update: employee’s speakerphone disrupts everyone around her

Remember the letter from a librarian asking how to deal with a cleaner whose use of speakerphone disrupted everyone around her (#2 at the link)? Here’s the update.

First of all, thank you for your suggestions and the comments from readers who offered help. To clarify, Patsy had definitely been told quite clearly on multiple occasions that her noise level was inappropriate. Each time a librarian told her that it was too loud, she would simply stare in confusion for a few moments before putting away her phone until the next day. The ear pods were a last-ditch effort given in the hopes that she needed to be making her phone calls and had no means to do so quietly.

Not long after I wrote, Patsy’s behavior went from disruptive to downright odd. She began rearranging book displays (such as pulling random books off the shelf and adding them to my black author display in February or shifting all the picture books in a display to the adult section) after the librarians had left for the day. Her phone calls switched from speaking to a person to hours-long Facetime sessions with a large cage of birds. I get wanting to check on your pets at home, but she was filling the entire library with the sounds of chirping and just staring in response when we asked her to stop. She also began frequently leaving spray bottles of cleaner in the children’s section when she left for the evening, which could have been disastrous if I hadn’t noticed them.

The final straw for me came on a Friday before a holiday weekend, when I was the only librarian on duty near the end of the day. Patsy looked around, noticed our head librarian (who is the person who speaks to her most frequently) had left for the day, set up a speaker on her cart, and began blasting music like she was throwing a dance party. Every single patron got up and left.

It dawned on me at that moment that Patsy knew exactly what she was doing. I don’t know why she was being intentionally disruptive, but she was clearly actively trying to interrupt our work. The head librarian made a call to Patsy’s supervisor. I’m not sure what the response was, but Patsy is still our housekeeper. She is sullen and scowls at anyone who tries to speak to her, but she rarely makes noise anymore. I guess it’s a win for now?

{ 420 comments… read them below }

      1. Our Lady of Shining Eels*

        I mean, I want to check on my birds when I’m at work, but I’m just baffled at how the birds would even answer the FaceTime call…

        1. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

          I JUST read an article about pet parrots who learned not only to answer but to initiate video calls with other birds! Parrots are pretty smart, learning “peck this button when you hear this sound” is pretty easy.

          1. goddessoftransitory*

            One of my favorite stories was about a woman who had a parrot and a few dogs. The parrot learned to say “dinnertime!” in her voice, and then listen to the dogs slamming into the closed back door heading for the food. Then the parrot would laugh and laugh.

            1. AngryOctopus*

              I knew someone who had an African grey parrot and dogs. The parrot would call the dogs over by offering treats. The dogs would run over to the cage expectantly and stare at the parrot, who would disdainfully ignore them. They would eventually wander off. Lather, rinse, repeat.
              It helped that the dogs were obviously not very bright. But I’m sure the parrot would have found a way to mess with them regardless.

              1. Mad, mad me*

                What the heck is going on there, and what does one need to do in that library to lose a job? This woman needs to be reported, even if it means she is fired. I’d like to know how she manages to get her cleaning done, in any case.

                1. business pigeon*

                  I could 100% imagine this happening at my library. They also don’t ever want to fire anyone here, which sucks because there are a lot of people who are very, very bad at their jobs.

            2. Jack Russell Terrier*

              This happened with my friend’s kid’s. Their parrot announced ‘dinner boy’s’ in her voice, these hungry teens would pound down the stairs, only to find a parrot jumping up and down laughing and no dinner yet!!

            3. Mallory Janis Ian*

              I love it that parrots laugh! It’s almost funnier that they laugh about their tricks than what they get up to in the first place. My stepmom was bird-sitting her friend’s parrot back in the ’90s, and he would mimic the sound of a phone ringing and then laugh and laugh when she would come running from out of bed.

          2. Jen with one n*

            There’s an account I’ve run across on reels or IG where a woman has taught her parrot (maybe multiple?) to use a tablet to communicate with her, similar to how dogs and cats are using the talking buttons. It’s pretty cool!

            1. La Triviata*

              There was a news story about a man who had police respond to a call because a neighbor heard cries for help or to be let out of somewhere and it turned out it was a parrot. With windows open, the neighbor heard clearly. Luckily, police and parrot owner had a good laugh.

        2. Risky Biscuits*

          Maybe you didn’t mean this as a serious comment, but we’ve set my cat up with his own Skype account with me as the only contact. Skype allows you to set it so when you’re online it automatically answers calls from contacts with video on. So when I need a cat-cam, I set up a webcam and log my cat into Skype, and he can answer without any thumbs. :)

        3. LibrarianLW*

          Letter writer here! Someone (her sister I think) answered the calls and would then set a phone or tablet up beside the cage to allow her to keep the birds on the video.

          1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

            …which is also bizarre, because it suggests that ANOTHER human being thought “yeah, it’s reasonable for Patsy to FaceTime these birds for hours on end while she’s at work, I’ll help out with that”.

