One of the patrons who comes here I can't stand. There are many reasons for this... I'll take care of the horribly shallow ones first. Although I've been friends with people with this problem, his lazy eye, when combined with everything else, bothers me a touch. Also, the gap between two of his lower teeth tends to grate on me, mostly because he keeps shoving the tip of his tongue through it while talking to me.
He's working on learning English (from his name, I'd guess he's from Eastern Europe somewhere), and to do this he was watching a video series called Speak to Me, which has nine tapes. Now, I remember him (who wouldn't?) and so I'd ask him which tape he wanted when I saw him. Slowly. He'd blink and then start going, over and over, "Do you understand? I want to speak English! Can you help me? I want to speak English, do you understand!?" I'd respond, "Yes.... Now which tape do you want?" Response: "I want to speak English, do you understand?" Me: "Which...tape...?" Response: "Speak to Me video, please. I want to speak English. Can you help me?" Me: "YES. Now WHICH TAPE?"
He also would bitch about headphones that fit him perfectly and worked fine, incidentally.
Today he comes in asking for Speak to Me tape eleven. There are only nine. (Did he just IMAGINE listening to ten or something?) Me: "It only goes up through nine. Just nine tapes." Him: "Do you have ten?" Me: "There are only nine tapes." Him: "Do you have twelve?" Me: "There are only NINE."
Now I recognize he's learning English, but trust me, the OTHER patrons who come in for these tapes aren't nearly as idiotic. He speaks English well enough, actually, considering; I think he's just a flaming idiot on top of it. And you learn your numbers first, no matter the language. I could manage this particular interaction (playing his role) in three other languages without resorting to screeching, "Je veux apprendre le français! Comprenez-vous!?" or "Ich möchte Englisch erlernen! Verstehen Sie!?" every two seconds.
Today it got worse, as he starts nattering about having no problems, and then handed me a notebook in which someone had written instructions for him. They went along the lines of, "Smile at the girl, but DO NOT TOUCH the girl. If she doesn't like you, don't follow the girl," and various other instructions for him. Lord. So he's an idiot AND a pervert? I'm glad there's a very high desk between us.
And yet... he LIKES me. He always smiles and thanks me profusely for everything. Perhaps it's that perverted part of him appreciating my ample charms, but even so, I find it interesting he doesn't get mad at me for not liking him. Thus, I marvel at my ability to handle people, because the fact that I hate every second I talk to him obviously isn't clear to him. Go me.
After I wrote that entry, I had another encounter with him where he apologized over and over for not paying me. It was kind of funny... "It's okay. No, really, you don't have to pay me." To myself: The college is paying me.
The other day, I got this email from the supervisor here:
I have told the director about our potential problem patron [name deleted] -- He is the young non-native English speaker who checks out the cassette tapes. There have been problems with other women on campus -- reports of inappropriate questions, offering money for sex, and most seriously an attempt to take hold and kiss an office worker. Log any unusual encounters in the log book, call security if you feel threatened or another patron complains, LOG the incident (including the fact that officers responded and who they were if you know) so we can monitor the response. As with any patron or situation, if you feel at all threatened, call security or use the panic button.