The other day at the library a main-floor regular came up to our desk to ask about music on cassette tapes in the library. This guy, who I will call Timmy, has a big homeless guy style beard that kind of sweeps out in front of him. It’s mostly gray but has a bit of yellow/blond staining near the corners of his mouth, but it’s well kept. He’s not dirty like so many of our patrons. He’s probably in his fifties and carries a Tim Hortons cup around with him.
Anyway, he comes up to me and asks about cassettes. I tell him our library doesn’t have them any more but some of the branches do. He wants “any kind of music, but no hip hop or that rap stuff” and kind of sits on our desk to get a better look at the screen as I search for stuff. I find some blues tapes and place them on hold for him and he wanders off to find the computer he signed up for. After he’s gone a coworker comments on how “there’s not much Tim Hortons in that cup.” She was in position next to me to smell the alcohol, you see, while I thought Timmy was just being extra friendly.
He goes to a computer and starts doing his internet stuff. And then he starts singing along. At the desk we debate calling security. There are other people near his computer who he’s bothering. I decide to go tell him to quiet down myself. Over at the computer I get him to take off one of his headphones and tell him he needs to be quiet. He apologizes and says “But it’s George Thorogood, you know?” The woman at the computer next to him kind of laughs, which is a relief. It’s much easier when people have a sense of humour around harmlessly disruptive drunks.
I go back to the desk and he shortly begins singing again. We sigh, ignore it a little while, but he continues. I call security. I chat with one of the pages about how nice it would be if this was the worst the drunks in the library got. Two security guards tell Timmy to quiet down and then hang around to keep an eye on him for a while.
Now, Timmy is always in the library and rarely makes a problem. He’s funny. And the security guards are obviously playing favourites here. He should have been kicked out just for being drunk in the library. Our more dirty homeless drunks get kicked out quickly all the time. Unless they’re sleeping in the Graphic Novels section. (if you’re ever a homeless drunk, you can sleep in the chairs by the window in the Graphic Novels area at our downtown library for unbroken hours at a time. It’s good to keep an eye on these opportunities.) Security leaves, Timmy’s quieted down and I go off to pull holds in the DVD section.
When I return to the desk Security is back and they’re taking Timmy away. He’d been getting in the face of the woman at the computer next to him, kind of falling over himself saying “I jus’ wanna make a conNECtion!” As Security took him away he wanted to know who’d complained and they wouldn’t tell him. They stopped at the desk for him to ask if I had a tape player at home so he could upload a copy of his George Thorogood to me, and when I demurred he was convinced I’d had him kicked out.
Downstairs he was making all kinds of noise we could hear from the second floor, arguing with security. Eventually our tough little second in charge of Security is kicking him out and he says “I’ll go but before I do, can I just get a kiss?” She’s very “Get out Timmy” but he dives in for a smooch that she deflects and gets him out the door. She was telling us about this last bit later that evening, and about Smigs who’s now banned for pissing himself and shitting on the floor (and possibly filling a 2L bottle with piss to save for later? the particulars are unclear).
Nobody’s going to want to take my job in the reorganization.