Warning! Gratuitous use of all caps below. I was feeling a bit yelly.
I had a couple of books on hold at the library, so I decided that Miles and I would leave a few minutes early for preschool pick up and stop by the library to get my books. Oscar's preschool is about 10 minutes, and the library is just about halfway between the house and the preschool. I absolutely love when I can squeeze in errands while Oscar is at preschool, and I had already hit Trader Joe's and Safeway, so dropping by the library prior to pick up had me feeling very efficient and angelic.
Anyways, we arrived at the library right on schedule (12:45!) AND got the closest non-handicap parking space. This was shaping up to be a banner errand running mission.
Miles and I walk into the library and I let him put my book into the return slot. Then we go around the counter to get in line.
So, our library is set up as I imagine most libraries are set up: A long counter with three or four computers and librarians stationed behind it, as well as shelves and book carts and the like. I don't know how standard this is, but our library has two check out lines; one where you can use a hand scanner and check out books all by yourself (self check out) and one where you actually go up and get checked out by the librarian. The self-check out line is actually at the side of the counter, as opposed to the librarian check-out line, which is at the front of the counter.
For the librarian line, there are those black nylon retractable ropes on either side of the line, to separate it from the self-check out line (to the left) and the entrance way (to the right.) There is also a bookshelf with updated monthly with seasonal selections that is kind of in between the librarian line and the self check line. Because of this book shelf, the retractable rope separating the two lines is pretty short, because the bookshelf also kind of separates the lines.
Since I'm picking up books, I go and stand in the librarian line. I notice that there was a woman standing sort of off to the side, kind of in the self check-out line, talking on her phone. She didn't have any books, though, so I thought she was just an asshole talking on her phone in the library. At this time, there is one librarian working on scanning returns in and another librarian helping a patron apply for a new card. No one else is standing in the librarian line, so I am first.
"Hey. HEY." says phone lady.
I turn to look at her (the self-check out is slightly behind the librarian check out line.)
"The LINE starts HERE. Behind ME."
And she says it all snotty like, as though I am trying to cut in line, WHICH I WAS NOT, but I was just totally shocked by how completely rude she was, because number one, get off your damn phone when you are in the library; and number two, she was standing IN THE WRONG LINE and I know it was the wrong line because there are SIGNS hanging from the ceiling dictating which line is which, Self-Check Out and Assisted Check-Out; and number three, just be polite, okay? Just say, "Excuse me, but I think the line starts back here."
Because if she had said that and BEEN POLITE I would have said, "No, actually the line to see the librarian starts here. Go ahead, you are in front of me," because if you know anything about me, you know that I am a slave to line rules. I believe in lines and standing in them and standing in them properly. I believe in waiting your turn and no cutting or butting or complaining because our ability to stand in an orderly line and wait our turn is the only thing that separates us from the animals and the very foundation upon which our society was built and continues to thrive. That and our ability to wear scarves. And and also opposable thumbs. Those are important, too.
Anyways, if I HAD been in the wrong line (which I was NOT) I would have been more than happy to get in the proper line. Like I said above, I BELIEVE IN LINES. But, let me just say again, SHE WAS IN THE WRONG LINE.
But, I was so disarmed by her blatant rudeness and her vocal implication that I had broken the rules of the line (because I don't have anything better to do than cut in line at the library?), that I just moved and got in line behind her even though I was absolutely certain that she was in the wrong line. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
About 30 seconds later a third librarian materializes and says to the rude, wrong line, phone lady, "Can I help you? Are you self-checking out?" You know, because she was in the SELF-CHECK OUT line and NOT the LIBRARIAN LINE. And she's all, "Oh, no, I have a book on hold," and he was like, "Okay, that line is right over here," you know, WHERE I WAS ORIGINALLY STANDING, in the front of the counter as opposed to the side of the counter.
And then, THEN, get this, she was trying to get a book that she had put on hold like 30 minutes prior. Really, rude, wrong line, phone lady? Really? That's just not how it works. Yes, the system immediately flags the book so no one else can check it out, but you have to actually give the librarians a chance to get the mother flipping book off the shelf, flag it with your name, and put it on the hold shelf. And, also? Putting your specific book on the hold shelf is not priority one. They have some other things going on.
So, lets just lay out now all the reasons rude, wrong line, phone lady is a tool:
1) She was standing in the wrong line;
2) She was really rude when she told me I was in the wrong line and implied that I was cutting in front of her;
3) She was talking on the phone in the library;
4) She does not pay attention to signs;
5) She clearly does not understand the Rules of Standing in/on (depending on where in the country you hail from) Line;
6) She has ridiculous expectations of library staff;
7) She was standing in the wrong line (worth repeating.)
Then she went off to the adult circulation desk to bother them about her book and I got my books (which had been placed on hold several days prior, and then waited until I was notified that the books were ready for pick up) and went to pick up Oscar.
In closing, I just want to urge you all to stand in line proudly and properly, and should you expect a line violation, do not jump to conclusions. Instead, calmly inquire and be polite. If there is a violation, any right-minded person will apologize for and quickly correct said violation and if they do not? They are most likely the type of uncivilized individual you really don't want to tangle with and in this instance you should just let it go.
Lets keep it civilized out there folks.