There are some professions where the workers just fit the job. English teachers wearing elbow patches on their corduroy jackets just seem” teacherly.” Truck drivers sport a certain ruggedness that fits the job and doctors have an awkward indifference to them that seems to suit the career well.
But then there are some people who fit their jobs perfectly who I just don’t understand. They fit the mold of their profession in a perfectly horrible way. Recently, I met one of them. He’s a librarian and I’ll call him Patrick.
I bring one of my clients to the library often. He’s 18 and built like a fullback but you can always catch us in the Children’s section looking at books, movies, and CDs. He’s the one in the headphones perseverating over the Lion King. I’m the one with a clipboard telling him to stop grumbling. “No more grumbles,” I say. “All done grumbling,” he responds. We are an odd couple but anyone with a goddamn brain knows what’s going on–I’m either a parent or a worker taking a kid with special needs to the library.
So he completes his search after my usual 40-minute alloted time limit. He’s allowed to get 6 movies, 6 books, and 6 CDs each time. We’ve implied that that’s a library policy but it’s not. You can take out as many things as you want. But given that information, we’d be carrying 2 tons of books across the street and I don’t possess that kind of strength, especially after my Planet Fitness hiatus. He decides on 6 books only because he didn’t want to return his 12 other things at home. We get to the counter to meet Patrick. We’ve met Patrick before. If I’m psychoanalyzing Patrick, which I will, he’s an Asian 33 year-old man, gay, and has 3 cats. He works as a librarian but tells everyone he does it because he gets to read novels all day. He used to be a coffee barrista across the street but got fired for calling the owner an asshole.
Well, we’re at the check-out desk and Patrick notices something I noticed 30 minutes ago. Of the 6 books, four of them are the same. My client took out two copies of Black Stallion and 2 copies of the same Donald Duck book. Patrick looks at the books with an understandable confusion. “Do you know these are the same book“ he says to my kid and then to me. I cut him off because I know my kid is picking up on the situation. I quickly tell him “YUP” and Patrick decides to do the exact opposite of what most humans would do. “Well, we have a policy against this type of thing,” he says. My client, struck by the hold-up, starts to yell. And this isn’t the yell of a child; this is a yell of a grown-ass man. Now Patrick has a chance to redeem himself at this moment. Oh, maybe you missed his headphones and mumbling. Maybe you missed the fact that I’m guiding him through the check-out process and that he’s struggling. But now you’ve realized that the kid wants the same fucking copy of the book for some reason you’ll never understand because all you think about is your fucking cats and the Superhero comic you’ve been working on.
But no. Not sweet, sweet Patrick. Patrick holds firm on the library policy. I stuff the “allowed” books into a bag and begin to usher my angry fullback out of the city library. This isn’t some mom-and-pop library, Jets. This library is huge and at least 75 people are witness to the check-out chaos. My kid is screaming and stomping now. A few shots to his head for good measure to let Patrick know he really fucked this one up. I walk out determined to get back at Patrick the Asian librarian at some later date. I’d start with his cats.
To make this even better. Client’s angry mom calls up the library. She’s wonderful. Imagine the Erin Brokavich of Autism. She finds out that the fucking policy doesn’t even EXIST. Patrick, struck by the oddity of taking out the same book, invented his own rule. You son of a bitch, Patrick! But jokes on Patrick because Erin Brokavich has ripped that library a new asshole and has even offered Patrick (in a very sassy, condescending way) sensitivity training. Imagine! Made my day. I just got a library card so I can check out two copies of The Mighty Ducks at the same time. Do something, Patrick. Try it.
Where do these people come from? These pretentious, angry librarians. I know one nice librarian (Reba, if you’re reading, you are the exception). The rest of them are a bunch of people who got shooshed one too many times as a kid. They pray to Harry Potter and have book clubs where they gossip about who they want to kick out. They’re like waitresses who bitch about their customers but actually have nothing to bitch about. Oh my god, Sharon. You wouldn’t believe how loud this guy was walking yesterday. It’s a library. HELLLLooooooo! There’s signs for a reason!
I’ve seen the same type of lunacy in forest rangers. There’s liking the environment and supporting the wilderness and then there’s this other end of the spectrum (where they reside) that’s outrageous. They patrol the woods like it’s a fragile nuclear site. They wear the informs like they earned them in the military. I don’t have a parking pass. What are you going to do to me? Escort me out of the entrance so I can walk through…the same woods that you are defending? You’re defending some bushes and you don’t own a weapon.
Put State Troopers on this list as well. Never met a State Trooper who thought his shit didn’t stink. I say “his” because I haven’t met a female one but I’d bet she’d be all sorts of crazy, too. Who grows up and wants to be a State Trooper, anyways? I figure you a.) were the type of kid who patrolled the halls of school and tattled to the teachers what all the kids were doing OR b.) you’re the meat head who got in plenty of trouble but decide now it’s your time to personify hypocrisy. Studies show that 90% of State Troopers had dads who were State Troopers so they are passing on–through the beauty of genetics and opportunity–a legacy of douchery. Douche-baggery? Douchiness?
Whatever. I’ll stop grumbling. No more grumbles.