I’m not sure if all the SFF folks are still talking about creeping each other out, but I think it’s mostly died down, so despite the fact that pretty much no one will see this I thought it would be rude to clog up someone else’s web space with it. Still, I had to share. The universe will see.

I work at a public library, in a small branch. Due to a lack of foresight in the building design, there tends to be insufficient workspace, and I often have to process recently returned items out in public view. We have many patrons, both male and female, who want the “freshest” books or DVDs, and like to go straight to the most recent returns to find their entertainment–it’s like the books are cookies and the book return is an oven. They want the warm ones.

Over the six years that I’ve worked here, there have been maybe a dozen instances where I actually have had to ask someone to back off. I take a deep breath and make sure that I sound friendly and not annoyed (or I do my best, at least), and I say something along the lines of, “Are you looking for a specific title? Because if so, I’ll happily give it to you. Otherwise, I have to be honest, it makes me nervous to have you hovering over me like that.”

Most people realize their mistake, apologize, and find something else to do for five minutes until I finish and they can pounce again. One or two have slunk off silently, realizing that they were in the wrong but too embarrassed to converse. The guy I gave my little speech to today got offended, and then when I offered to help him check out his items, he refused to let me help him at the circulation desk. He did not, however, try to complain to anyone about my rudeness.

Which is why I’m pretty sure he was looking at my tits and not at the DVDs.