Attitudes Need To Move Out Of The Way

, , , | Right | February 4, 2019

(I am a volunteer at my local library. I shelve books and organize the shelves, and have been doing so for the past three years. On occasion, while I am shelving, someone will come up to me and ask for directions to a specific book, or something minor, and they are always polite. Today is… different. I have a couple of audio CDs to put away, and there is a somewhat elderly lady standing in front of the shelf that I need to put the CDs away on. I wait for about a minute, and she shows no sign of leaving.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, I’ll just be a moment. I need to put these away.”

(She moves to the side. I leave one of them on the top of the shelf and put the other away, as they have different codes, and then stand back up to reach for the first one.)

Lady: “You shouldn’t do that.”

Me: “Sorry? Do what?”

Lady: “You shouldn’t ask patrons to move. That’s very rude. You ought to wait.”

Me: “I apologize for the inconvenience, but I need to put these away.”

Lady: “No, no, no, you need to wait. Did they not train you at all?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’ve been here for three years—“

(She moves back in front of the shelf, blocking where I need to put the other CD away. I shut up and wait a minute. Again, she shows no sign of leaving, and I start to become irritated.)

Me: “Ma’am, I really need to put this away.”

Lady: “I don’t care. You need to wait for me to finish.”

Me: “I don’t have time to wait, ma’am; I have other books to put away, as well. Now, please, I’ll just be a moment.”

Lady: “Well, I never!” *storms off in a huff*

(Meanwhile, another volunteer has been standing not ten feet away, listening to the whole thing. As I finally put away the CD and pass her on the way back, she rolls her eyes in the direction of the lady.)

Co-Volunteer: “Some people.”

Me: “Tell me about it.”

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