            1. Cmdrshprd*

              Eh maybe, if it were me and sibling asked me to do this I would not think it was reasonable, but if I was around and all I had to do was hit a button and set up a phone, I would probably do it. figuring it’s their job, they know it best.

              1. Enai*

                Also, I’d figure “Eh, she’s cleaning offices. Who cares if the birds watch her? It’s enrichment for them!” plus, it’s a very simple favor.

      2. emkaaaay*

        It’d be funny no matter what, but something about the phrasing really elevates it.

    1. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

      Use that as a euphemism/stand-in for random activities and see if anyone figures it out.

      “Sorry I’m a few minutes late to the meeting, I was facetiming a large cage of birds.”
      “When I get home, I better not find out that my husband was facetiming a large cage of birds, or I’m gonna be really angry.”
      “I’m worried about some of the kids my teenager hangs out with. When I asked him what they did after school, he said he was facetiming a large cage of birds.”

      1. Rook Thomas*

        I will now be finding a way to work this into my next meeting somehow. Brilliant!

      2. Phony Genius*

        I’ll try that with one of the letters from the past: “My coworker insists that we all participate in her facetiming a large cage of birds.”

      3. Elizabeth West*

        I predict a new addition to the AAM Lexicon.

        “Fergus didn’t finish his part of the teapot project because he was busy facetiming a large cage of birds.”

    2. Double A*

      I really wish that had been included in the headline.

      Update: employee’s speakerphone disrupts everyone around her and now she’s taken to facetiming a large cage of birds

    3. TPS reporter*

      this woman must be some sort of performance artist. David Blaine watch out

    4. The Bill Murray Disagreement*

      “These trivalities demean me. I must away and tend to my ravens!” – Patsy, probably

    5. AnonORama*

      I’m glad she didn’t work with the bird phobia guy!

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    6. TG*

      I think this wins for strangely passive aggressive behavior when asked to not make noise!

    7. AnonAnon*

      I stopped reading here!! LOLOL
      How does one facetime birds? Are they capable of answering the call?
      Can cats do this?? (asking for a friend)

      1. 1LFTW*

        I’m certain I could train one of my cats to do this, if I had a remotely controlled high-value treat dispenser.

    8. Artistic Impulses*

      My mouth is still open after I read “Facetime sessions with a large cage of birds.”

      That, along with the rest of Patsy’s behavior, is so far out that whatever her motivation, she needs to be gone ASAP!

      1. BrandNewBandName*

        That part! I don’t know what her problem is, but it doesn’t need to be her colleagues’ problem.

        1. Artistic Impulses*

          I know! Patsy’s strange behavior should not continue to be inflicted on the patrons and co-workers at the library. BIRDS!!!!!?????

    9. TinySoprano*

      Petitioning that this be added to AAM lore. If something is beyond bananapants, perhaps it can be facetiming birds.

    10. I have RBF*

      Seriously, WTF?

      This woman seems to be a goddamn dumpster fire who is on a mission to F over the library.

  1. GigglyPuff*

    Honestly seems like she’s trying to sabotage the library

    …sounds like a Lifetime movie, lol

    1. Dust Bunny*

      . . . which is super weird because it’s not like she has an inherent right to be there? They can just insist that she not be allowed back.

      1. Lydia*

        As a public space, they can’t ban….

        I am kidding. I don’t know why they don’t just request someone else.

      2. Liz the Snackbrarian*

        OP said in the original letter Patsy is contracted through the city. I’m guessing this means OP and her supervisor don’t have the power to make decisions about Patsy’s employment, and someone else who isn’t on site every day does. I also wonder if Patsy could be part of a union. All factors that can complicate things.

        1. Rosemary*

          But you would think if they complained enough about her, surely she would at least be removed from this location?

          1. Liz the Snackbrarian*

            Maybe there isn’t another location that needs her and whoever runs the contract doesn’t want to fire her?

            1. Lydia*

              Not important. The library should be able to say, “Don’t send this person” and the contractor needs to do that.

          2. K*

            From the sounds of it they’ve complained exactly once. They’d need to speak to her actual employer more than that.

            1. MCMonkeybean*

              Yeah, I think in the first letter they were hesitant to complain about her. Now that they finally have, the weird behavior has stopped–at least for now! If she starts to get disruptive again then it might be time to specifically request they send someone else but for now things are good enough I guess.

        2. Zombeyonce*

          If Patsy is in a union, I have a feeling that the complaint to the city went into a file they’ve been compiling for a while to justify eventually letting her go. I only feel bad for the birds.

        3. Momma Bear*

          That was my thought – that she’s protected on some level to be able to keep her job after all that. I was wondering if she was having health issues re: leaving things out but then we got to the dance party and nope. She knows what she’s doing. But WHY?

      3. goddessoftransitory*

        I would be all “Patty and her cage of birds must find somewhere else to roost” were I this LW’s boss.

    2. AVP*

      My dad always jokes that he’s not allowed in any library ever after being very disruptive and getting kicked out too many as a child (in the 60s…). Perhaps this is Patty’s revenge for a life-long grudge against the library system???

