I actually tried to MAKE this happen for a patron...and after struggling for ten minutes decided that, while it was something I COULD do, it was also something waaaaaaay beyond my job description.
As a former children's librarian, I am more than used to helping kids zip in and out of snowsuits, clip up boots, sweaters with snaps and so on. Was NEVER a problem for any of us to help someone with a zipper on a raincoat.
I have never, EVER had to do this for an adult...until yesterday.
Cassie is overweight and she selects clothing items that are somewhat smaller than she is. I will concede that Cassie is probably struggling with emtional and intellectual issues as well as financial problems which lead her to shop at thrift stores or depend on coat drives. But I have been part of coat drives and I know that when an agency hands these things out, they try to match the patron with an item that FITS.
So yesterday was cold and we were closing and here comes Cassie.
"Pllllleeeeeeaaaaassssssseeeee zip my jacket for me."
Folks, I gave it my best shot. But I could not get that thing to stay in place long enough to zip it up.
It didn't help that Cassie kept moving, twisting around and generally not helping. I asked her to at least hold the bottom parts of her coat together so I had a shot at getting the zipper to slide, but she would hold it for three seconds, get distracted and stare into space and let go of the coat just as I was about to zip. After ten minutes of this and me nearly ripping the zipper out, I had to concede defeat.
Found out later that Cassie and her entourage were downstairs, blocking the door while two of them held the coat parts tightly together and friend #3 zipped. My supervisor suggested to me that this was really not in my job description.