"I hate this library!"

It's funny how that statement gets different reactions out of me depending on who says it. I am amused when kids say it after I throw them out. I never throw out a kid without warning and without good reason. Sorry we don't allow for a free for all, kiddies.

Then we have Edna, who doesn't hate the library per se, but she certainly has a hatred for each one of our machines. Funny, though, because she always uses them. In her defense, the word processor is pitiful. That should change shortly, as getting out the new word processors is a priority in my book. As soon as I free up some machines.

Then there's a man who's got some problems. Or a chip on his shoulder. He doesn't like a certain member of our support staff. I have to say, on the floor, she is gruff sometimes. Just her mannerisms. That being said, she's not outwardly rude to the patrons, she just has a different sort of presentation that's not geared toward the public. She's a great person, a laugh and a half, and quite good at the behind the scenes stuff.

She asked him a legitimate question the other day, and he flew off the handle. Not unusual. He does this a lot. Then he had trouble printing at the print station and came to me. I heard how he disliked this particular library... Usually when people say that, I don't try to change their minds. I've found a lot of their reasons are unfounded. Then he told me briefly why. He didn't like our internet system, he said, but that's not my fault. I laughed to myself, because it's totally my doing. But he'd be complaining even more if he had to wait indefinitely while we tried to bodily remove someone from the machine for him.

Then he didn't like us because we don't offer complimentary printing, like the Xtown Public Library. Xtown is a suburb that's absolutely loaded. We are a community of people of mostly recent immigrants and the elderly. The money doesn't exactly flow from those two demographics. I told him briefly about funding. I also told him how to just print what he needed, not the whole document, to cut down the price of his print job.

Suddenly he was a new person. The prickliness went away, and he thanked me profusely. I've dealt with this guy before, and if you start out on the right foot with him, he's actually quite pleasant. I tend to be sickly sweet with people who give me the "I hate this library" line... but my motives are ulterior.

I like to make them feel kind of guilty for dumping that line.

Strangely enough, I've also noticed, most of the people who use this line are from out of town.

Though he didn't say he hated the library, I think there was a gentleman that hated me yesterday. I wasn't rude, but unfortunately he needed services from the library we just don't offer (namely, downloading of files and saving to disk off the internet terminals). The poor guy was in a bad way. He needed these documents badly and didn't have a car to drive to Kinko's. I called three local libraries and finally found one that would allow him to do what he needed. Then I found him a bus route.

I didn't have to do that. I hope he appreciated it. I think he did.