STUFF BARB DON'T WANT at the circ desk

robin rose yuran wants to tell us about her experiences at the circ desk. Follow the link below for the full story, but here's a teaser:

My sister once went to a tag sale, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The lawn was peppered with dog poop and plastic kid’s toys. One of those huge satellite receivers yawned its black maw towards the sky. There was a cardboard box in the driveway with black magic marker letters that spelled out “STUFF BARB DON’T WANT.� Later that day, after a couple of glasses of wine, she told me the story and we got laughing hysterically. But STUFF BARB DON’T WANT didn’t want to leave; it’s become somewhat of a catchall phrase, sort of an inside joke, to signify anything unpleasant or unuseful from moldy fruit to Mormons at the door. Barb has become a member of the family, one that shows up every once in a while when you least expect it.STUFF BARB DON’T WANT pops in sometimes at the small library where I work....

PHRASE OF OUR LIVESBY ROBIN R. YURANSTUFF BARB DON’T WANT AT THE CIRC DESKMy sister once went to a tag sale, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The lawn was peppered with dog poop and plastic kid’s toys. One of those huge satellite receivers yawned its black maw towards the sky. There was a cardboard box in the driveway with black magic marker letters that spelled out “STUFF BARB DON’T WANT.� Later that day, after a couple of glasses of wine, she told me the story and we got laughing hysterically. But STUFF BARB DON’T WANT didn’t want to leave; it’s become somewhat of a catchall phrase, sort of an inside joke, to signify anything unpleasant or unuseful from moldy fruit to Mormons at the door. Barb has become a member of the family, one that shows up every once in a while when you least expect it.STUFF BARB DON’T WANT pops in sometimes at the small library where I work. Most days there is a lot of time spent coddling the Xerox machine, replenishing plastic cups, showing people where the restroom is, and listening to and dispensing a lot of information. It flows back and forth across the circulation desk and curls into the telephone like a silvery ribbon. A woman calls to ask why Ayn Rand made Atlas Shrugged so long; a sneaky telemarketer tricks me into reading him the model number off the Xerox machine so he can call back later and pretend to be our ink cartridge provider; and somebody calls to ask me what to do because it’s daytime and there is a opossum in the back yard- Ha! Opossums. I’m busy dealing with the ferret that is in the cash drawer, thanks to a playful teenager who set her evil pet on the circ desk. And all along and in between, I have a tattoo on my forehead that says, “Tell me your complete medical history.� People feel compelled to do this, total strangers, deliverymen, even people I know who know that I don’t like hearing about this kind of stuff. It’s like the cat that always loves the non-cat person. People’s medical problems purr and rub against me until I want to sneeze. I have a distinct aversion to having a conversation that includes any of the following words: cut, peel, scrape, incision, or procedure. This is an example of “STUFF BARB DON’T WANT,� in fact, it’s a little sub-category called “STUFF BARB DON’T NEED TO KNOW.�A minister comes in to return a book. He says, “I didn’t like this book because it has the f-word in it.� This gets my attention. He says, “I don’t like books with the f-word in them.� Huh, I think. I tell him we’ve been burning all the f-word books. But we’re only up to the M’s. Sometimes Barb sets fire to the STUFF BARB DON’T WANT.A man comes in. It’s Mr. Annoying. He heads for the Internet without signing up first. The phone is ringing. Every time line 1 starts up, line 2 goes off. I’m by myself. I feel like Harrison Bergeron in Kurt Vonnegut’s story, handicapped by constant interruption. It’s starting to look like Stop and Shop in here. More and more people are lining up and the phone keeps ringing and ringing. It’s turning into a STUFF BARB DON’T WANT mini-series. Someone nice is signing up to use the Internet. Now I’m going to have to boot Mr. Annoying and watch him get annoyed. I tell Mr. Nice that somebody didn’t sign in, and because he is nice, he says he is in no rush and will take the next time slot in 10 minutes. I go and give Mr. Annoying the news. He complains that the service is horrible. I say that it might be horrible, but it’s free. I remind him that things don’t always work as well as we would like them to. I use the same voice that I use with four-year-olds that try to climb up on my desk, or ferrets in the petty cash. Finally, finally, after a lot of glowering and groaning, he leaves.
  But, Uh Oh. Here come the Jehovah Witnesses. They have that glassy God glaze in their eyes that makes them look like they’re wearing very thick contact lenses. They come every week, at least two of them sometimes four or five and they always take turns using the bathroom and doing what my husband calls a driveby Je-hoe-down. They cover the newspaper table with pamphlets and smile a lot and leave. The pamphlets have the usual fundamentalist artwork where the people look like June and Ward Cleaver. Sometimes I share the pamphlets with other staff members by leaving one in each of their mailboxes, mostly I throw them away, but sometimes I like to play with them. Today I am in a playful mood, so I take the one with Jesus holding out his hand and talk it to the one with June and Ward Cleaver looking worried about terrorism. “Here,â€? I say in a little falsetto Jesus voice, “I’ll help you!â€? I make him bob back and forth, and then whoops! he falls into the trash basket. Ward and June jump in after him. This is a particularly satisfying STUFF BARB DON’T WANT moment.Now here is one of my mentors. I would go to the end of the earth for this guy. He needs a photograph of a horse for some artwork he is doing. I take him to the horse section, pull down a picture book and open it up. To my mortification, there are two horses fornicating- going at it with looks of concentration on their long horse faces. It is a horseplayboy centerfold to beat all centerfolds. I wish I could jump into Barb’s cardboard box with all the STUFF BARB DON’T WANT and let somebody take me to the dump. My mentor doesn’t miss a beat, however, and remarks in a tone of mild interest, “Oh, so that’s how they do it.â€?

