This whole closing up Thursday nights isn’t working out that well for me. I have too much wimp in my personality. As you know, ever since I locked a homeless guy in the library overnight, Taylor, was assigned to me to protect me and to do all the scary stuff. He would look in the unlocked closets, men’s’ bathrooms or underneath computer desks and stuffed animals for homeless men hiding out in hopes to get a warm night’s sleep. But then Taylor got this idea that instead of just protecting one person, like me, he would join the Army to protect us all. My new co-worker, Erin has now been assigned to me. Where I am a wimp, Erin is Wonder Woman. If I had 1 tenth of her courage and confidence, I would go around closing the library like Elektra rather than Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. Let me tell you about last Thursday’s closing. It was a Lemony Snicket “series of unfortunate events.” Here is the time line:
6:30pm Erin called me over to the computer to show me what one guy was looking at on his computer. We have a filtering system but somehow he got to a page with explicit pictures of women’s butts. Of course none of the butts were clothed unless you count a thong as a butt covering which it obviously is not. I don’t know if I am describing this very well, but it was like this guy was being mooned by 50 women all at one. He clicked on one of the pictures in hopes of enlarging it. At this point the filter did kick in and access was denied. Either that or the filter is a woman and she would never allow someone to enlarge her butt with the click of a button. Erin then proceeded to lock the guy out of the computer completely. Realistically and responsibly I should have watched to see if the guy got up from the computer and left the library. True confession, the wimp that I am, I didn’t even look over at the computers not wanted to see the face of the pervert.
6:45pm Erin went downstairs to shelve books. For safety reasons we have walkie talkies so that if something does happen the shelver can call upstairs for help, which is actually a null and void safety plan when I am the one upstairs. Besides I wasn’t worried about Erin. If Mr. Butt Fetish was downstairs lurking about, Erin would have strategically kicked him. Once in the fetal position she would have said, “Since you are so fascinated by butts, let me sit mine on you until the police show up.” Luckily none of that happened.
6:45 – 7:25 During this time I noticed two different guys try to use the men’s bathroom but it was occupied. I was a little uncomfortable with the 15 minute length of time. I had several thoughts, but mostly I was trying to convince myself that whoever was in there had some plumbing problems like plugged up pipes or maybe someone took the New York Times newspaper in to read and lost track of the time.
7:25 One of the guys tried the bathroom for a second time. It was still occupied. The guy went back to his computer to hold it some more. Now I couldn’t control my thoughts. It had been 40 minutes and no one had come out of the men’s bathroom. I my most inconspicuous stealth mode I went over to the Audio Books, which are closer to the men’s bathroom, and set up a stakeout. 007 I am not. Anyone watching me knew exactly what I was doing so I gave up after 5 minutes.
7:30 I decided to ask the one guy using the computer who had tried the bathroom a couple of time if he knew how long the bathroom had been locked. Not the best decision I ever made. I went over to him, put my hand on his arm and said, “Sir”. OMG, he jumped 15 feet into the air. I scared the crap out of him. [Well, not literally, thankfully, since the men’s bathroom wasn’t available] I was just hoping I didn’t make him pee his pants since he was holding it so long. After he landed back on earth and calmed down I apologized profusely for scaring him. I did still ask him about the men’s bathroom and he informed me that yes it had been locked for at least an hour already. He then asked me if the library had a defibrillator. He wasn’t pleased when I informed him we did not. So he asked if the staff was trained in CPR. He left the library after I told him I wasn’t trained in CPR, but I could dial 911. Well, I did find out that the bathroom had now been locked for an hour. Crap, now what was I suppose to do. If Mr. Fantasy-Butt was in there I didn’t want to know. If someone was passed out in there, I didn’t want to know. I decided to call the assistant librarian, Tina. I informed her of the bathroom situation and her first response was, “Did you knock on the door?” Knocking on the door would have been the obvious thing to do unless you are a wimp like me. I didn’t even want to get close to the door in case I heard noises I didn’t want to hear or smell smells I didn’t want to smell. I told her I would get back to her on that. I went to the main desk and grabbed the walkie talkie.
7:40 In my best “spy-voice” I whispered into the walkie talkie, “Erin, I need you to come upstairs.” Actually, I had to say it three times until I figured out to push a button to talk and which button was the right button. Meanwhile I was wondering why I couldn’t just talk into my wrist sleeve like all the FBI agents do on TV.
7:45 Erin came upstairs and I filled her in on the men’s bathroom circumstances. She said the very same thing Tina said, “Did you knock on the door?” I informed her that no I was afraid to and that is why I needed her to come upstairs and knock on the door. Now, Erin is the kind of co-worker everyone would like to have. To her credit, she accepts me for the wimp I am and she doesn’t judge me. To my credit I went with her to the bathroom door. Not to my credit, I stood close enough to her that if I passed out she would catch me. Erin had no trouble knocking on the door several times, trying the door, or jiggling the lock. The bathroom doors are set up so that a person cannot come out of the bathroom and lock the door behind them. That means no voice coming from the other side of the locked door doesn’t leave a whole lot of options.
8:00 A second call to Tina, revealed that this particular lock in this specific men’s bathroom door has acted up in the past. It is perfectly possible that the lock feel shut on its own when someone closed the door. Okay, that sounded great to me. I was going with the faulty lock theory instead of any of the frightening explanations my mind came up with. When I went home that Thursday night I couldn’t help but think that the next morning I would be the one responsible for a real life “Body in the Library.” Not only am I a wimp, I am an embarrassment to Miss Marple.