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Volunteering A Good Comeback

, , , , | Right | July 20, 2022

I was behind the reference desk at my local library. My job was to put away reference material and retrieve requested reference material. As it is the digital age, and summer, I wasn’t needed much and was tearing through books at an amazing rate. It was, frankly put, a fantastic summer for me. Near the end of one shift, an older man came up to the desk.

Me: “Hello, sir, how can I help you?”

Patron: “What do you do here?”

Me: “I’m here to retrieve reference material like magazines and newspapers for people. Do you need one?”

Patron: “I’ve been watching you, and you’ve been reading for two hours straight.”

Me: “Oh, yes. Not many people need help at the moment, but I don’t mind; I love having the time to read!”

I thought we were having a pleasant conversation, but he seems to be getting huffy now.

Patron: “Well, nice work if you can get it, I guess. I want a job like yours, tax dollars going to pay for someone to sit around and do nothing but read…”

Me: “Sir, you can have my job, but you’d have to accept the pay.”

Patron: “What? Even if it’s not much, it’s not like you’re doing anything.”

Me: “Sir, I’m a volunteer. If you want my job, apply at the front desk.”

He gave me the stink eye and wandered off muttering about something or other. I finished my book.

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