Most days this bell is quiet and I often forget it is even there. Other days it rings and I have no problem with it. I don’t know if it’s the fates, the planets, or the fact that I’m menstruating (I don’t know either), but today that bell must go. Every time that bell has been rung I can tell its done with vicious intent. I don’t even have to watch them, the stupid patrons that couldn’t find there way into a paper sack yet alone find the huge fucking wall of New York Times indexes that they are standing right in front of, bring there dirty, diseased hand down in the bell with a powerful clap. I can just tell from the tone that the bell makes when it is made to ring as loud and sharp as possible. Its like the only way they can get my attention is sending an ice pick like sound wave that pierces my skull and vibrates its way down my spine.
Another patron just the other day while I was standing right in front of her thought that it was cute to ring the bell. Instead of saying “Hello” to get my attention or “Excuses” me, or even “Hey fuck-nut! Do your job” decided to ring the bell. Being only two feet from the bell it was like bomb exploding in my head right were that little nice guy that is I is kept. In my head I could see the persona that I use for work lying dead on the floor and more dominate and inappropriate personalities fighting to see who got to replace him for the day. So now as the Ids fight amongst themselves I turn and fake that I care only to find out that she wants to know if she can check books out here and if not where to go. Lets ignore that fact that she has to walk past the extremely large desk matched only by its sign that basically screams circulation. So through a forced smile and clenched jaw I direct this would be genius to the place where she can check out her book. I fought the urge to tell her if she had just stuck the book straight up her ass she could have just walked out with it.
Now I can see the purpose of the bell, it is a good way to get my attention when I’m away from the counter doing some other brainless task that the library has us do. I in fact enjoy helping the patrons that are polite and who ring the bell softly and only as a last resort. However the stupid frat boys with their friends who each feel need the need to beat the bell into oblivion in order to ask me where we keep the beer (Its only for the staff anyway) or some other asinine question for their own sick amusement I do not like. Some times I can be looking at these people or asking if I can help them and they will STILL ring that bell. When this happens I often wonder if they would really be missed if they didn’t come home.
However the real kicker is despite all of their arrogance and rudeness I’m the one that got disciplined when I very politely ask him to go fuck himself. To top it off the way my boss got my attention to tell me she needed to talk to me was to ring the bell. I hope I clean up that mess well enough….