Sunday, April 1, 2007

Annoying Customers: The Broken Parrot

Some members of my staff and I were talking about our least favorite customers, and I realized that most of the kids who annoy us can be broken down into a few types. I also realized that for most of the kids, I am actually less annoyed than amused, and that the hardest part of my job is keeping a straight face when they go off onto their rants.

Anyway, for today.....the Broken Parrot.

The Broken Parrot is almost always a girl between the ages of 13 and 15. She usually has an elaborate hairdo, frequently a weave or extensions, and nearly always has large hoop earrings, too much makeup, and long claw-like acrylic nails. The Broken Parrot is nearly always trailed by two or more friends who say nothing.

The main characteristic of the Broken Parrot is that she never says anything original, just repeats instructions or conversations of others in a loud, mocking voice, while changing instructions given to her into questions aimed at someone else. For example....

Staff: There are only two people allowed at each computer. Please find something else to do.
Broken Parrot: What if I don't want to find something else to do? Why don't you find something else to do?
Staff: If you don't go sit down, you'll be asked to leave.
BP: What if I don't want to sit down? Why don't you go sit down?
S: It's time for you to leave now.
BP: What if I don't want to leave? Why don't you leave?
S: You need to leave, or I'll call someone to escort you out.
BP: Why don't you get escorted out?

By this time, we're into the hardest part of my job....not responding in kind. I always have an intense desire to begin mocking the girl by either repeating everything she says, or just laughing in her face. I don't do either, of course, but sometimes it's a hard battle to win.

Next time: The Wannabe Gangsta!


Woeful said...

During a recent altercation at my Library, a group of teens was informed that the police were being called, to which one teen responded, "what are they going to do to us?"

... My immediate thought was, I don't care. The point is, you are now the official problem of the authorities.

Snarky Librarian said...

Exactly! Once the police have been called, or once you have left the library, I am no longer interested in what you have to say or do.

I also love the teens who yell "I'm never coming back!" when they've been asked to leave for the day. Do they perhaps expect me to burst into tears?

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