10
   

I'm Getting Terminated from the Library: And, Today's Library Events

 
 
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 06:59 pm
I've been reluctant to talk about my work situation, since I know many people have been "terminated/laid off" from their full-time jobs in this economy, through no fault of their own.

Me, I'm just being Terminated from my part-time job, as a Library Assistant at a public library, come 9/30/09. I can either apply for a full-time position, or Go to Hell in a Handbasket, according to my local (FL) county officials.

This particular library, where I've worked for the past 2.5 years, is in a rural, poor area in FL. I've become very fond of both my co-workers and my patrons, esp. lately, when I see patrons abandoning
MySpace/Online Games to look for jobs, apply for Unemployment, apply for FoodStamps, etc.

This community has been hit hard by this recession, and people are desperate, and using the library much more than we'd expect during a typical Florida summer (when things usually get very, very quiet.)

Following is a more-or-less transcript of an email I just (today) sent to my mother, about library events. I changed names to protect the Guilty and Innocent alike.

In my opinion, this is all quite Pathetic:
_______________________________
Yesterday (Friday) was a difficult work day.  Some guy was driving erratically all around the neighborhood, and finally got pulled over in the library's parking lot.

3 Police cars spent almost an hour with him, then confiscated his car.  I went out on break during this time and ran into <my boss>.  I saw the guy and told <my boss>, "Wow, that's Joe!"

<my boss> didn't know him.  He's been coming into the library for a couple of weeks now, and is usually weird.  His head is shaved and he has lots of tattoos; he wears tank tops to show off his tattoos (and he's white, BTW).  Scary guy.

Anyway, only the day before I was chatting with a little girl named Jane.  She's about 9 yrs old and is very chatty.

When she saw Joe, she pointed him out and said, "That's Joe, he's a bad man."  (I only learned his name from Jane.) 

I asked her why, and Jane said he "Said bad sex things" to her and her 9-yr-old girlfriend.  She also said he claimed a fishing spot was his, and shooed her away when she knew he didn't own this spot.

I told <co-worker> about this (Thursday), suggesting we keep an eye on this "Joe."

So I only knew his name Friday from Jane.  When I told <my boss> what Jane had said about him, she said, "Oh, you have to tell the cops about this."

I was reluctant.  After all, kids say a lot of things.  Besides, Jane never said he'd touched her in any way.

So <my boss> asks a cop to come into the library to talk to me when he's done with Joe.  He does; I tell the officer what Jane told me. 

He said, "Why didn't you call the police yesterday?"  I was kinda shocked.  I said, "Well it was just hearsay; I don't even know if it's true."

Mr. Officer went away and said he'd be back.  In the meantime, Joe came into the library several times. 

This guy was clearly on some serious drugs.  <my boss> said it was Meth, since he was sweating, shaking, had open sores all over his legs, and seemed very nervous.

Joe wanted a taxi, but apparently there are no local taxi services (he'd had his car confiscated by the police).  Then he marched around saying, "God-damned f**king cops" over and over.  He finally walked somewhere.

Mr. Officer returns some time later with a form for me.  He insists I write up what Jane told me about Joe.  He also chastises me several times for not calling the police yesterday (what the hell?).  <my boss> bravely came to my defense.

I'm hesitant at first, esp. when I see his form and see that they need MY name, address, place of employment & job, social security number, date of birth, and driver's license number (cripes!).

Finally I decide to do the write-up, and I say to the officer, "Well, imagine how I'd feel if something DID happen to Jane, and I'd been to afraid to write anything up."

He replied, "Oh, it wouldn't be YOU getting into trouble, it would be ME."

I said, "No, I meant, you know, what if she (Jane) was harmed or even killed?  How would I feel then?"

"No," he said, "I'd be the one take the heat for not reporting it."

IDIOT!  He just didn't get it!  At this point I thought quite a bit less of this particular policeman.

I filled out the form, wrote what Jane had told me, etc.  Mr. Officer asked, "Is there anything else you know about her?"

I said, "She likes ponies and kittens, and likes to color." 

He didn't even crack a smile, just looked at me like I was crazy.

