Clint, one of my wonderful readers and the patriarch of a lovely family of People Of the Gun, sent me a link to a news story about a librarian who got fired for acting like a decent human being. It didn't surprise me at all.
One Friday, I was alone at the reference desk for the last hour of the day. Sitting at a computer, directly in my line of vision was Jesse, the homeless guy who looks at porn. He and I were the only ones in the back half of the library. I glanced up and noticed that Jesse had his hand in his lap. I saw him make a small furtive movement. "Oh no, " I thought. "No. fucking. way."
I looked again. Yep.
I marched into the back office to tell the accountant, the only man we have on staff, what was happening. (I'll call him Dick)
"If you don't get out there and do something, I'm going to call the police!"
"So call the police." Dick didn't care.
At this point, the library director (I'll call her, um...Fancy Nisher) scurried out of her office. She looked worried. "Why are you calling the police?" This was right before the recent library levy. I'm sure she was imagining the impact of any bad press.
I told her that Jesse was on the computer, looking at porn and touching himself. She said, "Oh, well, we've all been there, done that," as if dealing with perverts was an acceptable and expected job for librarians. Unbelievable - no one cared!
I was having flashbacks to the time when a skeezy patron wanted us to print out photos of penises for him, under the guise of "research." One librarian was reduced to tears because she was so freaked out. But even though we were all very uncomfortable, Fancy Nisher told us to do it anyway. The freaked out librarian and I refused to go back out into the library. We waited in the breakroom until Fancy Nisher was forced to deal with the patron herself. (And yes, she gave him what he wanted - and no, no one got hurt.)
This time, though, I could feel myself getting very, very angry. It probably showed on my face. I said something (that I can't remember now) to the director that made her leave the safety of her office to go survey the situation.
Fancy Nisher didn't call the police. She didn't tell the pervert to leave. She didn't even ask him to leave the computer area.
She merely asked him if he could "please buckle up his pants."