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Cringing in a Library: Never Using Public Computers Again! August 6, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, On Writing, Social/Political Commentary, Study.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

So get this.  I came into town today to catch up with a friend who is going to be moving interstate for work — again.  After a Whopper Meal, I decided to go to the public library to get some studying done and do some much needed writing.

Anyway, I thought the library would be a good place to study, but it’s not turning out that way.

On the one hand I am having an email chat with a friend who tells me that her boss is getting her to book an all-gay cruise for him (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  Nice.

On the other hand I am trying to ignore a skanky woman (probably mid-30s) sitting in front of a nearby computer coughing her lungs out.  It’s not even occasional or sporadic — it’s freaking constant.  And the few times I have turned to catch a glimpse I could see the spit flying everywhere.  There’s no tissue, no handkerchief — not even a hand to cup the saliva.  The monitor is starting to look like a window on a rainy day.  I don’t even want to think about the keyboard.

An old librarian dude with a limp just staggered up to her and said: “Excuse me, are you feeling okay?  Shouldn’t you be going home?”

“I’m fine,” she said.

“Shouldn’t you be going home when you’re coughing like that?”

“No,” she said.  “We’re moving house.”

“But coughing like this…this is a library…you are disturbing the others.”

“Don’t worry, it’s not contagious.  It’s just a smoker’s cough.  I’m a bad smoker.  It’s not going to infect anyone.”

The librarian looked at her screen.  “Can’t you do this at home?”

“No.  I’m playing my game.”

That’s when I noticed what was on her monitor — a Facebook game.  I’m not making any of this up.

“A game?  You’re playing a game?”

“Yes, and you are disturbing me.”  She then turned back to the game, but not before she coughed some more, this time in the librarian’s face.

“Oh, okay,” the librarian said and walked away, dejected.

Her phone just rang.  The ring tone is loud enough to startle a deaf person.  “Hello?” she screamed, flipping it open.  “What?  What do you want?  I’m at the library!”

[PS: by the way I typed all of this up on my laptop]



1. happyflowerwordzoo002 - August 6, 2010

On the one hand I may never tough a public keyboard again. Yet on the other as an ex-teacher you don’t want to know what I saw. Remarkable most classrooms just don’t expire en masse. Part of the resiliency thing. Am very impressed librarian attempted an intervention. Mucho courage. Thanks for this post. Reminds me how to behave wrt public health.

2. uioae - August 9, 2010


Might have worked better if the librarian had told the lady she was not welcomed at the library. No need to tiptoe around people who are only capable of flopping their great fat shoes all over the faces of others.

pacejmiller - August 11, 2010

Old people are too kind

3. inspiredworlds - August 12, 2010

thats just a lot of respect for other people in the library!

i saw this lady staring at me several times on the train yesterday back from the airport. wasn’t sure if it was my fashion sense or whatever. it didnt occur to me until i took my headphones off that the music was really really loud! which may have caused all the staring lol

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