People, sheesh. This guy goes to check out some book. I mention there’s a $2 fine on his card. He asks what it’s for. Destination: England, a DVD he had just returned. He protests that it was a 7-day loan. (Feature films go out for 3 days, but most nonfiction videos go out for 7 days.) This is true. The computer says it was due on the 18th, though. He says he checked it out on Friday. I tell him the computer says it was due two days ago, so he has a two dollar fine. He says something i don’t quite catch and i tell him he can pay the fine another time. He says he had asked if the fine could be reduced by half. I am looking at his record on the screen, and there’s a note in the field from the supervisor saying she waived $10 of a $20 fine and told patron she will not do it again. I tell him no, i cannot reduce the fine. He gives me a dollar. I pay off one dollar of the fine and give him his receipt. I have visions of him insisting to the next person who tells him he has a dollar fine on his card that he had his two dollar fine reduced by half. I’ll laugh if i’m the person. It occurred to me later that if he had checked out the video and it somehow glitched and went out as a 3-day loan (which is so incredibly unlikely, if even possible; and it’s not accidentally coded as a 3-day loan, i charged it out to check) it would have been due back on Monday, not Tuesday.
But really, the day was mostly good. Lulls and spurts of busyness. Lots of replacement library cards. When i told one man it would be a dollar for the replacement card he said that was fine and i could keep the change -- handing me a five dollar bill. I put the change in the Friends of the Library box.
When Michele (head of the circulation department) left today, she told me, “As of July 1st, you’re making ten dollars an hour. I would make it twenty if I could.” (I currently make eight dollars an hour.) Rawk! I was giddy for quite a while.
This caused me to get part of Tegan and Sara’s “More For Me” and part of Ani DiFranco’s “Back Around” mushed together and stuck in my head (“time to get a real job... working nine to nine... making five bucks an hour ‘til the day I die / ten dollars an hour... better than five dollars an hour selling people shit i wouldn’t buy myself”) which was quite odd given that the tone was wholly inappropriate to my mood.
I learned today that there are some conversations i just can’t have with some people. The theme of the Massachusetts Statewide Summer Reading Program this year is “A Star-Spangled Summer.” I get it, but while i was over in the Children’s Department i said to Jane and Hope that i was glad i wasn’t going to be over there so much this summer (past summers when i worked as a page i worked over there a lot during the summer helping with the summer reading program) because i would totally overdose on flags and stuff. Hope said she couldn’t get enough of them. I said i was really glad i wasn’t here for September 11th because the overdoses of patriotism would make me want to hide. She asked why. I said it was just that it makes me think of blind patriotism and that makes me want to cry. The whole idea that America can do no wrong and all. “But we didn’t do anything wrong.” Conversations i’m not having include: Well certainly there is no reason good enough to kill 3,000 innocent people, but they certainly had reasons and it’s certainly a good idea to think about what those reasons are. So i just said Yeah, but the idea that whatever we do in retaliation is okay, that the government can do no wrong. I said blind patriotic frenzy can cause horrible things, people saying things like All people from that area are evil. No one’s saying that, she said. But they were, I said, Around September 11th. Hope said you can’t really understand it unless it hits close to home, or something like that. I said Oh, i totally get the devastation, i mean not on a personal level, but it was certainly tragic. She said Tina’s son (Tina is a friend of hers who also works at the library.) is over there. She said she thought the real reason for the flags was to support the troops, that they surely don’t want to be over there anymore than we would. Other conversations i’m not having include eliminating the draft and whether going to war is really the best idea. Jane just sat there through the whole thing, bless her. She puts up with me, though she often thinks i’ll get over my youthful righteous indignation when i’m older and have other responsibilities, other stuff that’s more important to me. (Insert overdramatic statement like, “I pray everyday that she is wrong” here.)