<Husband> and I figure we'll get a call from some Child Protection Agency in 6 months or so, when they finally get around to addressing this report. 

Hopefully I won't have to give further testimony.

Hopefully also, Joe never finds out what I said and did!

In the meantime, <co-worker> took an unauthorized 2+ hr lunch (supposed to be 30 minutes) and <my boss> left early.  So I was alone in the library for some 45 minutes (NOT supposed to happen).

Two other creepy (white) guys were tooling around the library as well.

All in all, a rather more eventful workday than I'd prefer!

I really think the <Closer-to-Me, Has An Opening> library has much less scary patrons.  For one thing, it's not right next to a large housing project packed with drug dealers!

In the meantime I sometimes wonder why I even want to work there?  I always have my pepper spray with me when I go to the parking lot!

In either case, I'll no longer be working there as of Sept. 30th.
_________________________________
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 07:15 pm
@BorisKitten,
Quote:
Me, I'm just being Terminated from my part-time job, as a Library Assistant at a public library, come 9/30/09. I can either apply for a full-time position, or Go to Hell in a Handbasket, according to my local (FL) county officials.


Not at all interested in a full-time position, BK?
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 07:17 pm
@BorisKitten,
Clarification: Our 6 part-time Library Assistant jobs will be replaced with 3 full-time Library Assistant jobs on 9/30/09.

On this date, our City Library will become part of the County Library system (thus the change; the County has NO part-time positions).

My co-workers and I have asked, several times and of several (city and county) officials, if we might "job-share" these 3 full-time positions.

Answer: Absolutely NOT. Why? The County Commissioners are not interested.

I myself have worked at this library (happily) for 2.5 years; one co-worker has been there over 5 years.

In a recent meeting with county officials, we were told "This is painful; we've been through this with other libraries," plus the County's "Benefits" include Workers' Comp, Unemployment Insurance, and (get this) Social Security.

It MIGHT be good news that we all will qualify, on 9/30, for Unemployment Compensation through the State of FL. Still, we'd all rather have actual jobs than Unemployment Compensation.

My 5 co-workers and I have been searching for new part-time jobs. Wish us luck.
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 07:25 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
Not at all interested in a full-time position, BK?

Ten years ago I retired, so very happily, from full-time work.

When I married 12 yrs ago, we figured out we could BOTH work part-time and still pay our (minimal) bills. We have virtually NO debt other than our mortgage.

My husband and I have no children, and live very "low on the hog" so to speak. Our cars are so old they don't even qualify for our (US) "Cash for Clunkers" program.

I buy all my clothing at thrift stores. Our mortgage will be paid-in-full in 4 more years.

I'd planned to keep this job until retirement. I've very much enjoyed this job.
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 07:29 pm
@BorisKitten,
Quote:
My co-workers and I have asked, several times and of several (city and county) officials, if we might "job-share" these 3 full-time positions.

Answer: Absolutely NOT. Why? The County Commissioners are not interested.


Very short-sighted of them, if you ask me, BK. They'd probably get better value for their $$$$ by allowing the 6 of you to remain half-timers.
I've worked in part-time positions.(My preference, actually.) Very rarely do you (or I) work the exact time fraction you're employed to work & are paid for. It's frequently more ...... & often as a result of wanting to complete work already begun,or else tying up loose ends before leaving work for the day.

Good luck to you & the others in your job search!
0 Replies
 
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 07:30 pm
@msolga,
Oh, forgot to mention, my F/T jobs, before I married, were high-stress. I was in Computer Support/Help Desk/Admin all those years.

NOT the best job, but I kinda fell into it.

In the meantime, this same FL county has posted a F/T job I just MIGHT be able to do: that is, cataloging books and ordering supplies for the county's libraries.

I have 2 weeks to think about/apply for this position.

To be honest, 10 years ago, I swore I'd NEVER work full-time again!

In the meantime I've worked with stray cats 'n' dogs, plus written a novel. Am I willing to give up that free time?

Lemme think!
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 07:32 pm
@BorisKitten,
Ah. I understand your priorities, BK.

