Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A View from the Other Side

I went to my neighborhood library today which is in a different town and different county system than DeskSlave Central. I understand that the branch scheduler there has a rather eccentric understanding of the schedules that most of us patrons keep, but even I was surprised to see a big line of people in front at ten minutes before noon. I took a seat on a low wall a few yards away and leafed absently through all those novels I was bringing back unread. I had given these books their fair chance and they had let me down. They only had themselves to blame for their upcoming trip to the shelving cart. But there was a fat pile of hopefuls waiting for me inside, so a trip to the book return slot around back wouldn't be enough. I was lost in a reverie about how many of the two dozen or so people waiting with me were going to race for the Internet computers the second the doors opened when a woman near the door snapped. "Come on! Come on!" She bellowed, pounding on the glass door a good ten times. I looked at my watch. Seven minutes to go. She turned to the people around her, neck stuck out, hands palm-out at her side in a gesture universally understood to mean "gimme a break, willya?"
"I can see them in there! They're right there!" Angered by this mainifest injustice, she gave the door a few more pounds before giving up. When the clerk came to unlock the door (three minutes early by the way if my cheap Casio is to be trusted) the patron swarm pressed closer. At least twenty people were clustered there, scarcely able to contain themselves. The lock turned and the poor clerk barely had time to push the door open a few inches before it was grabbed and thrust open and people streamed in. She still had the opposite door to unlock, but had to wait until the deluge went downstream before she could do it.
Being a good deskslave, I politely waited to enter.

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