Thursday, February 25, 2016
Today At The Desk...
My shift today was a little shorter than usual as I had to attend our mandatory staff harassment and discrimination training, which took up an hour in the middle of the shift.
The shift started off quietly, giving me a chance to withdraw some books that had been de-selected and do a little research for some supplies and ideas for storytime.
After I got back from the training session, things had picked up a bit. I was soon approached by a patron who asked to use the phone. But then what initially seemed like a routine request, turned out to be more complicated. After no one answered her call, she began telling me her whole situation. An acquaintance had asked to use her phone, then said the battery was low and he was going up to the 2nd floor to charge it, but evidently disappeared with it. She could not find him anywhere in the library and he did not answer the phone when she called. She said she had already gone next door to the police station, but they had blown her off.
I empathized with her and told her I would call our security and see if they could help her. While we waited for them to come down she began to get more and more upset, realizing that she had been too trusting, and that there were precious pictures of her daughter on her phone that she would lose if she didn't it back. To further complicate things, she didn't know the phone numbers of any close friends or family members from memory so she could call them to come help her, she just relied on all her contacts being in her phone, as many of us do. As she was getting upset and security was taking a little longer than expected, I invited her to have a seat in one of our cozy chairs while she waited.
After the security guard arrived, I explained that she had been coerced into giving her phone to an acquaintance who had apparently stolen it, and that she was very upset and did not know how to get in touch with anyone who could help her of give her some support. He took her into our story room for privacy to talk to her and try to get as much info as possible, and our head of security called the police and got them to take the situation seriously. The last I heard they were still waiting for a police officer to come take a report.
I really hope they were able to track her phone down, but I am so glad we have such a great security team that we can count on! They are really awesome; we can count on them to respond when we call, and they do a great job looking out for us and dealing with difficult situations. They are tough when necessary and don't take any crap, yet at the same time they are incredibly sensitive and compassionate in situations like the one today.