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No One Messes With My Librarians

, , , , , , , | Working | February 8, 2023

As a student, I worked at my local library part-time over vacations and holidays. One of the library regulars took to following me around, cornering me alone, and asking for my name and number. My coworkers knew and took measures to ensure that I was rarely out in the stacks by myself, but the supervisor refused to intervene.

On my first day back after the semester ended, the regular found me and left a detailed and obscene note on my book cart. I walked back to the supervisor’s office to quietly throw it away and try and compose myself.

Coworker #1: “Have you met the new supervisor yet?” *Pauses* “Are you okay?”

Me: “I’m fine. That guy saw me, and he left this disgusting note on my cart.”

New Supervisor: “Wait, what?”

Me: “It’s nothing. There’s just this regular who likes to… watch me work. I’ve been ignoring him, but he doesn’t stop.”

Coworker #1: “He follows her around the shelves if he sees her and tries to get personal information.”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, we do our best to keep an eye on her. He’s never written a note before.”

New Supervisor: “Let me see that.”

She took the note from me and read it, and there was pure rage on her face.

New Supervisor: “How dare he? How dare he treat one of the librarians like this? I can’t believe no one has done something. Did [Previous Supervisor] know?”

Me: “I told him when this started last year—”

New Supervisor: “LAST YEAR?”

Me: “Um, yeah, last year, and he said that I should ignore him, he wasn’t really doing anything, and I just shouldn’t encourage him.”

New Supervisor: “Can you point him out to me?”

We walked out into the stacks together, and the regular popped out from one aisle, grinning. He clearly expected me to be alone and scuttled back down the aisle when he saw [New Supervisor].

New Supervisor: “Is that him?”

Me: “Yes.”

New Supervisor: “I will take care of this, and he will never bother you again. You’re working in and around the office today.”

I never saw that regular again. He was banned from the library, and [New Supervisor] had me write up an account — with my coworkers’ testimonials and support — of his harassment to present to the Board Of Directors. After they read it, he was banned from every library in the county. I went on to work at the library for several more years, loving my job and fully confident that [New Supervisor] had my back.

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