Personally I'd prefer to live "low on the hog", as you put it, than to have work swallow up too much of my life & energy, these days. Did that for years & years. Enough already!
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 07:50 pm
@msolga,
There ya go, msolga: This has been a long-term, intentional lifestyle decision.

I live in a 1980 trailer on 2.5 acres, and I LOVE it here!

Those 20 yrs of F/T work, on my own, were quite miserable.

I'm SO much happier now, working P/T with my husband (also P/T), than I'd ever dreamed of, all those years ago.
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 08:04 pm
@BorisKitten,
... You missed the part about also giving many a homeless feline a terrific home, BK! Smile

I certainly hope some half-decent part-time work comes along for you!
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 08:25 pm
@msolga,
Oh, Big Snuggles to you, msolga!

You know where my heart is.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 08:36 pm
@BorisKitten,
I understand your quandaries, Bk.
Me, I'd go for the cataloging job. If you got it, after a time that might be negotiable - they might like an under 30 hours, or whatever it is, person who is productive. In the meantime, you'd up your bio for perhaps future part time stuff.

I made some strange to some turns in my personal life and work life which left me less well off but happier, so I get where you are coming from.

On Jane, I do think that reporting her comments to the boss is the good idea - sooner. I've known someone falsely accused for divorce reasons with the child primed to tell someone, so I know that accusations can be constructs. (The person who did it apologized later.) Still, there's a good chance they aren't. Theoretically, wiser heads will look into it. Do I believe that? Some are actually wiser. Some aren't. But not your call, except to get it noted.

But, I bet you weren't told about this report business as part of work purview.
Not that it should be, I don't know. Plus, given what is going on all around you, the talk from Joe is just more wildness. Still, the a/h cop was right, I think.

Which brings up, maybe it's a police purview to come to the library and give talks to the staff - community outreach, y'know?


roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 08:39 pm
@ossobuco,
Or maybe specifically include it as a part of the patrol. The sight of a uniform with a gun and badge can be a wonderful disincentive.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 08:41 pm
@BorisKitten,
By the way, I applied for the position you have and didn't make the cut. Oh well, they (all part timers) have been laid off, anyway. I'm not seeing anything on the tables that used to be used for new book displays, either.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 09:06 pm
@roger,
Yes. I know enough that libraries are a haven for the homeless, for whom I have complex feelings. I'm a mess, really, in that I've somewhat followed the vigor of street life through centuries; was an early Jane Jacobs fan, no longer having the totally rumpled book since I gave it to someone to read; had an early job as a gopher where the designers were making skid row parks, cough; lived in a seaside town that due to climate was/is? a homeless mecca, for which my view, is why is that place the one taking care of everybody, what happened to the home place? Then there is the failure of community to replace the old looney bins, like Camarillo. I can say that, my dad spent time there, and he may have presented as bizarrely confused. I loved my father, that was a horrible time. A friend from high school's father died on skid row, LA - she was then full of hate for him.

My other side is that I like libraries to be libraries, and city squares not to be camps and distribution centers, but spaces for the public good. There were great parks designed for the public enjoyment, some of them still working that way.

Another point is - police in libraries? Ahhhhhhhh.

I can see guards - which brings up the tasering at UCLA a few years ago.

And my last point is that I've been able to foretell myself as homeless for quite a while now. Some of us on a2k have done that. I haven't. Let's hope not. Just saying I can see it, I suppose that's empathy.
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 09:16 pm
@ossobuco,
Osso, here's my whole surprise/quandry with "Jane," that I'd received not a word RE training about children and their reports of potential abuse.

I did notice that the <closer> County had a required course for all Library Assistants on, oh, dealing with the public, in general. What do you want to bet I'd know, given this education, what to do with Jane's report?

Yet in 2.5 yrs I'd had NO info/education on whether to forward Jane's report to my employers/police.

Well there ya go: The most dangerous neighborhoods get NO info, while the less-dangerous neighborhoods get ample education.

As for Jane, I DO know ('cause she told me) that she has no siblings, that her mom has a different last name, and, of course, that her (elderly) Neighbor brings her to the library every week.

