Saturday, September 18, 2010

scrap paper

The other day, a semi-regular patron approached my desk holding a crumpled up piece of paper and asking if we had a recycle bin.

"Nope, sorry." I almost told her that even if we did, everything would still go into the same dumpster out back, but I was feeling uncharacteristically benevolent.

The patron tsk'ed at me. "Well, I'm a real tree person. I hate wasting paper. I'll take this over to the children's department." (They have a recycling bin, see. They're nice. They care about the environment.)

About eight seconds earlier, I had decided I'd already grown tired of this conversation. It was after 5 o'clock, I was alone at the desk, and it was the final hour of a very long day. I went back to my audiobook order. "Uh huh. You do that."

A while later, this patron printed out some PDF files from her email. Unfortunately, she had no idea what she was doing and never bothered to ask me for help. As a result, the printer on my desk began to churn out paper.

"Uh...ma'am? Are these yours?" I showed her the stack of print outs - only one page in ten was usable and the printer was still going at it, no end in sight.

She gaped at the pile for a moment. "No, those aren't mine. I mean, I...I didn't mean to print all that."

"Right. Well...so much for saving the trees, huh?" I sighed dramatically, making a big show of taking each ruined sheet and slowly putting it in the trash before she could reach for them. I shook my head sadly. "Seems so wasteful, but oh well...what can you do? Computers, you know." I might have shrugged but I was full to bursting with an internal smirk.

Horrible, I know...but she deserved it - as usual, she left without giving me a dime.

11 comments:

be603 said...

grew up in a Pac NorWest logging/mill/Weyerhauser/IP town...

Go ahead -- kill a tree. We'll grow more. Easy, peasy.

Trees grow like weeds up yonder and folks are thankful for the jobs.

Nancy R. said...

Breda for the win!

Lydia said...

True story, and do date my favorite librarian moment for Breda. (for the record, I saw this live....

Patron Child: Do you have any books on leopards?

Breda: No we don't, I'm sorry

Patron Parent: Are you sure you don't have any books on leopards?

Breda: Did you not hear me the first time?

Breda, ensuring literacy and active listening skills for the masses.

Mike W. said...

Probably a liberal Obama supporter.
Go Breda!

reflectoscope said...

Well played. I'll print double-sided, but the savings of paper is a convenient coincidence and not the original motive.

Jim

Alan said...

Breda does not suffer fools. She just makes them suffer instead.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Wonder how long that Women has worked at her Gooberment Funded Socialist Activist job to think that Copy Paper must be paid for by the Little People.

mattcaron said...

If they are one-sided printouts, save them, and print on the back:

http://targetz.com/

That's how I do all my targets.

John B said...

Breda, you're a wicked 'lil girl.
And I someday hope to find one just like you.

jeffreyquick said...

Now, Breda, we can't beat on the patrons, no matter how richly they deserve it; I mean, there's always a library millage coming up, But speaking of money, don't you guys charge? We do, because there's always somebody who wants all of Early English Books Online in hard copy. Normally, our patrons don't get their goodies until they've paid. And I don't charge for mistakes, but in teis particular case, I might make an exception.

rickn8or said...

Sometimes, there's just no substitute for that ol' Instant Karma.

And what Alan said.