Thursday, May 15, 2008

Libraries and the Mentally Ill

You may or may not know it, but public libraries and the mentally ill go together like peanut butter and jelly. Mentally ill people (especially homeless ones) need somewhere comfortable to go during the long hours of the day and evening. Public libraries are, well, public! The public can come on it. It is cool or warm...there are comfortable chairs, reading materials, computers, restroom facilities. No food or drink? No problem, they don't have any of that anyway! What they do have though, sometimes, are other nasty little issues. Some of them like to talk to themselves. Worse, some of them like to try and engage others in "conversation". Most of them, understandably I suppose, have hygiene issues. This can range from low to moderate body odor issues to the problem that we have had here for the past couple of days.

How shall I put this?

Nothing to do but just tell you that for the past two days this man has been using one particular chair as his own comfy toilet.

It is a brand new chair, upholstered and highly scotch guarded. Still, how much can one chair take? And honestly, does our porter, Gio, really get paid enough to have to clean up this kind of mess? Poor dude, hauling that thing out to the loading dock, wearing a face mask and gloves, to scrub it down. After it happened for the first time (that we know of) yesterday, Admin. was alerted. Today, when this defecator returned, they were alerted to his presence. Bangs & Bun and Scrunchy Face approached him together to ask if he has health or hygiene, duh! And I guess they told him to call 211 - the county help line or something. In response, he waited until they left and pooped in the chair again! That there is a pretty strong statement.

Now what? No one seems entirely sure of the guidelines. Is he banned? Clearly there is something wrong with him, but does that mean that we literally have to take his shit? Honestly, no one seems to know.

Sorry if this totally grossed you out. It is gross. But, you know how I like to share my issues with you! So thanks for reading...and the restroom is thataway...




evil-e said...

I almost pooped myself reading this. I am not laughing at you or because it's funny to laugh at homeless people with problems, but rather because this is not something you hear of everyday. I was not expecting this outcome when I started reading this post. A "shitty" post indeed. Again, I am laughing at the poop factor.

Talk about a species...I hope I do not run into any relatives of his on the bus! (but I am sure I will)

AlienCG said...

I'm having trouble with a response to this. It's obvious that this person has a problem, but there is a certain comedic value to it. This is one of those stories you laugh about because of the unexpected nature of it.

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

I'm laughing at this.. but those pictures is what did it for me..I feel bad for you having to deal with someone like that..I think the best thing to do is have the county mental health people come for a look see.. or a smell check or something..

Churlita said...

That sucks. Our library has strict rules about hygiene and personal smells just because of the homeless people. I'm sorry that guy has that problem, but it's not fair for everyone else at the library to have to deal with it.

Tara said...

A little club soda will not get that right out.

I would think that a policy could let you boot his ass out, no matter how public a place can be. There are public libraries and there are public restrooms. They are not the same thing.

MrManuel said... I was expecting a feel good story, but it ended up kind of ummm...crappy. Too funny...or not.

laura b. said...

Evil-E: It definitely has it's humorous aspect...well, probably not for Gio, the guy who has to clean it up.

I feel oddly certain that you will run into some variation of this species on your travels.

AlienCG: It is hard to respond to, isn't it? haha! It took Admin. awhile to work out an acceptable response on our, um, end...but now we're all set should he join us again.

Mrs.HW: haha! We should have a some sort of sensor at the door which measures your level of body odor! Above a certain level, an alarm sounds, and no library for you today ;-)

Churlita: The administrative staff here is EXTREMELY cautious about how they handle people, because appartently they live in fear of being sued for treating some smelly pooper unfairly...

Tara: hahahaha! Right, right! Sure, the word public appears twice, but these are two VERY separate places!

We have been given the okay by the city attorney to call the police and have him escorted out if he appears again. They can deal with his very special issues.

MrManuel: When have I ever written a feel good story? haha! Crappy, indeed :-) And it really is kind of funny...again, except for to Gio...and probably anyone in the guy's immediate vicinity....

Anonymous said...



laura b. said...

NFH: Exactly.

The Furtive Wangler said...

I feel sorry for the staff and other readers in the library. This individual is a public menace and needs to be put somewhere he can either be treated or taught how to behave.

laura b. said...

FW: Fortunately, he hasn't been seen here again since that second incident. I am hoping someone caught up with him and took charge or something.