This Story Starts With Hurricanes, And Then It Gets Worse

, , , , , , | Right | February 3, 2020

(I’m working in a library in southeastern Virginia in the summer of 2005. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there’s a lot of national outpouring of support and sympathy, and one of our regular patrons has booked a memorial service in one of our meeting rooms for the victims of the hurricane. It’s a violation of library policy to use the room for a religious service or anything of that nature, but this is out of my hands at my level, so what can I say? Everything seems mostly above-board until…)

Man: *walking into the library in the business uniform of the local funerary service* “Hi. We’re here for the afternoon service!”

Me: *not hearing him well at first* “I’m sorry, sir, what?”

Man: “The funeral service? Under [Patron]? Where did you want us to put the casket?”

Me: “Sir, THE WHAT?” *at this point, I’m sure I’ve heard him correctly*

Man: “We have a service for this afternoon for [Same Surname of Patron but different first name] at [time]? It should be on the schedule.”

Me: “Sir, let me get my manager. I think there’s been some confusion.”

(I go and talk to my manager in their office and at the mention of, “They want to know where we want them to set the casket,” their eyes get wide and they rush out front to handle it. When they come back:)

Manager: “They were deceiving us to get the library to host a funeral for the woman’s daughter who recently died, and is in no way connected to the hurricane!”

(This woman was legitimately attempting to get our library to hold the funeral for her for free by claiming it was a kind-hearted effort to remember the unfortunate victims of a natural disaster. Sadly, we had to turn them away because we couldn’t really allow a human corpse onto library property for policy reasons and the meeting room was booked under duplicitous circumstances. Unfortunately, these patrons had slightly used up a lot of their goodwill with library staff by coming in smelling offensively, and despite numerous private requests by management to discontinue doing so, turned in every batch of DVDs they would check out with live cockroaches living in the cases, causing the cases to have to be fumigated and aired out, and the unfortunate hitchhikers exterminated. To this day, we have no idea what they did as far as holding the funeral service after the library had to ask them to leave.)

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