      1. km85*

        I remember a Simpsons line from like 20 years ago… Librarian to Lisa: “You’re banned from the library! You and your children! And your children’s children’s children! For three weeks.”

    3. duinath*

      which in combination with the bottles of cleaner in the kids section would be …incredibly sinister.

      to me it seems more likely this is just a person who never grew out of the sullen teen phase, and does stupid stuff without any more thought than “can dad see me? no? cool, time to jump off this roof, the best and coolest decision i have ever made”.

      i would insist on a different cleaner tbh. her behaviour now is better, but it’s still not up to snuff.

      1. NotTheSameAaron*

        I had a coworker who used to play racing games at top volume on his phone whenever he could. He didn’t seem to understand that others could hear anything, since it was “his phone” and would get very upset when people mentioned it, since it was “his phone” and they “shouldn’t be snooping”. Eventually he stopped coming to work, to our eardrums relief.

    4. LibbyFan*

      John Oliver just did an episode about libraries and the coordinated effort from some conservative groups to control what types of books are available – in his story he talked about one library that was forced to move children’s books with references to “sexual content” (which included any discussion of bodies, books about puberty, and even “Everybody Poops”) to the adult section. Some of the details of moving books around definitely make me wonder if Patsy is connected to those groups in some way

      1. Caramel & Cheddar*

        This pinged me too, both the children’s book thing and moving random books into a display of books by Black authors like she was trying to “disrupt” something she considered too “woke.” *eyeroll*

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          Yes; this has a definite “Moms for Liberty” whiff around it.

      2. VeryBadPerson*

        My thought exactly. At the library where I volunteer, members of those fringe groups checked out numerous books they deemed offensive (think The Handmaid’s Tale, certain Judy Blume novels, etc.) and just did not return them. Ever.

        1. KaciHall*

          see, this is why I don’t work at a library as an adult. because I would put up a list of “books so good, they were constantly checked out – try these additional copies the library obviously needed!” and then thank the people for making us realize how popular the books are. (nah, real reason is because I don’t deal with purposefully stupid people well, and sometimes don’t realize when actually stupid isn’t purposeful, and I can no longer handle in person customer service without migraines and getting written up.

        2. Testing*

          Aren’t users obliged to reimburse the library for books they don’t return? Leading to exactly what someone else described here: more of those books being bought.

          1. Oolie*

            IME, most libraries don’t chase people down for fines or lost book fees, they just don’t let the patron check out more books until they pay. So the thieves each get one shot to steal as many books as they’re allowed to check out, then they just never go back.

            1. business pigeon*

              Our library uses a collection agency to try to collect fees over a certain amount, so they’d get a letter from a collection agency from us. I hated this before since even people with late fines they had allowed to build up over the years went to collections eventually, but now that we charge only for lost or damaged items, I don’t have as much of a problem with it. (No one is credit reported.)

          2. NotTheSameAaron*

            Our local library stopped collecting fines during Covid. Now they just renew books when they come due.

      3. Botanist*

        As a parent of littles who read Everybody Poops with some frequency, I would have to ask these groups what kinds of fetishes they personally have if they find that a sexual book . . .

          1. Ms. Murchison*

            Wow, I guess I should have used square brackets for “a term I won’t write here” instead of angle brackets. Don’t know what happened there.

      4. BrandNewBandName*

        That’s what I was thinking – she’s targetng them to get them shut down or make them lose enough customers that they also lose funding.

      5. Dhaskoi*

        I wondered too, especially after OP mentioned that Patsy messed with a display of black authors.

      6. Moonstone*

        This was my immediate thought and I commented saying just that before reading any other comments. Maybe I’m just too jaded and cynical but I also saw John Oliver’s episode (he’s the absolute best and I love him so much!) and sabotage immediately came to mind. I have no doubt that these people would try this because there is no reasoning with them. They are too far gone into bizarro-land.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          Same, I clocked that too at that same point about the Black authors (and I also love John Oliver so so much).

      7. Nonanon*

        I kind of assumed this was the case (MOVING PICTURE BOOKS TO THE ADULT SECTION!?!?! Was the library stocking “Mapplethorpe Jr”?) but then got distracted by “facetiming a cage of birds.”

    5. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

      Given all the attacks on libraries these days, that’s not an unreasonable guess.

    1. Enai*

      Who’s Elio and what was their take? I searched the linked post and found nothing…

  2. Hedgehug*

    I cannot comprehend why she hasn’t been fired. Leaving spray bottles of cleaner in the kid section should have been enough…?

    1. Observer*


      If it happens again, please point this out to your management. There is no reason why the service cannot find someone else.

      1. ArtsNerd*

        Yes but “union city employee” doesn’t mean “can’t be fired.”

        I really hope LW didn’t downplay or soften the discovery of cleaning chemicals in the children’s section in discussing with their supervisor!

        1. Chewy*

          Yeah but that’s assuming that people aren’t automatically seeing Patsy’s union and deciding, “oh this is too much trouble, never mind.” Even when it should have been a cut-and-dried firing way back during the first round of speakerphone nonsense.