Jane's parents are conspicuously absent, which is NOT unusual for our library. Her (Jane's) plight,. however (parents absent) is not unusual. In fact it's the norm, at least at our library.

Her father, with whom she lives, is an unkn0wn entity to me. He's never visited the library.

Oh, don't I wish the police would give talks to staff/patrons about the laws which might apply (to children esp)?

I'd love it!
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 09:34 pm
@BorisKitten,
BorisKitten wrote:

I've been reluctant to talk about my work situation, since I know many people have been "terminated/laid off" from their full-time jobs in this economy, through no fault of their own.

Me, I'm just being Terminated from my part-time job, as a Library Assistant at a public library, come 9/30/09. I can either apply for a full-time position, or Go to Hell in a Handbasket, according to my local (FL) county officials.

This particular library, where I've worked for the past 2.5 years, is in a rural, poor area in FL. I've become very fond of both my co-workers and my patrons, esp. lately, when I see patrons abandoning
MySpace/Online Games to look for jobs, apply for Unemployment, apply for FoodStamps, etc.

This community has been hit hard by this recession, and people are desperate, and using the library much more than we'd expect during a typical Florida summer (when things usually get very, very quiet.)

Following is a more-or-less transcript of an email I just (today) sent to my mother, about library events. I changed names to protect the Guilty and Innocent alike.

In my opinion, this is all quite Pathetic:
_______________________________
Yesterday (Friday) was a difficult work day.  Some guy was driving erratically all around the neighborhood, and finally got pulled over in the library's parking lot.

3 Police cars spent almost an hour with him, then confiscated his car.  I went out on break during this time and ran into <my boss>.  I saw the guy and told <my boss>, "Wow, that's Joe!"

<my boss> didn't know him.  He's been coming into the library for a couple of weeks now, and is usually weird.  His head is shaved and he has lots of tattoos; he wears tank tops to show off his tattoos (and he's white, BTW).  Scary guy.

Anyway, only the day before I was chatting with a little girl named Jane.  She's about 9 yrs old and is very chatty.

When she saw Joe, she pointed him out and said, "That's Joe, he's a bad man."  (I only learned his name from Jane.) 

I asked her why, and Jane said he "Said bad sex things" to her and her 9-yr-old girlfriend.  She also said he claimed a fishing spot was his, and shooed her away when she knew he didn't own this spot.

I told <co-worker> about this (Thursday), suggesting we keep an eye on this "Joe."

So I only knew his name Friday from Jane.  When I told <my boss> what Jane had said about him, she said, "Oh, you have to tell the cops about this."

I was reluctant.  After all, kids say a lot of things.  Besides, Jane never said he'd touched her in any way.

So <my boss> asks a cop to come into the library to talk to me when he's done with Joe.  He does; I tell the officer what Jane told me. 

He said, "Why didn't you call the police yesterday?"  I was kinda shocked.  I said, "Well it was just hearsay; I don't even know if it's true."

Mr. Officer went away and said he'd be back.  In the meantime, Joe came into the library several times. 

This guy was clearly on some serious drugs.  <my boss> said it was Meth, since he was sweating, shaking, had open sores all over his legs, and seemed very nervous.

Joe wanted a taxi, but apparently there are no local taxi services (he'd had his car confiscated by the police).  Then he marched around saying, "God-damned f**king cops" over and over.  He finally walked somewhere.

Mr. Officer returns some time later with a form for me.  He insists I write up what Jane told me about Joe.  He also chastises me several times for not calling the police yesterday (what the hell?).  <my boss> bravely came to my defense.

I'm hesitant at first, esp. when I see his form and see that they need MY name, address, place of employment & job, social security number, date of birth, and driver's license number (cripes!).

Finally I decide to do the write-up, and I say to the officer, "Well, imagine how I'd feel if something DID happen to Jane, and I'd been to afraid to write anything up."

He replied, "Oh, it wouldn't be YOU getting into trouble, it would be ME."

I said, "No, I meant, you know, what if she (Jane) was harmed or even killed?  How would I feel then?"

"No," he said, "I'd be the one take the heat for not reporting it."

