Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I must say, things have been very up and down for me lately. The down is mostly just very ordinary stuff. Never quite feeling quite safe financially, which leads to the shame I feel when I'm perceived as being stingy. Some struggles with the people closest to me, which leads to feeling misunderstood, helpless, and lonely.

Here is something that is bothering me. Yesterday, when it was still fairly quiet in the library, I was pulling some books from the shelves when suddenly two teenage boys came up behind me. I heard a bit of a scuffle, then one of them grabbed my butt. I turned to them and they were laughing. I was furious, but just told them to get out of the library. I was going to leave it at that. One of the boys walked right towards the exit. The other one had the nerve to stop at the service desk and tell the Associate Director who happened to be working there, "The woman back there is making an unsafe environment for me." Seriously. Let's call her...Smiley...looked up and saw me and told the boy that I was an employee and if he was asked to leave he needed to leave. He started walking away and I muttered that he'd grabbed my ass. She started after him and I think just told him not to come back in for the rest of the day. She asked me to write an incident report, which then goes to everyone. So, I did. And of course, everyone has something to say about it. Some people felt I should have called the police...which seemed a bit much. Some people seemed to find it somewhat comical. It isn't that I don't understand that reaction, but it didn't seem funny to me. I know I am not the best humored person, but honestly, it felt like a pretty big invasion of my person. These were not small children, they were probably 15 or 16 and it felt creepy. So, I admit, the more jovial views of it have kind of upset me. Even the person I counted on most to sympathize went to the default snicker position. I guess part of me resents the internal chastising I've been giving myself for overreacting to what is, in the big picture, a small matter. Not outwardly overreacting...well, maybe once...but mostly internally sort of obsessing a little.

So...I am feeling mildly disgruntled. Yet there have been good things happening too. And those, I will save for another post. Because this one is just...ick.


FW said...

How extremely unpleasant for you! You have every right to feel abused, as a public servant doing their job. The behaviour of those young men is just unacceptable. If you haven't already, you should file an incident report. It's your evidence of what happened. For the one to go to the desk and say that just beggars belief, the cheek of it! Things like this make my blood boil, sorry!

laura b. said...

FW: Thank you...it made my blood boil too. I did file an incident report. Nothing will happen, but at least there will be a record if they should cause any more trouble.

BrightenedBoy said...

You know, I am as opposed to corporal punishment as a person can be, but I think you would have been within your rights to slap the boy who did it--not with the goal of hurting him, mind you, but to make a point.

You demonstrated admirable restraint in not calling the police; in this day and age, with the state gone insane, they'd have stood a good chance of spending years locked up. But you were absolutely right to be upset about this.

I'm really thinking of you right now. You're an awesome person and deserve nothing but respect.

MrManuel said...

I don't know how anyone could find that comical. They are teens. They know what they are doing. So if they are smart enough to know what they are doing, they KNOW that it is NOT ok. And they got away with it. Makes me worry what they will try to get away with next. SO not cool. Very sorry to hear that.

laura b. said...

BB: I think I could have been in a great deal of trouble if I'd actually reacted violently. It wasn't my first instinct, although I've replayed it in my mind that way and it helps a little :) Thank you for your kind words.

MrManuel: I know that teens can be impulsive, but that doesn't mean their impulses are harmless. I, too, wonder what they'll get up to next. Thanks.

Jasen Buch said...

I have great hope for humanity. These two young wastes of space do not contribute to that hope. I hope that if they try something again that they get the bejeezus scared out of them. Rude little...(I'll leave it there).

Secret Agent Woman said...

I tried, and failed, imagining my teenage sons doing something that disrespectful. And then I tried, and failed, imagining me finding it amusing. Actually, it falls under the category of sexual assault. And they ought to, at the very least, be banned permanently from the library. Their behavior was shameful and the behavior of the folks who made light of it was also shameful.

Tara said...

That kid's actions were completely out of line, and that's an understatement. He's gonna do that to someone else and will get his lights knocked out. You did the right thing by making them leave. Makes me wonder if he has done this in other venues too. What a little creep.

I'm also sorry that people were laughing at the situation. They wouldn't be laughing if it happened to them.

laura b. said...

Jasen: Maybe someday they'll become productive members of society. Hard to imagine, though.

Secret: I pressed a bit for a full ban, because I think when something gets physical, that is a solid reason to ban someone. Admin didn't go for it.

Tara: Considering I'm pretty sure they didn't know I was a staff member, it does make me wonder what else they could get up to with just any poor person.
And you're right...I think most of the people who found it giggle-worthy would feel differently if their bodies had been involved.