Becoming A Regular Problem

, , , | Right | March 25, 2019

(The library where I work is changing locations since our original building is going to get demolished. During the week we are moving, we are obviously closed to the public as we are boxing up everything, dismantling furniture, and hauling out our entire inventory. All of our regular patrons understand this but one. On Monday, he nudges his way past the maintenance people, who are disassembling the desks, and into the library. It’s clear we’re in a state of upheaval.)

Regular: “Hello [My Name] and [Coworker]. I’d like to return these DVDs and renew these ones. Can you tell me when everything else is due? And then can you place a hold on—“

Me: “[Regular], you can’t be here. You have to get out. We won’t be open until Friday.”

Regular: “But I want to renew—“

Coworker: “Get out; we’re closed. You can’t be here until our reopening at 10 am on Friday.”

(The regular leaves. On Tuesday, he’s literally standing in front of the moving truck as they are handling large, heavy items and is in danger of causing the movers to trip and hurt themselves or him.)

Mover: “Do you guys know anything about that teenager outside?”

Coworker: “God, he’s back?”

Me: “Tell him he can come back when we open on Friday.”

Mover: “I told him, but he won’t go away.”

Coworker: “I’ll go out and talk to him.”

(It takes almost ten minutes, but she convinces him to leave. On Wednesday, we’re inside setting things up and working on displays. He pushes his face against the window in the door and stares at us until we’re forced to acknowledge him.)

Coworker: “[Regular], we’ve told you every single day this week. You CAN’T be here.”

Regular: “But I just want to look around.”

Coworker: “Go home.”

Regular: “Hey, can [My Name] come out? I saw her through the window. I want to talk to her.”

Coworker: “She can’t come out. We have to work, and you have to leave.”

Regular: “But I want to talk to [My Name].”

(My coworker looks at me, and I shake my head vigorously.)

Coworker: “She says ‘Hi.’ Now you have to leave.”

(He finally leaves. On Thursday, I draw all the curtains shut before working on the final tasks that need do before our grand opening.)

Director: “Let’s open these curtains and let in some light!” *she proceeds to do so*

Me: “I’m not comfortable with opening the curtains. One of our regulars has been basically stalking us all week. He’s been peeking through the windows and asking that we come outside and talk with him. I want to do everything we can to discourage that kind of behavior.”

Director: “Nonsense! That’s what windows are for!” *she opens all the curtains* “And don’t you dare close them!”

(I was too shocked that she believes windows are made for peeping to protest. That afternoon, sure enough, our regular returns. He crouches by the very windows I had shaded, since this is a split level facility, and presses his face against the glass. He waves at us whenever we happen to even remotely move in his direction, and he makes obvious gestures that he wants us to either open the door or just let him into the building. After thirty minutes of him doing this, [Coworker #2], who is unaware of the situation since this is her first day working since the move, opens the door to take some trash outside. The regular immediately pushes past her and into the building.)

Coworker #2: “Woah, hey, [Regular], you can’t be in here!”

Regular: “Cool place you guys have!” *he goes right to the movies* “Got any new movies in?”

Me: “[Regular], get out. You can’t be here! You know this! We told you we don’t open until ten o’clock on Friday.”

Regular: “I saw you guys inside and I figured you’re open.” *pulls out a movie* “Can I check this out?”

Coworker: “Get out!”

Regular: “So I can’t check this out?”

All Three of Us: “Get out!”

(He finally left. On Friday, he loitered outside our door from eight am until the grand re-opening at ten, trying to convince every staff member who was busy with prep work to let him in and talk with him.)

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