        2. not nice, don't care*

          Depends on the union. I get to eavesdrop on some backroom union business thx to my partner, and fireability really depends on a lot of unofficial factors.

        3. AngryOctopus*

          And it doesn’t mean “can’t be transferred” either! Surely there is an adult workforce building she can clean?

        4. GreenDoor*

          “Yes but “union city employee” doesn’t mean “can’t be fired.””
          It also doesn’t mean she can’t be reassigned elsewhere – like to a night shift cleaning job at a site where there won’t be any patrons or employees and she can blast her music as loud as she likes.

      2. linger*

        No union can protect a member against willfully endangering the public and actively disrupting the function of a workplace. The union’s role here is to insist that proper protocols are followed in investigating members before disciplinary/termination steps are taken.

        1. Yadah*

          Technically you are correct and that’s how unions are supposed to act

          Functionally? Unions are still just organizations that are run by humans who are fallible, gullible, corruptable and/or naive.

          1. bamcheeks*

            Yeah, but the final decision isn’t with the union, surely? The union isn’t making the decision not to fire her, it’s just making sure HR follows all its own policies a d the negotiated agreement. If they can’t fire someone who is failing to perform the job and actively unsafer, it’s HR that’s incompetent, not the union. (And the outcome of “HR messes up their own policies” is usually, “it’s more expensive to fire them”, not “it can’t be done”.)

          2. Nephron*

            I think more often the managers don’t want to do the work required to fire a union employee than the union is protecting someone they shouldn’t be.

            1. Cathy with the Yarn*

              This. I was a steward in a union shop, and typically when management was complaining about ‘we can’t fire anyone’ it was more like ‘we haven’t done the work needed to fire someone’.

              If Patsy is in a union position, the contract most likely outlines disciplinary procedures; to fire someone without a truly egregious cause (workplace violence, theft, etc.) there are likely “steps” or “points” that need to be worked through but I’m seeing a lot of insubordination and unprofessional behavior up there.

              The catch is: LW and the head librarian are not technically Patsy’s supervisor, but that makes it that much more important to let her supervisor know about problems as early as possible. (Note that a complaint to her actual supervisor was what made her stop, or at least pause longer than usual…)

      3. Jaybeetee*

        Being in a union makes you harder to fire, it doesn’t make you bulletproof.

        1. Nonanon*

          Bingo. One of my partner’s current coworkers was protected by a union at a previous job. He was able to claim not being able to work Sundays for religious reasons, the “religious reasons” being… he didn’t want to work weekends. It’s one of those weird cases where my partner tells the story as “Wakeen doesn’t like working and won’t do his job,” whereas I take it as “Wakeen is an asshole BUT the union did their job and protected his religious rights.” If Wakeen was later found to, say, take unreported two hour lunch breaks and then leave an hour early each day, he could still be fired; unions are there to protect your rights as a worker, not make you unfireable.

          Again, this is all how it works IN THEORY, humans are humans and there are gradients between “perfect theory” and “actual practice.”

      4. owen*

        that would presumably only relate to her employment with the CITY… the library ought to be able to require the city send a different cleaner who does not endanger children!

      5. JSPA*

        A union card protects you to a significant degree from vindictive or random firing (or re-assignment). It also can track you into retraining if you are merely incompetent, slipshod or undertrained.

        But when you mess with tasks that are way outside of your job description, the union is not amused. And leaving toxic items in the children’s section (creating a real and present danger)? Unless the union thinks she’s being set up / falsely accused, that’s not defensible.

    2. Someone Else's Boss*

      It seems like they waited too long to address it with Patsy’s boss and likely left out some details, which is most likely to occur when you’re making a “I have a huge problem!” call instead of a “I have to tell you something” call.

    3. The Other Sage*

      First I thought she was having some kind of mental breakdown, but on the two last paragraphs all compassion I had for Patsy evaporated.

  3. Dust Bunny*

    Honest to dogs I’d love to know what’s going through her mind. She’s been told it’s not acceptable so that’s covered. It’s a freaking library. I guess she could be trying to sabotage something but I think most of us would assume that if we kept acting this way we’d just get fired and whatever it was we were trying to achieve would be a moot point.

    1. Irish Teacher.*

      If it wasn’t a library, if it were something like a store, there’d be a fanfic there that she’d been hired by a rival company to drive them out of business, but…I’m not sure libraries have rivals. Maybe she is trying to prevent access to information for some nefarious purpose (I’m joking here, obviously.)

      1. Lydia*

        North Side Library and South Side Library beef. The summer reading program can get vicious.

      2. WeirdChemist*

        I mean there has been a recent movement for a certain group of people in the US to both make public libraries their enemy and to block access to information so…

        Of course there’s no indication that Patsy is a part of said group, and that she’s not just a total weirdo, but unfortunately not much of a joke in reality :/

        1. Dek*

          I dunno, somebody pointed out upthread that two of the examples of her stranger behavior were adding random books to a display of books by Black authors, and moving childrens books to the adult section, and both of those…do actually kind of line up with that sort of thing.

