Friday, July 11, 2008

Why I Love the Public (pt. ...uh...4,000,000,000?)

The phone at the Reference Desk rang last night at 8:43, just as I was about to make the "we're closing, go home you manky dolts!" annoucement.

"Is you know how...{pause} OK, are you busy? Can you just come up to the circ desk for a sec?" It's Thursday night just following a wing-dinger of a thunderstorm--of course it's not busy. I debate making the announcement and then decide that whatever's going on up front can be handled quickly and THEN I'll chuck people out.

So I arrived up front. As I round the corner to the circ desk, I realize with that I was far too optimistic. My current least-favorite Thursday night regular is standing there, Mr. I've-Been-Hacked-on-the-Library's-Computers. Dude has hit several of us up about people getting his password and logging onto his account and using his time!!! Oh the horror of that! He was so demanding about it the first time--several months ago--that we went ahead and created a new library card so he could start over fresh because he insisted that changing his password on the old card wouldn't stop people from continuing to hack in.

Mind you, all they seemed to be doing thus far was using his time. To clarify, everyone gets an hour a day, which is shown on the screen when you first log in. If you've already been in and checked your email once at 10 a.m. and come back at 3, the timer will say something like "34 minutes" indicating that you have used 26 minutes already.

So about two months ago, dude comes FLYING up to me while I'm helping someone at the Ref Desk: "Someone has hacked my account! They've used my time. I just got here and it's telling me I've already used up part of my hour! I haven't..." Since I was helping someone else at the time, I told him to go log off for now and I'll come figure it out when I've finished with the people ahead of him in line. He was huffy, but I got to him quickly. Of course, he is (always) using the computer farthest away from the Ref Desk--and the rest of humanity--so it's a hike. When he logs back on, he points to the timer and says, "SEE?? SEEE???????? It says I only have 27 minutes left! But I haven't been here ALL DAY!" I look at the time, check my watch, and say, "Well, it is a little confusing, yes, but the fact is that we close in about 27 minutes, so that's all the time you have left today...because the computer will automatically shut down then."

"BUT SOMEONE USED MY TIME!!!" I go through the mechanics of what I had just said several more times and he eventually settled down with some grumbling.

However. Last night. OMG.

He logged on. Someone had used his time again. (same reason, duh) Plus, when he got into the start screen, there were two email accounts open on the desktop. Now THIS is weird: when people log off, the hard drive is supposed to be wiped clean of every-damn-thing they've been doing. He wrote down the email addresses and then proceeded on to use the internet. And logged out.

And then came to the circ desk to get a new library card. Because SOMEONE HAS HACKED INTO HIS ACCOUNT! [Pay attention--you'll love this next part.] See, those two people who left their email accounts logged in? They were hacking him. From those email accounts. Yeah. Because, somehow they knew he would be the next person in, and they could sit at another computer somewhere and log into their email and...what? This is not a party line on a phone where everyone can talk to everyone through any receiver they've left off the hook (i.e. any computer they've logged into their email with). Is it?

For the love of Pete.

So I told him that a) no one had used his time, it was just counting down till closing; b) he needs to tell us immediately when he sees the computer doing something he thinks is bad--like having other people's email still open after he logs in!; c) what you are suggesting is technically highly improbable (hell, it could be possible--how do I know?).

Then I told him again.

And again. And again. I even, at one point, say, "Look, you have to come get us as soon as you see something weird. After all, you don't go to the doctor a week after you stop throwing up to find out what made you sick last week, right?"

Luckily, he had to "leave for work."

Once he left, I made the #)@$*% Closing Announcement. Then I talked to ILL Tyrant--who had called me for help--and she said she had basically gone through the whole thing with him and he wasn't listening. Then Sout’ Sider said the whole hot mess had started with him demanding a new library card because (all together now) his account had been hacked!!

Dude is terminally nutso. He doesn't seem to be capable of getting unstuck from this one subject. But yet, he will sit down at a potentially buggy computer and open his own email and type in who-knows-how-many other passwords? And he will continually use a computer that he thinks has messed him up innumerable times rather than using any one of the other 30 in the building?

So, I have a list of stuff from last night to go over with the boss this morning:
-- Mr. I've-Been-Hacked-on-the-Library's-Computers
-- the non-functional Line 3 that went out during the storm last night
-- the missing emergency light that used to be at the Ref Desk that is MIA now
-- the fact that the pages don't have time to shelve and there are probably close to 100 abandoned books lying all over the nonfiction area since last Thursday when I cleaned all the tables off PLUS the cartload of stuff that's been sitting since the beginning of June next to the Ref Desk

This is why she gets paid the big bucks.

Urban Word:
combat nap: That 5-10 minute nap that you have to take when your body is completely exhausted and your mind is over stressed. Happens if you want it or not, and you usually wake up feeling like you've had a full night's rest.

I really could've used a combat nap last night at about 8:45.

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