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Clear Those Lines, I Have A Stack of Books And A Cranky Toddler!

I took my four year old daughter to the library after I got home from work. She did great right up until it was time to go check out. She was right on the edge (it was just about bedtime, so not surprised) when we headed to the circulation counter with our stack of books when some guy zipped around in front of us and had all these issues with his card. That guy totally saw us heading to the counter and deliberately went around the book display to get there first.

Seriously? Thanks for cutting around in front of us and making us wait and wait. Every time I thought he was all set, there was one more thing.

“I have fines.”

“I never checked out that book.”

“What do I have checked out on my card?”

“I have a hold.”

There’s only so much to do while waiting in line with an energetic 4 yr old. She read the letters from the book display, then counted the letters. Crawled around on the floor with her toy and then finally resorted to running in circles.

Sure, I could have ducked back into the Children’s Room but we’ve done that before only to have a line form and it takes even longer to leave.

Are people really so self-centered?? It would have taken 2 minutes for us to get our books and leave. Instead we waited for almost 10 minutes while you dealt with all your issues.   0608-15

When shopping or engaging in errands around town, the expectation must be that you will wait in a line somewhere, for some undetermined amount of time.   It could be a short line, no line at all, or a long line but the reality of interacting with your fellow humans is that you will either be in front of someone in a line or behind them at some point.  If your daughter cannot handle the unpredictability of how long you and she may have to wait in a line, perhaps not bringing her with you would be an option.

The gentleman who proceeded you to the check out counter at the library did nothing unethical in moving faster than you to achieve first status in the line.   It’s not like he leaped over a book display and barreled through stacked books, tripping over himself to be first.    And your  own “stack of books” could have been perceived as needing to take longer to get finished so he hustled to get in line before you.   What if there had been four or five people ahead of you that day collectively taking the same amount of time to check out books as Book Dude did?   Are they are evil for daring to move to the check out counter at the same time as you do?   And why would you wait until your daughter was “right on the edge” to leave thus potentially setting her up for failure if the check out line was longer than you expected?   It’s as if you are entitled to no lines when your 4-year-old daughter is past her bedtime so as to avoid her having a meltdown.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Elizabeth July 7, 2015, 12:18 pm

    “Are people really so self-centered?”

    The OP seems to be.

    Please wait your turn and please don’t bring your child to the library at bed time.

  • Cat July 7, 2015, 9:06 pm

    We have all had these things happen to us. My technique is to think to myself, ” I am so grateful that I am not related to this person. He/She will not be showing up at my house on Christmas, Easter or on my birthday nor will I be expected to show up at his/her house. For that, I am thankful.”

  • Roodabega July 8, 2015, 2:19 pm

    I don’t have a major issue with what the man did, although I think if you know you have a long multi-issue transaction you might consider letting the one person behind you go first. Not required but sometimes it can be nice. Also, the OP didn’t put herself into the best light with how she presented her case.

    Where I have lots of issue is with the level of bashing of the woman and her parenting skills that have gone on in the discussion. I have seen it happen before here, and I can’t help wondering how many people leave here never to return while still smarting from the pummeling they get when their issue is not a “snakes on a plane” case in their favor and maybe their own conduct needed to be looked at. Occasionally the responses feed off one another until it seems people get really angry at the poster.

  • Ginger July 13, 2015, 8:48 pm

    How do we know this man doesn’t have kids? Maybe he got a phone call from his wife that said he needed to get home NOW because Junior missed him. Some of you assumed he didn’t have kids because he didn’t have any kids with him. He got to the clerk first. Oh well. Like some of you said before, leave the library earlier than bedtime so your child doesn’t have a tantrum. Have some snacks or a doll in your purse. Let her play a pre k game on your phone. You said you had books? Let her start reading one of them. You just stood there for 10 minutes without interacting with your child? What happened when you did get to the clerk? Did your child suddenly become behaved? How long did your transaction take? 10 seconds?

    And for the record, I want kids, and I say “spawned” all the time. Get over it.