          1. WeirdChemist*

            Yeah I didn’t notice that at first, but that actually kind of makes sense…

      3. MigraineMonth*

        The bookstore down the street just discovered someone’s letting people borrow for *free* the books they sell and are panicking. Patsy also DJ’s outside the used bookstore on weekends to drive customers away.

      4. Dek*

        Sadly, libraries do have rivals. Right now, our library’s rival is…the library board, and the organization that put the people on that board.

        1. Perfectly normal-size space bird*

          Our local library’s rivals are the local book-banning group and our governor. The only reason they haven’t been more succesful is our library also lends out fishing gear and has a year round seed exchange and more people want that to continue than they want the library to be hobbled.

        1. Irish Teacher.*

          OK, this is now my favourite fanfiction explanation, that she is being hired by a large bookstore that wants to run people out of the library when they are halfway through a book so they’ll go and buy it instead of borrowing and reading it for free.

        2. SHEILA, the co-host*

          Actually no. Some librarians act like they are, but generally, research shows that people are either readers who patronize both libraries and bookstores, or they are not readers, and don’t go either place.

    2. JFC*

      Two things come to mind:

      1. At least where I live, the library system has made several controversial decisions in the last few years about book displays and the types of public events they host. Some are considered less-than-inclusive, shall we say. It’s possible Patsy feels some kind of grudge against the library for decisions they’ve made and this is her way of….getting revenge? Not saying it’s right by any means, just trying to figure out her thought process.

      2. I think a lot of people feel an increased sense of job security because they know how difficult it is for employers to hire and retain nowadays. If Patsy knows this is the case with her company, she might feel like she can get away with damn near anything because it wouldn’t be easy to fill her spot.

      1. also anon*

        I know in my city gov hierarchy there are certain departments that are pretty overt in their political leanings, and I could totally see a facilities/custodial employee of that mindset being supported by their bosses unofficially yet still telling the offender they have to play nice with the woke librarians.

      2. Bitte Meddler*

        Potential #3, based on real-life experience: Employee in lower-paying job resents people in higher-paying jobs and pulls a bunch of dumb passive-aggressive stunts (including playing dumb) to assuage their bruised ego.

    3. Nethwen*

      From my experience working in a public library, as far as I can tell, people who are excessively noisy have a thought process something like this: I am allowed/am required to exist here. I want to listen to music/talk on the phone. When I want to do something, I have a right to do it in any way and any place I want. Headphones/walking outside to make a call/other disruption-limiting actions are uncomfortable/inconvenient. Therefore, I have a right to listen to my music and have shouted conversations on speakerphone in the place where I exist. If other’s don’t like my actions, that’s their problem because I have a right to do what I want where I want. Actually, it’s downright rude for anyone to ask me to refrain from doing what I want where I want and how I want and I will not be disrespected by complying with any requests to alter my behavior.

      1. not nice, don't care*

        I see ads all the time telling people to carve out their third space, with libraries on the list of homes away from home. It makes sense that people with poor public conduct filters or boundaries would construe this to mean treating third spaces like their personal space.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          This; that whole “Home away from home” thing is snappy advertising copy, but of course not everyone is going to process “I am still in public and subject to laws and societal requirements” in a group-friendly way.

          If I could write signs for public places they would all read “THIS IS NOT ACTUALLY YOUR LIVING ROOM.”

          1. Excel-sior*

            even so, it’s a library. famously famous for being a place where you’re supposed to be quiet. there is no way someone making that amount of noise doesn’t know exactly what they’re doing.

        2. GammaGirl1908*

          I taught group exercise for a long time, and there are a lot of people who need to get the message that the gym locker room is not part of their home, either :/

      2. Purpleshark*

        When I was attending online classes (pre COVID) I mapped out my spots to work because my home office offered too many distractions. I had the library, coffee shop, sandwich shop, and park. By far the library was the loudest of all of them. People taking phone calls and yelling at the other party. This was also in the quiet room. My library has a room that is designated as a space where phones must be silent and no conversation. Every visit some fool would have the loudest ringer and answer and proceed to take the conversation in the room. Whereupon they would engage in the aforementioned yelling conversation.

        1. Dust Bunny*

          I only use my local library to pick up hold books, it’s so noisy. I’m glad people are using it, of course, but there is no way I’d linger there.

      3. goddessoftransitory*

        Now, off to the movies!

        I have sat behind this person SO MANY TIMES…

      4. Lady at Liberty*

        This right here. Admittedly my issue is with people blasting music/speakerphone conversations on the bus and train, but I’ve been running into them at libraries too. Sir, if you are 48 years old you’re old enough to know that you shouldn’t be hollering at your co-op game chat in the library.

        1. Dust Bunny*

          My bus driver, a few weeks ago, literally pulled over and told a guy to turn off the video or get off the bus. Definitely his last nerve for the day. (The video was really loud, though.)

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          The trend in my city is for obnoxious jerkwads to walk or bicycle around blasting radios. Not listening on earbuds, just unleashing whatever crap dance music they’ve tuned into on the world at large.

