Why can't people follow the rules? (or Tam's list of work related pet peeves)

Early on in life, you are taught that their are rules and how important it is to follow the rules. "Don't talk to strangers," "don't cross the street without looking both ways,""don't speak out of turn," "don't talk with your mouth full," "don't wear your underwear over your pants," "don't talk too loud in the library." Rules are created to keep us out of harm's way, keep us out of trouble, and serve to make our lives much,much easier. However, I've come to learn from working at the public library that for every rule out there, there is someone making an extra effort to totally break that rule.


The first thing that annoys me is this: why is it that the minute people step into a public place, they feel possessed to talk loud enough for folks in at least three other states to hear them. Now don't get it twisted... I'm not saying that folks shouldn't be able to talk when in public places, I'm just saying that you should know what's the right thing to say and what's not the right thing to say.

I'll give you a prime example. If I come to a business to use a serivce (like a library,) I should be able to do whatever I came to do without having to sit next to someone who's having an hour long conversation on their cell phone or talking to their friend next to them about what they did last night and who they were with. I feel this is tacky and that the conversation could be had at a later time. Unfortunately, people on cell phones have become a major problem where I work and so we have signs posted throughout the Reference department asking people to be respectful and use the phones away from the computers.

Of course, people pay little or no attention to the signs...nope, no attention at all. Acutally, I've suggested we use electro-shock and cattle prods on patrons when they answer their phones....that'll teach 'em. (just kidding!)

Another work related problem that I have is with people who come to the library and then act like they're at home. What do I mean? I'm talking about the homeless people that come to sleep to the library during the day and snore so loud, they scare the other patrons away. I'm also talking about the people that come to the library and then proceed to take off their shoes,curl up in a chair and go to sleep or the ones who come with their boyfriend/girlfriend/significan other and then decide to play a nice little game of "squeeze and grab".

When I'm mentioning the folks sleeping in the library, I'm not talking about taking a normal, short, brief catnap either. I'm talking about someone who hasn't had a comfortable sleep on a comfortable surface (like a bed) in a long while and is slobbering in the chair kind of sleep. I think the thing that disturbs me the most about the is that babies drool and play on the same chairs that these homeless people have slobbered on or that some guy and his junkie girlfriend have made out on. Ick,ick,ick!

Another thing that irritates me at work has to do with people who come to the library and then act like they run the place. I've had to experience this several times, especially when dealing with computer sign ups. People get upset so easily over things that aren't even theirs. They get mad if they can't use the computer right away. They get mad when their time to use the computer over. If you can't get them to where they want to go, they take it out on you, as if you've made it your personal daily mission to make their life as miserable as humanly possible. Oh, yeah, I really do like awake at nights thinking of all the ways to torture the patrons that come into the library.

The only thing that makes me madder are the people who think that because I'm black, I must not know what I'm talking about. This has also happened to me alot. I've had people come to the desk, ask me a question and then come back five minutes later and ask a white co-worker the same question. Now, this really hurts me because my mom raised me to treat everyone the same way no matter what color they are and to always give 110%. I feel saddened that people question my skills as a library employee and that they feel that they can't trust my judgment. It's awful to think that in 2004 racism is still alive and well in Alabama.

I just really wish that people could try to follow the rules as opposed to breaking them.

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