It's called Common CourtesyOkay, I honestly didn't mean to start ranting so soon, but I have one issue that plagues me daily. So, if you commonly (or even uncommonly) frequent a library, especially a public one, then please listen carefully. We work for the city. We DO NOT get paid overtime. When the library is officially closed we STOP getting paid. Yes, even if there are still 10 patrons waiting to check out, the rest of that work is on OUR personal time. If we're supposed to work an 8 hour day then that's what goes on the time sheet. Yes, even if we didn't leave work until 30 minutes later. So please, I'm begging you, when your library announces that it's about to close, gather your things together and LEAVE. If you have items that need to be checked out DON'T wait until 5 minutes before closing. Have some respect for the people behind the counter.
I honestly hope this request doesn't sound selfish because I don't mean for it to, but I'm not talking about something that happens every once in a while. This scenario happens to me EVERY DAY. Those extra minutes add up really quick. In fact, in a typical week I lose at least $6 due to inconsiderate and/or uninformed patrons. And I only work 19 hours a week! Can you imagine how much the full-time staff is losing?!
True Story: It's 8:55 p.m. the library is closing in 5 minutes and a woman walks in with a laptop under her arm. Being flooded at the desk, no one had time to stop and tell here we were about to close. The woman proceeds to make her way to the back of the library, and sets up her laptop. If only there was a way to TURN OFF the wireless access! Five minutes later she's still on the computer. The closing announcement is made; the building is empty except for the employees and laptop lady. We spend another five minutes shutting down the Circulation computers and counting out our money. It's now 9:05 and the woman hasn't budged. The manager on duty walks over and tells her that we're closed and receives nothing but a very terse reply, "I'm thinking." Has this lady never heard of STARBUCKS, or BARNES & NOBLE, maybe?! Another ten minutes pass and it's now 9:15. It looks like she's starting to pack up. . . but wait, no, she's only getting out her cell phone to make a personal call. Good grief, does she have any manners at all?! Granted, the only people for her to annoy at the moment are staff members, but honestly! Finally she starts packing things up, all the while still talking on that stupid phone. She continues to talk as she heads for the door. . . and as she walks out into the lobby. Not once does she acknowledge any of the people standing behind the Circulation desk waiting only for her to leave. No "Thank you" or "I'm Sorry" as she strides out the door making absolutely no notice of anyone's presence except the person on the other end of the phone which she continues to yak away on. By the time the door is locked tight behind her it's almost 9:20! Of course, this is a worst case scenario. Most patrons DO at the very least apologize for keeping us late, which is always nice. . . but apologies don't put extra dollars on our paychecks.
So PLEASE the next time you go to your library, have some consideration for the people behind the desk; we have lives too, and they don't always revolve around our jobs.
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