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link?

Ha! This is hilarious! Is there a link somewhere that I'm missing for more STUFF BARB DON'T WANT?

Doing it

"Oh, so that’s how they do it."

As long as they don't do it in the streets and scare the . . . people.

Re:link?

This came in as-is, over the transom, so to speak. All I did was pull a quote for the intro and run it. I couldn't find any references online to the writer or the subject. It's great, though!

Re:link?

I think I may have found her. There's a Robin Yuran working at the Norfolk (CT) Public Library. "Robin has had many different job experiences and has spent time as an artist, columnist, bartender, coppersmith, jeweler, cook, housepainter, garden designer and nightclub singer. Robin began volunteering at the Norfolk Library in 1995 and worked her way up to her current position as Supervisor of Circulation." Sounds like a great person to work with!

Stalking

Thereby reinforcing what I've always said:

Don't piss off a librarian. They can find out where you live.

Sounds familiar

Well, except for the ferret, sounds like those priceless days in public libraries. Instead of the horse book, before we got filtering...patron wanted pictures of horse anatomy for her kid's homework. Did a search on horse anatomy and all of the first page of the results had XXX somewhere in the description or address. Said oops and went for other words in search, don't even remember what...did much better. What fun.

Reminds me of one very embarrassed patron...

This one poor guy came running over to the reference desk embarrassed and upset as could be--porn site ads were filling his screen. I got him out of there and then asked what he needed to find as he had said he was working on a school project. Turns out he was looking for an animal commonly called a horny toad here in Texas. I showed him how to use quotation marks to search--it helped a lot and once we found the real name is the Texas Horned Lizard, we searched that instead.

I did manage to contain my laughter until I was able to retreat to a back office--the look on the poor guys face was priceless!

sheesh

You know, if I never have to read another rant about annoying patrons ever again in my adult life, it will be too soon. It's like an eternal Dilbert strip.

STUFF BARB DON'T WANT at the circ desk

Hey, I had a day like this about a week ago, and synopsized it for my director and a coworker; did someone plagiarize it?
Never a dull moment, especially if we are working alone!

fornicating? really?

Hate to nitpick, no, wait, I love to nitpick. Fornicate means to have sex outside of wedlock, not to have sex. Maybe the horses were married, in which case this should never have been an issue. Did I miss something about why seeing a picture of horses doin' it for a patron looking up horse anatomy is a horror? What if -- my God! -- the patron had wanted to learn about how horses do it? Or what a horse penis looks like?I don't know why this is making me cranky, but I kind of fail to see why this should give anyone the vapors. On the other hand, my work involves research on douching with Lysol, and the tradition of wound debridement with maggots, so maybe I'm just jaded.

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