The Public Is Me And No One Else

, , , , , , | Right | February 15, 2019

(I am a customer in this story, doing some work in the public library because it’s usually quiet at home. This library has special Microfilm computers which are free to use for people to look up family history, etc. I am sitting on a desk next to a free one when a middle-aged lady with a walking stick comes to the end of the aisle and starts complaining to a member of staff.)

Lady: “It’s not fair that all the machines are being used! Someone should move!”

(I’m a little confused, because I can see a number of free machines, but I take it that this lady wants a particular one and is hoping if she complains loud enough, someone will move and she’ll get it.)

Library Staff: “There more machines over there.” *points to the other end of the room* “Or, if you’d like, you can go over to the search desk and they’ll be able to look it up for you. Is there anything in particular you’d like to look for?”

Lady: “No, I’d like a machine to use. It’s not fair when other people use them or students come in and use them. These machines aren’t meant for them!”

Library Staff: “The machines are for public use, and if students are using them for their intended purpose, then they can use them. If you’re not willing to use the machines over there, there’s nothing I can do to help you.”

(An elderly man tries to help and point her in the right direction to a free machine, but she just gets angrier.)

Lady: “FINE! I guess I’ll just go and have a walk round, then, if that’s what you want! Honestly! The nerve of some people!”

(She starts to hobble towards me, sees the empty machine, and pounces. I think this is the end of the whole thing, but she turns and says.)

Lady: “See? Someone obviously heard me complaining and left because they were afraid they were in the wrong. It’s not about how or what you say, it’s about how threateningly you can say it! And if that doesn’t work, hit them with your cane!”

(She then proceeded to go about her work and left me alone, but I couldn’t help but think what an entitled a** she was. And they call my generation “snowflakes.”)

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