to investigate further. I walk over to the girls.
“Sooo, Browntrashie, do you live with Whitetrashie?”
“Uh uh. No. I’ve never lived with her.”
“Oh. Okay. So what’s your address?”
“Uhhhhh…. [gives same address that Whitetrashie just put on her library card app].”
“Yeah, you are going to have to get off the computer.”
Don’t you just love it when people try to lie to your face, and do it so badly that you almost feel sorry for them? There was a bunch of arguing about how they were deserving taxpayers, dammit, and I was a bitch, etc, but they did leave. That, however, was not the end of it.
One week later, Whitetrashie is back. Right up front, she states that she didn’t like my attitude last time, and she expects respect. She wants to prove that she’s moved out in the last week, so that her sister-daughter Browntrashie is once again part of a fine-free household and can have computer access. She’s brought Clemente, her husband-stepfather, with her. She hands me an overdue ambulance bill (“…this account will be turned over to collections…”) marked “C/O the Parents of Whitetrashie.” It’s dated from back in April. It does indeed have a different address on it– the $300 family’s address.
From somewhere back in the stacks, I swear I hear the Jerry Springer music start up.
Obviously, this ambulance bill isn’t quite acceptable proof of residence for several reasons, and I try to explain this to Whitetrashie. I take the opportunity to remind her and Clemente that this can all be resolved if they bring back the stolen dvds or pay their fines (he owes $122 in addition to her $70). This leads to an argument in which Clemente insists he can’t read, and thus can’t owe library fines. Five minutes later, he’s stabbing his nicotine stained fingers at the ambulance bill, insisting that it’s good enough proof– despite the fact that he apparently can’t read it.
The whole situation is so surreal that I’m not even angry anymore. I am floating along on a cloud of sparkling white wife-beaters and McDonalds wrappers, blissfully enjoying the high-definition reality show in front of me. I know that at any moment, Chef Gordon Ramsey will appear to tell these people off, and I will thank him while hugging him, gazing up into his sexy, craggy face. Meanwhile, Jerry will help his security guards take the bad people away. Then Ramsey will take my hand, and we’ll make a clumsy-but-sweet debut on Dancing with the Stars.
Nothing pops my bubble of bliss, not even the now-screeching harpy in front of me. I assure her calmly that I will pass her case on to my Director for review. Whitetrashie and Clemente finally leave, adding a few “fuck yous” and “fucking racist” remarks. I write up an incident report and go home to watch three hours of Hell’s Kitchen reruns.
In the morning, my rage has returned. However, my director has already gotten sweet, sweet revenge. She called up the local trailer park office and asked about the addresses our lovely patrons provided. Turns out, Browntrashie’s “new address” is in fact a foreclosed, abandoned trailer with no electricity– they’re all actually still listed as living in the same household connected with the $300 in fines. But hey, the park officials now know who’s been breaking into and squatting in the foreclosed trailer– they thank us for the tip.
I think what bothered me most about all of that crap was the fact that no one in the family seemed the least bit ashamed to be standing in front of me, having stolen hundreds of dollars in dvds, while lying to my face and demanding what they believed was owed to them. This incredible entitlement is what I’m really mad at because for a long time, I helped enable it. As a liberal chick consumed with white Catholic guilt and a propensity towards helping others, I’ve been making excuses for people for years, using my “magic sensitivity glasses” to blind myself to the reality that is the United States of Assholes. I’ve been bending over backwards to justify people’s’ behaviors and find a way to help them despite their own ignorance. “It’s not their fault, it’s the cycle of poverty! If we just improved our education system… Their culture/color/region was oppressed for years, it’s really not their fault! Hey, I’m sure they’re well-intentioned, just down on their luck right now. Gosh, we need more social programming!” Well no more. I have been catapulted me into rabid conservatism by the cumulative effects of years of public service and this week’s episode of incredible assholery.
People of all colors are leaning heavily on the welfare system while buying themselves tattoos and booze and making no effort to get a job, organizing teenage flash mobs to rob shops en mass, claiming disability when their largest problem is their lard-asses, and in general taking everything they can get while demanding more, because “it’s their right,” they don’t owe anybody anything, etc. When they fall down, they demand help getting up, then spit in your face while you offer them a hand.
I used to be a teacher, before I left the profession in depression. I foresee a day, not too far in the future, when I retire from being a librarian and become some sort of hermit. If you’d like to join my farm commune, buy yourself a gun and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.