Friday, February 03, 2006

Shouting Match

One of our regular patrons is a sweet old lady that putters around the library with her cane in one hand and book bag in the other. She usually gets by on her own and managed to master using our computer catalogue to find her books. Completely harmless....until she needs help....

This woman always, and I mean always, forgets to wear her hearing aide. How do I know she owns one? Because she shouts it to me every time I try to help her. I'm not talking about a loud voice either, we're talking actual shouting like the kind you only hear from sports fans in the heat of the moment.

So, she shouts out her question and I'm forced to shout out a reply because she's too impatient for me to just write it. The whole library falls into a shocked silence as this woman shouts at length about what she wants and I'm helpless to get any clarification or explain why we don't have that book. No matter how loudly I shout to try to accommodate her, she never has once understood me and just proceeds to yell at a louder decibel how she can't hear me.

She's nice so I'd feel bad about reporting her to the police for verbal assault but I'm at a loss of how to handle her. We've tried shouting subtle hints about bringing her hearing aide with her next time but it has yet to happen. Perhaps we can set some money in the budget aside for an in-library use hearing aide.

Until then, I'll bring ear plugs and brush up on my short hand.


Blogger Happy Villain said...

Here, do this.

When it's not too crowded and therefore fewer people to disturb, pretend to answer her, but just mouth the words. She won't know the difference. She'll continue yelling at you (but since you won't be yelling back, that only causes half the disturbance), and when she gets absolutely frustrated, she'll have you write it down. Until she gives in, I'd continue mouthing the words, and talk fast too! Exasperate her as quickly as possible.


11:06 PM  
Blogger Library Psychosis said...

I like the way you think! Sadly, as much as I'd like to frustrate her it would only make her shout more.
I'm just eager to get her out of here as quickly as possible.

12:27 PM  

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