          1. Seeking Second Childhood*

            The 1980s had some great elements but boomboxes were not on my list.

      5. Elizabeth West*

        While reading your comment I immediately thought of the guy who got on my train one morning with a large boombox, which he proceeded to turn ALL THE WAY UP. It was ear-splittingly, painfully loud.
        I’m not sure how because I couldn’t see exactly what was going on, but he got forced off the train at the next stop, where transit cops were waiting.

    1. Dust Bunny*

      Yeah, this took way the Hell too long. I get not wanting to get someone fired, but they have to want to not be fired more than you have to not want them fired, and the standards of behavior here were not unreasonable.

      1. Katie*

        Right? It’s one thing if you had to call her out once or twice but after that, it’s actively ignoring. They were being too nice to one person while making all other employees work harder and annoying patrons!

      2. Sara without an H*

        Retired librarian here. There’s a culture of “helping” in librarianship that often makes librarians far too patient with crappy, disruptive behavior in both patrons and staff. That the OP and her director tried to solve the problem by giving Patsy ear buds (wtf!) illustrates the point.

        No matter what caused Patsy to behave like this, it should have been reported to her managers much earlier. The cleaning products left in the children’s section would have been the last straw for me.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          One thing I’ve learned from advice columns, going all the way back to Tomato Nation: people do not take hints. If they did we wouldn’t have to have advice columns.

          1. Dust Bunny*

            She was given direct orders to stop doing this, though, not just hints.

            I’m OK with giving her earbuds–maybe she was worried about the cost or wasn’t sure where to buy them–but after that, and the chemicals in the kids’ section . . . forget it, time to call her boss.

            1. Broadway Duchess*

              Agreed. I wonder, though, did the earbuds come with an explicit “you need to use these while you’re using your phone” or was it framed as a gift with the hope that Patsy would take the hint?

          2. Orv*

            Some people don’t take hints. The ones that do, don’t get written up in advice columns.

          3. I take tea*

            Oh, nice to see someone mention TomatoNation. I liked that a lot and still miss it.

    2. Rose*

      Agreed, and not in a good way. This needed to be escalated long, long before it was. I would have been extremely annoyed if this was my town library, paid for by my taxes. This is a huge disservice to OP’s patrons.

      1. ferrina*

        Yes! If I realize a space is Not For Me, it takes a long time for me to return to that space. If someone was repeatedly blasting noise pollution at a local library, I wouldn’t’ be going back. I spent nearly a decade without going to a library (even moving states) before I was willing to give my local library a try. Love my local library!

      2. Nah*

        the moment she left chemicals in the children’s section more than once, in particular.

        1. I have RBF*

          That should have been an instant fireable offense. Real cleaners don’t leave their stuff around “by accident”. I worked in many different offices for over 40 years, and I never saw cleaning staff leave their cleaning stuff out away from their carts, let alone in a children’s area.

  4. Paris Geller*

    See, when I got to facetiming a large cage of birds my first thought was some sort of mental health issue, but the dance party music (and waiting to make sure the head librarian had left) shows that her actions are in deliberate and she knows exactly what she’s doing. I am very curious as to what her motivations are, though.

    1. ampersand*

      Same thought trajectory here. Did she WANT to be fired? Does she have a vendetta against libraries? WHY HASN’T SHE BEEN FIRED?! She did something so obnoxious that all the patrons left, and this was after she left cleaner in the children’s area. I so want to know what led to all this.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        What I don’t get about this kind of obnoxious behavior is: people know they can quit, right? That they’re not indentured servants? They can just leave?

        I suppose getting UI might play into it, but I don’t see how getting fired for facetiming birds is going to be looked at more kindly by the dispersers than quitting is.

        1. LaurCha*

          I’m not sure, can you even get unemployment insurance if you’re fired for cause?

          1. Ex-Teacher*

            It depends on the state. Some states will allow someone to receive UI for being fired, so long as it’s not for serious misconduct. Others (coughredstatescough) will be more restrictive.

            However, it’s possible that a situation like this, with substantial disruptive behaviors and a repeated pattern of disrespect for the work environment, many states might deny this person benefits. This conduct certainly doesn’t represent someone trying to act appropriately and try to successfully do their job.

        2. Enai*

          I mean, Patsy’s a cleaner of the “cleaning rooms” variety. If she doesn’t like her current employer, basically any town with more than one (1) house has more than one potential employer. How hard can it be to say “screw ya’ll stuffy librarians, I’ll apply to clean local dancing establishments / offices / evil space baron lairs”? She’s bound to find somewhere she can work while talking on the phone, facetiming birds and blasting music. I’m baffled.

        3. Vio*

          Now I’m dying for a letter “Applicant listed Facetiming A Cage Of Birds as reason for leaving last job.”

    2. fidget spinner*

      Right, I was so sure we were getting an update that she has dementia or something. Maybe she’s seeing how far she can go before getting fired??

