Friday, July 11, 2008

Noise pollution

Talking of not shushing people in the library (I was! See earlier post...) I had to laugh today at just how far the other way things have gone.

For instance, our branch has just undergone a long-overdue facelift (wanted one myself, but they'd run out of emulsion) which has entailed weeks of sawing, drilling, sandpapering, swearing, painting, cups of tea, whistling and hammering. Cheeky Chappies have been looming at windows left, right and centre, scaring the (incontinence) pants off the pensioners and causing Tutting to treble. Many a Catherine Cookson has been sent clattering to the floor in alarm. 'Can't they do it at night?' someone grumbled. Probably not a good idea. Due to the darkness, Madam.

It does look a lot better though.

Then we've had norty children charging in, shouting "BOGIES!!" and charging out again, unaware that this Dick and Dom inspired lunacy is sooooo last year, dahling. Adult murmurings were overheard.
'In my day...'
'...smacked arse...'
'...why aren't the buggers at school?..'
'...no discipline...'

And that was just me. Boom boom.

In a different branch, the Bounce & Rhyme session (stories and sing-a-longs for mums and toddlers, in case you're wondering, NOT something Iffy) got COMPLETELY out of control. A mother I privately call Experimental Mum lost control of her daughter who bashed Chav Mum's son over the head, activating one of those screams that begins with a breath held for sooo long you start dialling 999 until the noise kicks in, whereupon you drop the phone and run for cover. Several toddlers made a dash for freedom, running lopsidedly round and round the library while their mums thundered after them, red-faced and furious. Experimental Mum tried to reason with her 2-year old (which we all know is completely pointless) forcing her to apologise to the boy she'd hit in a grating 'I'm Super-Mum, watch and learn' voice, prompting Chav Mum to say 'I don't care abart 'er saying sorry, just keep 'er away from my kid, yeah?' from which there is no dignified comeback. EM left in a flurry of cheesecloth and Umbrage and everyone sighed with relief. Throughout it all the library manager just kept on singing, "The Wheels on the Bus" bless her. She looked like she needed a stiff one after she'd finished. Not to mention a drink.

I tell you, sometimes it's nice to get home for a bit of peace and quiet.

12 comments:

Yvonne said...

Utter bedlam! I bet the manager keeps a bottle of vodka under her desk for those situations, always handy. Have a great weekend!

womagwriter said...

There's never a dull day in your library, is there? Superb characterisation. Put those mums in a novel or short story!

Lane said...

I don't know how you keep your cool!?

Funny you should mention this. I was in our local library the other day. It reopened after major refurbishment and it's all shiny and new with lovely new
sofas and kids climbing all over them in their mucky shoes!!??
And the mothers? *@*# knows!

In my day .....:-)

Tam said...

I'm stil grinning...it sounds just like my workplace, except that we don't have any children. Or grumbling pensioners. Or bounce n rhyme sessions, which I have to admit sounds like something R Kelly would sing about. Yvonne's vodka reference rings a bell, though.

HelenMH said...

The kids I work with are 16/17/18, but when we took them to Pizza Hut they spent the entire time shouting 'bogies' at each other. (Much tutting from other customers.) I must admit, I did wonder why they thought it was so funny ...

KAREN said...

yvonne - The manager's usually hidden away in her office!

womagwriter - You really do see some 'characters'! I should do something with them :o)

lane - You sort of get used to it, weirdly. It amazes me though how some parents can totally ignore what their children are doing. I did step in once when I saw a toddler scaling the DVD shelves!!

tam - LOL at R. Kelly! I suppose most workplaces have their fair share of 'annoyances' :o)

helenmh - Dick and Dom have a lot to answer for. We still get it every half-term!

Debs said...

Oh please let me come and work with you. I've just laughed so much at your post that my stomach hurts. Sheer brilliance, I had to read it to R who was also in hysterics.

I love the idea of the manager keeping singing, The wheels on the Bus. Lovely.

KAREN said...

debs - You're most welcome to come and work with me - as long as you've got a suitable cardigan!

Honeysuckle said...

Hi there,

Also from Yorkshire, also writing, also erstwhile librarian - this brought back memories. Bounce and Rhyme sounds more exciting than anything we ever did tho'. Mind you, it was a university library...

Leigh said...

Ha ha ha ha ha!
I'd be chav mum there. I hate it when people say "Go and give her a cuddle to say sorry." And the kid edges over towards me, and my now terrified child (who thinks she's in for another walloping), and I hiss, "touch my daughter and you're dead, mate." Then he's a bit stuck, between me, who's gonna kill him if he touches my daughter, and his mum, who's gonna kill him if he doesn't. Rather effective form of discipline, I reckon.

But in a library?. What is the world coming to?

Annieye said...

I laughed all the way through this post. Utterly brill.

KAREN said...

honeysuckle - Ooh, it's a small world! Lovely part of the world too :o) No, I can't imagine Bounce and Rhyme in a University library!

leigh - I know! Fings 'ain't wot they used to be. As the old ladies keep telling us.

Definitely a good form of discipline by the way :o)

annieye - Things are generally funnier looking back - we were quite appalled at the time!