Carrie Leigh (carrie_leigh) wrote,
Carrie Leigh

You get what you pay for, don't you?

Because I'm blessed and don't have an actual nine to five job that I go to everyday, I volunteer in the boys' elementary school library every Wednesday. The school librarian actually has two schools to split her time between, and there needs to be someone there to shelve books and sit at the circulation desk when she's not there. Usually it's only for an hour or two, and it's quiet and most of the children aren't ankle-biting mouth-breathers.

Today, though, I went in early and someone had left every single returned non-fiction book unshelved. There were like... a billion of them. And let me tell you, I can knock out the Easy section and the Fiction books without an issue. I can re-shelve biographies with the best of 'em. But for some reason, re-shelving the non-fiction books puts me right off. Plus, here's a note to whomever can't seem to put things in numerical/alphabetical order: "599.78 LOT" ALWAYS comes before "599.78 MON." And it always will. It takes me twice as long to shelve because I cannot leave these things undone.

I digress.

One of my favorite things is when one of the little munchkins comes in and asks for help finding a book. I don't mind and I help them; I have fond memories of my elementary school librarian (Lucretia Cargill - BEST NAME EVER.) But this one little girl comes in and asks ever so sweetly if I can help her find a historical fiction book. "Why yes I can", I tell the little tot cheerily. "They're all over here in one section, just for such an occasion!"

The child peruses the section and says, "Have you got anything else?"

I blink to stop the eye twitch, and I say, "Yes, you can go through the stacks, and anything with a historical fiction sticker is fair game."

She does this, comes back and TUGS ON MY SWEATER and says, "I don't like any of those."

I merely look at the child expectantly. I'm not sure at this point if she expects me to pull one out of my secret pocket or ...what.

"I need two more historical fiction book in order to join the historical fiction book club," she whines.

(Reader, she whined. She honestly WHINED about this.)

I force a smile, try to unclench my teeth and say, "Then I suggest you check out two historical fiction books, sweetheart."

The little darling, who looks to be perilously close to pitching a world class fit, raises her treble voice and says, "But I don't LIKE any of those!"

Temporarily forgetting I'm at the elementary school and not teaching my high school students, I retort, "Sometimes, babe, you gotta suck it up and do something you don't like to get something you want. It's that, or you don't get in the club. If you have any more questions, I'm going to be over here re-shelving non-fiction books 'til my eyes bleed."

(I didn't say that last bit. She was seven. But even seven year-olds need to be told to suck it up, sometimes. If not by their parents, then apparently by their friendly neighborhood volunteer librarian.)

So maybe the filter should have caught that. I have been out of public education for almost eight years. But I can tell you this: I will NEVER work full time in an elementary school. All the pressure of having to keep all the sarcasm inside my head would cause an explosion of cataclysmic proportions. They'd be scraping me and whatever poor little fourth grader that happened to be standing next to me off the walls with a trowel.

Or at the very least, I'd get fired for snapping off at random children.

In nothing related to the verbal abuse of children, I've watched the first season of Merlin and have a horribly embarrassing crush on Bradley James. I smile or giggle whenever he's onscreen. Seriously!

I have ISSUES.
Tags: horrific kid story, television, volunteering

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