      1. ferrina*

        That’s where my mind was going, even with the part where she waited until the head librarian left (I’ve had family members with dementia who were very sneaky with their symptoms in the early to moderate stages). Even then, I was still rooting for someone to call the city.

        But then the city was called and the behavior stopped. That threw me for a loop. Clearly this was a choice.

        1. Grandma*

          Which made me wonder if she would harm the library in some way after hours. That harm could be either a get-back-at-you campaign or a continuation of whatever beef she had with the library to begin with that prompted the previous disruptions. I’d be concerned about leaving (more) harmful things in the children’s area. I also wonder if books she finds objectionable have walked out the door overnight. Maybe it’s time for an inventory? Or security cameras?

          1. I have RBF*

            I also wonder if books she finds objectionable have walked out the door overnight. Maybe it’s time for an inventory? Or security cameras?

            I have this concern too. What if she starts damaging books that are often found on right wing ban lists? Do librarians check on these in the stacks? She’s there after hours, and has given all indications of being hostile to the function of the library in serving minority populations and non-right-wing readers.

            So they need both an inventory and security cameras.

            IMO, she is not clueless, she is a malicious saboteur who should be banned from that library. (Yes, people can be banned from public libraries, they just don’t like to.)

      2. I'm just here for the cats!*

        I was thinking that maybe she was was trying to get fired and play it off as she got fired because she had a disability or something?

    3. Csethiro Ceredin*

      Me too. At first I was sure there was a mental health component, but it does feel kind of defiant in a way that reads as deliberate.

  5. Aspiring Chicken Lady*

    I had a coworker that would push buttons in hopes of getting a reaction he could use to claim discrimination so he could sue. I’d hate to think that this is what was going on.

    1. Rose*

      I had a coworker who did this. He was such a loon we finally wound up googling him and found four law suits, all thrown away by a judge for being frivolous before they even went to court. Didn’t stop him from trying again though!

      1. Elsewise*

        A *loon*, you say? Was he being facetimed by a a strange woman cleaning a library, at any point?

      2. dePizan*

        I work in a law library, and we get some of First Amendment auditors and the like who try to force confrontations with government employees, then they post the videos online about how these awful public service employees are at keeping them from exercising their rights, etc.

        So, one of them, after several confrontations, decided he was going to file a lawsuit against some of our employees. He tried to get first and last names for everyone, but one of our employees refused to give his last name. He is referred to in the lawsuit (which was tossed) as “Dave, the demon imp from hell.”

        1. Rose*

          Wow I would have thought people who spent time in a law library would know better than to think that would work lol

          1. Seeking Second Childhood*

            Reverse that — the lawsuit was AGAINST the law library staff

    2. ENFP in Texas*

      I think you’re on the money, though, because it’s obvious she is doing it intentionally.

    3. PotsPansTeapots*

      Yeah, this was my vibe. A librarian I know once worked with someone who was CLEARLY trying to get fired so she could sue and had in fact done that at a previous post office job. I imagine scammers are attracted by some of the limitations of semi-governmental jobs.

    4. Ipsissima*

      This is definitely what’s going on. I had a coworker who (frequently and openly) said her ‘retirement plan’ was to get fired, sue for discrimination (on a team with people of just about any age/race/gender/religion you could think of), and live off the settlement. She discovered that ‘walking out mid-shift because someone didn’t say hello to me’ is not a protected class.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        I find it ironic that people who actually plan this kind of thing know the least about how courts and settlements work.

        1. Bad Advice*

          When I was fired from a previous position where the cause they gave lacked context and I suspect that it was more of an excuse to get rid of me. The amount of people who said that because they lied that I could sue them for wrongful termination was insane. Even in my worker friendly state you have no standing to sue because they lied. My only recourse was through unemployment which I was able to get because my state has a requirement to coach negative behavior or prove gross misconduct.

          Wrongful termination is kind of treated like Hostile work environment. Just because you feel it’s wrong or unfair doesn’t mean it was wrongful. There is a set of conditions that rise to the legal definition.

      2. Nesta*

        A friend of mine had a coworker who had this plan to be promoted!She refused to speak to anyone, but went to the manager to complain that she was being discriminated against because no one would say hello to her; she said she expected everyone to greet her, and to accept that she would not reply. She also confronted a male coworker of the same racial and ethnic background to dress him down after he returned from his honeymoon and she learned his wife was of a different racial and ethnic background. She said that he was good man, and he owed it to the women who shared his heritage to marry within their ethnic group.

        She applied to be an assistant manager in the department with the stated intention of ending the discrimination that she felt was rampant… shockingly she wasn’t picked for the position and quit. This department was incredibly diverse and had never had any issue like this before she came around, and everything quickly went back to harmony after she left!

        1. AnonORama*

          When I practiced law, one of my colleagues had a little sign made that said “asshole is not a protected class.” (If we had clients in the office, he’d turn it towards himself and it just looked like a framed photo from the back.)

    5. OrigCassandra*

      Uff da, I had a student once who did this. I didn’t even realize it was going on until I talked with two other instructors this same student had tried it on with. In each case, the student had chosen an attack tailored to its target — something clearly likely to serve as a Berserk Button.