IDIOT!  He just didn't get it!  At this point I thought quite a bit less of this particular policeman.

I filled out the form, wrote what Jane had told me, etc.  Mr. Officer asked, "Is there anything else you know about her?"

I said, "She likes ponies and kittens, and likes to color." 

He didn't even crack a smile, just looked at me like I was crazy.

<Husband> and I figure we'll get a call from some Child Protection Agency in 6 months or so, when they finally get around to addressing this report. 

Hopefully I won't have to give further testimony.

Hopefully also, Joe never finds out what I said and did!

In the meantime, <co-worker> took an unauthorized 2+ hr lunch (supposed to be 30 minutes) and <my boss> left early.  So I was alone in the library for some 45 minutes (NOT supposed to happen).

Two other creepy (white) guys were tooling around the library as well.

All in all, a rather more eventful workday than I'd prefer!

I really think the <Closer-to-Me, Has An Opening> library has much less scary patrons.  For one thing, it's not right next to a large housing project packed with drug dealers!

In the meantime I sometimes wonder why I even want to work there?  I always have my pepper spray with me when I go to the parking lot!

In either case, I'll no longer be working there as of Sept. 30th.
_________________________________

One other way that u coud have handled it
was to refer the officer to the alleged victim, and let it go at that.
From your description, it was not clear whether Joe simply used
rude language against Jane (e.g. "get the f**k away from me! This is MY f**king fishing hole")
or whether he was trying to seduce her.

Qua your mentally challenged police officer,
we have had that here in NYC also.
I attended a lecture put on by the NYC Police
to enhance citizens' security from crime.
I attended because I hoped that thay 'd offer
advice on security from burglary (e.g., the best doorlocks,
the best window security, significant patterns of burglars, etc.)

The lecturer thay sent was a 33 year old white sergeant,
in uniform. Questions were invited from the audience.
I asked for advice about defenses from burglary.
He answered something else, unrelated to my question.
After several of my questions on this point,
he asked me: "what is BURGLARY ?"
For goodness' sake !
Since I was 9, I knew that burglary is going onto
real estate to commit a crime (usually stealing property).
I patiently explained, endeavoring not to hurt his feelings,
but privately, it blew my mind that a NYC Police SERGEANT,
with his stripes on his sleeves and several years of service on-the-job did not know that.

He was able to speak publicly; he did not SOUND stupid.





David
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 10:25 pm
@BorisKitten,
I get all that, what you say. Could you attempt to talk with the community whatsit at the police department, as Bk? There could possibly be a new role there if you wanted it. Or maybe the whole place is corrupt and you are a slub. What do I know.. Not to mention being seen as connected to police, which, though I decry, I take as a real life problem. Still, maybe a talk.

Libraries matter so much (but we fund this and that stupidities..)
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 07:11 am
@BorisKitten,
Well, damn good luck in finding a part-time job you are happy with!
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 07:19 am
@BorisKitten,
Hmmmm....here, I doubt librarians would be mandated reporters....though you'd be encouraged to report by child welfare agencies.


Mind you, a guy saying sexual things to kids would likely be considered by the people you report to as serious, in that he might well be escalating....but unlikely to get a rating high enough to investigate because of the pressure of work with actual sexual/physical abuse.



If you are interested, this is info for mandated notifiers in South Australia, where I live.


Of course, your legislative and child protection systems will be UTTERLY different.......but I thought yopu might find it interesting. Or not!


Only have a look if you are interested, of course!


http://www.familiesandcommunities.sa.gov.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=zggSRjh0SnU%3d&tabid=838&mid=3436
0 Replies
 
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 11:18 am
@roger,
Quote:
Or maybe specifically include it as a part of the patrol. The sight of a uniform with a gun and badge can be a wonderful disincentive.

Our library staff has Begged the police for Years to just stop by the library and walk through it.

They sent an officer for two days in a row, about 2 years ago, and that was it.

I've no idea why this is so impossible for them! I do see that, during the school year, an officer is posted at the high school just across the street when school lets out every day. Why can't this same officer cross the street and walk through the library?

Oh, don't get me started! Grrrr!
 

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