Except about the fact I can’t get a decent burrito except at Chipotle, but I’m working on that. The other day, at the public library, I was sitting at the desk doing some work, when a middle-aged man approached me.
“Hey, I’d like to buy one of those stickers.”
This particular library has those round black and white stickers like you see in Europe, but obviously an abbreviated name for the library on them, not CZ or somesuchthing. I walked over to the drawer, got one out, took his dollar, and said “thank-you.”
“I bought a new car so I need to have a new sticker to put on it.”
“I see, well thanks for your support.”
“I work in local government,” he told me, “so you probably want to yell at me.” Then he waited for me to yell at him.
Instead, I said, “No, I have no gripe with Rhode Island.”
His jaw dropped, “That can’t be right.”
Admittedly, that is not entirely true, but I’m certainly not going to yell at this man, and for a number of reasons:
1. I’m at work
2. I’ve had a pretty good day, I’m not too indignant about anything
3. I had 3 hours of work left, I’d rather not get indignant and yell at someone because he can’t solve whatever is presumably bothering me right now, and I’d rather write a strongly-worded letter, or do something else to let my opinions known while he is at work and not buying a sticker.
4. He didn’t even tell me what he does, just that he works in local government. He could be in the mail room, for all I know.
“I’ve only lived here since September.” I told him, hoping that that excuse, lame as it is, would pacify him and just get him to go away.
“You didn’t move to…”
“No, I live in Providence.” Haha! I thought, that will end it, he doesn’t work in Providence, he said he was local.
“Well, certainly you must have been taxed!” he countered.
By this point, I was completely over this conversation, and getting a little creeped out. Was this some kind of librarian fantasy? He didn’t have any book fines, so he had to come up with some reason for me to discipline him? I did not have my hair in a bun at the time, and I was not wearing my glasses, but maybe… Maybe all government officials in this town would rather just get yelled at all day, or wander around complaining than do actual work. I don’t know what to make of all this.
“Of course I’ve been taxed.” I told him, “but clearly not to the point where I’m angry about it. Ask me again in a year.”
That seemed to satisfy him… for now.