Thursday, January 17, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Wow, so it's been a million years since last I posted. So how's everything going for everyone? Good? Great!

The teen department serves between 50 and 80 people on an average school day, and between 100 and 120 people on an average school holiday or summer day. We generally have to ask 1 or 2 people to leave because they're breaking our rules on a school day, and 4 or 5 people to leave on a holiday or summer day - which means that approximately 2 or 3% of the people in our department are behaving so poorly that they need to leave the library - which also means that 97 or 98% of all people are behaving fantastically and causing no problems whatsoever.

So why is it that we remember the 2% so much better than the 98%? Honestly, there are kids who come in every day whose names I don't know, but I sure know the "bad kids," the ones we talk to constantly and ask to leave frequently. Is it part of the general human tendency to remember the bad stuff?

Anyway, the purpose of this post isn't to start thinking philosophically about why we remember the annoying kids, it's to discuss some of my favorite excuses. When kids are asked to leave, they generally come up with some reason why they shouldn't actually have to leave. Some of my favorites....

"But I didn't do it." This is by far the most common excuse. It doesn't matter if I watched them do whatever it was, they'll still claim that somehow my eyes were mistaken.

"He or she made me do it!"

"Come on, give me one more chance!" If you're being asked to leave, you've already had a minimum of three chances (unless someone does something really egregious, like threating staff or starting a fight, we give three warnings before asking anyone to leave).

"You're not my mom! You can't tell me what to do!" No, I'm not your mom, and I'm very grateful for that fact. However, I can tell you what to do when you're in this building. Which you won't be, shortly.

"I can't leave because my mom is upstairs." Your mom's upstairs? Great! Let's go talk to her. I'd be happy to explain that you were smoking pot in the bathroom/making out with your significant other on the sofa/screaming loudly/doing backflips/whatever it was. Oh, she left? How surprising.

"He started it!" It's possible that this one is true some of the time. However, no matter what he said to you, picking up a table and threatening to hit him with it is not an appropriate way to deal with your problems.

"I have to stay with my cousin/brother/friend." Is this the same cousin/brother/friend that you've been ignoring for the past 2 hours? There's a bench outside that you can sit on while you wait.
I'll even let you take a book or magazine to keep yourself entertained.

"You always pick on me!" No, no I don't. You continually break the rules.

"I can't get back into my house because I don't have a key." That's very unfortunate. I'd be happy to let you call someone to let you back into the house, but you still need to leave. If you can't get in touch with someone, you can wait on the bench outside until someone comes to pick you up.

"But I need to do my homework!" You've been here for 3 hours using myspace and youtube between times of running around, flirting, and yelling. Perhaps you should have done your homework first.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

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