As I mentioned in my affirmative action blog, I’ve been on the job hunt lately. As a result of this, I’ve had to do a lot of emailing, printing, photocopying, and even faxing as a part of the hiring process. Basically, I’ve felt like an unpaid female office secretary from the 1980’s these past few weeks. Despite how much I hate doing these tedious tasks, it has for the most part been convenient for me because I have one of those multi-purpose printers that can do everything.
But that all changed yesterday, when my printer decided to shit the bed on me worse than a tied down hostage with diarrhea. This seemingly minor setback wouldn’t have been such a big deal if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve been in contact with a company’s HR department recently, and I’m inches away from getting a job there. They told me that I have to send a few more documents over as soon as possible, and not wanting to let somebody else take my spot, I began a panicked brainstorm for how I was going to do so now that my printer had pulled a Benedict Arnold on me at the worst possible moment. But in the nick of time, a lightbulb appeared atop my head. I remembered the name of a place I hadn’t given thought to in years, but that would be able to help me out of this jam I now found myself in: The library
Libraries: Remember those? They are those places with shelves upon shelves of books, just in case anybody is having trouble putting name to face. I haven’t been in a library since school made me go in my youth, and even then, I usually just drew dicks in random novels because doing that was, and still is, hilarious. If I’m being completely honest, I forgot libraries even existed. I had them jotted down right under unicorns and toxic masculinity on my “Shit that doesn’t exist” list. But I was in a jam, and I knew that the library would have all of the equipment necessary to send the items that I needed to.
I set out around 11:30 or so this morning to my local branch, figuring that surely this building of books would be open by then. I showed up and pulled on the door, only to have it remain shut like a catholic teenager’s legs. I turned in anger to the “Hours” sign located to the left, and it turns out this library opens at 2 PM every day. Are you fucking kidding me? What kind of a operation are they running at this place? 2 o’clock is when a bar or restaurant should be opening, not a library. At this point, my blood pressure was up, and was similar to that of a guy high on meth having a panic attack. Defeated, I elected to get my haircut and a bite to eat at some nearby spots while I waited for this joke of an establishment to open it’s doors.
The clock finally showed 2 followed by double zeros, so I waited anxiously outside of the door like a guy who was about to shit his pants, even knocking a few times to let them know to hurry it up. Finally the librarian let me in, and I must say, I’ve been watching way too much porn lately. I know my unrealistic porn fantasies of a busty librarian giving me head in the non-fiction section were far fetched, but a boy can dream. Instead, this lady was exactly what you would expect a librarian to look like. She was no less than 100 years old, probably named Margaret, was wearing glasses that were made when Truman was still in office, and had a perpetual facial expression that said, “I am smarter than you because I like books”.
Wasting no time, I pushed her aside and made my way over to the printers and scanners and whatnot. But right as I was set to get my first task done, I was immediately derailed by a screen that popped up and asked me for my library card information. Oh no. Oh fuck. It was at this point I knew that I was in trouble. It seemed as if I needed a library card, and seeing as I’m not a fucking nerd, I didn’t have one. Nevertheless, I swallowed my pride and made my way over to the front desk, preparing myself both physically and mentally for what I was sure would be an annoying series of steps to acquire this card I would never use.
The ancient relic of a librarian lit up with excitement when I told her I
h ad to wanted to sign up for a library card, probably because I was the first person in years to do so. Now I figured I would just have to fill out a sheet with my name, address, yada yada yada, but no. That would have been too easy and made too much sense. Instead, she went into the back and grabbed a stack of paperwork that was taller than she was. It looked as if I was about to sign divorce papers after a rather rough end to a tumultuous marriage. I couldn’t believe the amount of information this library wanted from me. I’m surprised she didn’t hook me up to a polygraph and make me swear on a bible that I would return books on time.
While her arthritis ridden hands were getting the documents together, it gave me a chance to really bask in my environment. First of all, this place just smelled like a library, similar to how a McDonalds smells like a McDonalds. Do you know what I mean by that? The place just had this strange smell that made you know you were in a library. It just had this overwhelming stench of old books and what I think was mold. I didn’t know places could smell boring, but apparently they can. Another thing I noticed was that I was the only non-homeless person in this library. This is partly why I think libraries are still around: They’re just extra homeless shelters. Go to any library in the United States and there will be at least one homeless guy masturbating on the public computer at all times, and that’s just a fact.
Anyway, somebody’s great, great grandmother was finally done getting the paperwork together, and after putting my John Hancock on all of it, and developing carpal tunnel in the process, she informed me that I owed 30 dollars for the library card. Now I’m not usually one to condone elder abuse, but hearing this request made me want to break this lady’s nose. 30 US dollars for a fucking library card? Poop coming out of a bull’s asshole would be considered less bullshit than that price. In fact, they should be paying and thanking me for getting a library card, not the other way around. But I was stuck, and after handing over my debit card and praying the transaction went through, I was now the
proud owner of a library card.
I then went and did my emailing, scanning etc. at the bargain price of 25 cents a click, which seems pretty steep to me. Between the library card fee and now these 25 cent fees for every little thing I had to do, this place was basically turning me upside down and shaking the change out of my pockets like a schoolyard bully. But I was stuck and needed to get this shit done, so I soldiered on and just let the library extort me like the organized crime syndicate that it is. Once I was done sending my documents, I ran out of there so fast you would have thought I robbed the place of all of their Nathaniel Hawthorne novels.
I know I exaggerate more than CNN on here sometimes, but I promise you that I’m being genuine in the retelling of this story. It was an awful time from start to finish that makes me wish I just bought a new printer instead. I wouldn’t wish a trip to the library on my worst enemy, and I now know with certainty that I hate being in a library more than Columbine students did on, well, you know. In fact, those kids probably had a more pleasant library experience than I did, and they literally got shot to death.
So whether it be the inconvenient hours, the stench of old books and homeless people, or the accruement of arrogantly placed fees, it’s no wonder why libraries are fading away. Also, did you know you need a masters degree to become a librarian? What kind of a fucking psychopath spends all of that time and money obtaining a masters degree to just check books in and out? If you’re going to engage in that level of high education, you might want to go to school for something a little more, how should I say, lucrative and worthwhile.
To close this all out: Fuck libraries, and I hope I never have to go back to one. The only silver lining of all this is that now I have a new card to chop up lines with. I know I said I would never use this card, but trust me when I say I plan on putting this to good use every weekend.