Saturday, March 14, 2015

Good-bye, Library

The library branch that I work in officially closed at 5pm today.  Next month we will re-open in a fancy new building.  I will still see all of the staff (no one is getting laid off),  but there are a few patrons I will miss who will not be able to get to the new location.  This post, however, is to say good-bye to the building itself.

Dear Building,

You are a wreck.  I was absolutely astonished to make it through the last week without some catastrophe happening as a final farewell from you to the staff.  Please allow me to enumerate the things that I will not miss about you when we leave.

1)  The Dodgy Heating/Air-Conditioning System.  Every year the same game: don't turn off the heat unless you really mean it as it may never come on again.  Ditto for the AC in the fall.  Even when it runs, you best have a sweater at work.  In the winter you will freeze your ass off in the offices, but be okay in the main part of the building.  In the summer you will freeze while on desk, but swelter in the offices.  I look forward to being in a building where, hopefully, there are actually vents that bring the heat and AC into every room.

2) The Program Room.  You are small, and always too cold or too hot.  A recent addition to your awesomeness is the broken window.  It's been that way all winter, and I expect it will remain that way for several more months.

3) The Carpets

Here's a fun game!  Guess where, until very recently, there used to be a floor mat!

 You can tell by the ground-in dirt trails where the patron traffic flows most heavily.  While the carpeting in the main part of the building is newer, that in the circ workroom is original to when the library moved in to this building, circa 1991 according to my sources.  I will not miss the hole in the carpet that my desk chair gets stuck in on a regular basis.  

3) The Windows.

Windows that don't open - except when smashed.

None of the windows open.  The windows pictured above have both been smashed, in two separate events, when the library got burglarized.  Last time the thief stole the entire cash register.  You read that correctly -- took the entire damn cash register.  They also leaked and let in so much water that the entire wall had to be redone because there was mold growing in it.

4) The Men's Room.

The Men's Room aka The Vortex of Doom

First, I stand by my opinion that people seem to lose their damn minds in public restrooms.  It doesn't matter if it is the Men's room or the Women's room.  That being said,  WTF is wrong with you guys?! I have seen more disgusting stuff in this bathroom that you can imagine.  The best story, and the reason for the picture of the ceiling, was the morning I walked in after the library had been closed for a holiday (I think it might have been Memorial Day Weekend), and found water gushing out of the ceiling in the Men's room.  A toilet upstairs had broken, and it leaked all weekend, soaking the ceiling tiles and sending them crashing down, along with all of the water.  That was a fun discovery.

5) The Handicap Stall in the Women's Room.

The bathrooms in this building are evil!!

I hate the bathrooms in this building, but this stall in particular.  I found pants that someone forgot in this stall.  Another time it was someone's undergarments.  One fine Saturday a patron quickly exited the ladies' room and told us the toilet wouldn't stop running.  By the time I got in there the water was overflowing and already reaching the carpeted area.  A coworker and I got to spend quality time in there trying to stop the flow, unable to turn off the water, waiting for maintenance to come and save us.  It leaked all over and a huge swath of the carpet in the main part of the building had to be removed and replaced.  

I hate these bathrooms so, so much.

6) The Electrical Room.

Pretty blanket!  

The Electrical Room is protected by the great Deer Blanket.  It really is just a big metal box of a room, and beyond it is another big metal box of a room.  They let all of the cold air in during the winter, even with the doors shut and locked.  That's why we have the protective deer blanket.  

That second room I mentioned?  We found a homeless guy living in there at one point.  There is still a random shopping cart full of stuff in there, although no one has been living in there for quite some time.

Sorry for the bad picture -- there is no lighting in this area.

7) The Lights.

They don't look evil, do they?

These lights are supposed to have plastic covers over the bulbs.  Several have fallen out over time.  One fell out while we were open and almost hit a patron.  Thankfully no one was ever hurt.  Silver lining, I guess, would be that we at least do not have to see the dead bug bodies that always seem to collect in these types of lights.  Hopefully we have different lights in the new building.  Fluorescent lighting always reminds me of the movie Joe Vs. the Volcano.  

In closing, dear building, I will not miss you.  I think you have secretly been trying to destroy us all along.  I'm happy to move on to a newer building that will hopefully treat us much better.

Hope your new tenants have a sense of humor and a flair for repair!

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