Posts Tagged ‘keys’

Crazy Day

What is normal for a programming day? What’s crazy?

Saturday, along with every other library, I’m sure, we presented a Mother’s Day event. We decided to build on an idea we had last year of doing a Mother’s Day Tea, but instead of spending $200 to serve 26 adults and children fancy tea, scones, tea sandwiches, and sweets, we opted for an all-day “Drop-in” version. It would cost about the same and we were sure we’d have at least 100 people. After all, the Farmer’s Market was open down the street, the church next door was having a craft fest outside on the sidewalk and it was a beautiful day.

The Friends were great and made most of the food although I was stuck with most of the tea sandwiches. So, at 5:00 a.m., I was slicing cucumbers for marinating, boiling and cutting eggs for egg salad and spreading salmon salad on frozen bread. By 7:00 a.m., I was cutting off crusts and filling Tupperware with my 200 triangles.

By 8:30 a.m., I was at the branch with my daughter, putting on the hot water, adding food to the buffet, and decorating. Fortunately, we had already wheeled in the round tables from the branch floor the night before. One of the pages helped me set the tables with colorful spring cloths, folded napkins, luncheon plates, matching cups and saucers, and silverware, as well as small bowls for sugar cubes, nuts, and lemon curd. We had the three tier servers loaded by 9:45 and the artificial daisies & bows were affixed in the nick of time. By 10 a.m., the music was playing and we were ready to go.

Great fun actually, even though we didn’t have 100 (more like 50), we were still running back and forth washing dishes, refilling serving dishes, refilling coffee urns with hot water, and chatting up the library all day long. Everyone agreed, the day was a success, but a long, long one.

So, we closed up the Tea Room a little early. We washed all the dishes and put them away in our storage tubs and collected and doled out all the leftover treats. My teenage boys came in and rolled all the round tables back into the library main room, lugged everything out to my car for the trek to the storage room, and folded up the other tables. I even had the wherewithal to give a yellow rose to all the staff and helpers (including my teen daughter) who worked all day.

Then, in the last 30 minutes of the day, the craziness started:

  • I couldn’t find the storage key. Solution: It must be at home, 15 minutes away.
  • But, the car only has room for 2 people with the boxes and I had 2 teens to cart home. Solution: One stays at the branch.
  • There are 4 men standing outside the men’s restroom waiting to get in. How long have they been there? One of them pounds on the door. I check with staff: how long has the john been occupied? Answer: 10 minutes. Solution: I go and get the master key to make sure there is someone actually in there.
  • A new lady comes into the branch, fully decked with multi-colored bags and a big flower-studded straw hat. She starts walking around the branch having conversations with the books, loudly. Solution: I walk over to her and gently ask her to lower her voice and she apologizes and shushes the books.
  • The men’s restroom line is getting rowdy and I suggest they use the ladies’ room and provide the key. I knock on the men’s room and open the door with my key. I hear a man scream at me, “I’m havin’ a bowel movement in here!” Solution: I tell the line to all use the ladies’ room.
  • One man refuses to use the ladies’ room and starts pounding on the men’s room door. Lots of expletives are traded between the men on opposite sides of the restroom door. Solution: I ask the man to try and be patient, after all, the other man is using the facility more or less appropriately.
  • A staff person comes to tell me the police are outside talking with folks in our parking lot. Solution: I go out to see what’s happening and apparently an anonymous caller phoned the police and reported someone drunk in our lot, but they couldn’t find anyone drunk. Was it the woman in the hat? Solution: Leave it to the police.
  • The BM man from inside the restroom finally storms out without looking back. I follow and call out, “Sir, sir, excuse me, but we need the men’s room key.” In reply, and in between expletives, he tells me he left the key inside the restroom. Solution: retrieve the master key again and let the other long-suffering man enter.
  • Oh yeah, still have to rush home to get the storage locker key to put away the tea supplies.
  • 5:00 o’clock, time to close up the building.

At 6 pm, all is put away, the building is quiet and dark and I sit out in the parking lot and take ten deep breaths.

These are the times I’m glad we’re not open on Sundays. And next year, I may go on vacation on Mother’s Day weekend.