I noticed in my previous Library Day in the Life post that I referenced several of our regular patrons. Now, don’t get me wrong – we have great patrons who come in regularly. Wonderful people who are delightful and engaging. They enjoy using the library’s services and we love to help them.
But many of our regular patrons are “difficult”, or just plain crazy. Each has their own unique brand of crazy, or the specific things they do that drive us nuts. I sympathize with mentally ill people and many of these people are just being themselves. But it can make a trying day worse. And many of these people take advantage of the situation and berate us as is their imagined right, since they are Taxpayers.
The abuse we, as public service representatives, endure can be hard to take. I relaize this situation is not limited to libraries, but that doesn’t make it any easier when someone is screaming or cursing at you.
For example, our library is dealing with upcoming budget cuts which are quite severe. Popular services have been cut or altered, and people are understandably upset. But when airing these feelings on our library blog, many of them have pulled out all the stops — they are demanding, condescending, and downright rude. The online nature of the conversation removes any civility they might have in person or on the phone. I do understand their frustration with the changes. But as the blog administrator, it can be hard to not feel personally attacked.