      It didn’t work on any of us; we’d all been around the block a few times. The student was managed out of the program, but it was an awful process (for no fault of the university’s).

    1. Elsa*

      Ask a Manager: come for the cheap ass rolls, stay for the facetime with a large cage of birds!

      1. Kyrielle*

        Maybe we can feed the cheap-ass rolls to the large cage of birds? (I kid: bread is not good for birds, whether cheap or expensive.)

      2. VP of Monitoring Employees’ LinkedIn and Indeed Profiles*

        Courtesy of “Guacamole Bob”!

    2. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      My new coworker was his first team meeting today. I know he facetimes his birds.
      I was leading a zoom meeting, I swear I was facetiming birds.
      The woman next to needs quit facetiming birds and just do the damn job.

  6. eee4444*

    I wonder if she has some sort of intense job security and really hates working at the library and is trying to do things she assumed would get her kicked off of the location and changed to somewhere else?

    1. Rose*

      A person with any common sense would probably assume getting kicked out of one location would lead to being fired, not being given a new location to work at. But nothing indicates this woman has common sense.

      1. fine-tipped pen aficionado*

        In the municipal government I work for, there are problem employees who have been passed around to like 5 or 6 departments. The head of HR says it’s because their supervisors never document the issues, but the generally held belief is it’s because 1 or 2 of them are extremely litigious and our Legal department is extremely risk averse.

        1. ampersand*

          Yeah, passing around employees is definitely a thing. As is supervisors providing bad employees with stellar recommendations when they apply to other jobs, just to ensure they’re hired by someone else. It’s really unfortunate.

        2. Nethwen*


          My guess is that either 1) her supervisor has been advised not to fire her for *reasons* or 2) her supervisor was going to fire her, but then heard she had cancer or something and there’s no way she’s going to become known as the local government agent who fired someone after they got a cancer diagnosis. If the cleaner is part of a protected demographic, that makes things even harder from a public-perception point of view.

          The local government aspect makes things much more challenging that they might be in the private sector. It doesn’t matter if the employee comes in late, doesn’t do their job, or is a nuisance. You can’t talk about performance issues, so all the newspaper is going to print is “Public Works fires long-time employee days after receiving cancer diagnosis” and there’s nothing you can do to assuage public outrage. The citizen outcry would be even worse if the headline swapped “Library” for “Public Works (or whichever department hires cleaners) because there’s this idea that libraries are supposed to be welcoming, caring places.

        3. Momma Bear*

          That’s kind of how we ended up with one guy who functionally had no manager. He was a walking EEO complaint and even though our manager was also not-white, no one wanted to confront the guy. The only thing anyone could do was encourage a transfer.

          But I do wonder if she wants to work in another building and can’t. That would be the ONLY logical reason, and her methods are still stupid.

    2. Ama*

      I think you’re right that she doesn’t like working in the library for whatever reason (maybe the music issue, maybe it’s not a convenient location for her, who knows) — it could be possible that her supervisor told her she couldn’t change the assignment and she decided if she made herself awful enough the library would ask for her to be reassigned.

      However it seems like after the music blasting incident she was told the choice was either work at the library and do so quietly or have no job at all, because if she didn’t think her job was at risk or she didn’t care about being fired she’d have just gone right back to acting out.

    3. goddessoftransitory*

      Is it THAT hard to request reassignment? I mean, I guess it could be; who knows what buraucracy her agency has set up. But still, this is her preferred version of sidestepping…?

  7. Honey cocoa*

    Is it possible she wants to be fired?
    Either that or mental illness. I’m a retired mental health professional- something’s very wrong there.

    1. Nobby Nobbs*

      Until the last part when we found out she was capable of stopping for more than a day, my thought was some kind of cognitive decline. I guess we still can’t completely rule it out?

      1. MigraineMonth*

        Yeah, I also assumed it was a comprehension/retention issue, in part because it sounded like she didn’t understand the issue (“stared blankly” whenever someone asked her to keep it down, same issue recurred the next day). I’m honestly surprised that speaking to the supervisor helped.

        1. saskia*

          Staring blankly can also mean “I disdain you completely but can’t say anything about it because we’re at work”

    2. El l*

      I thought it was some kind of weird test. See what exactly it would take to get fired from a (probably protected) job.

      Surprised it wasn’t leaving the cleaner.

    3. jasmine*

      Let’s not with the mental illness commentary. None of us know her. Being a retired professional doesn’t really make these assumptions okay.

  8. Professional_Lurker*

    Does she get to go home earlier if all the patrons leave? That’s the only non-jerk/Main Character Syndrome answer I could come up with.

    1. Observer*

      It may not be a “Main Character Syndrome” move. But it’s still a MASSIVE jerk move.

      Also, the spray bottles are just nasty and could not help cut down on the amount of work she needs to do.

  9. Tata*

    First of all, why are your cleaners there during open hours? Second, this woman cannot be trusted there alone for the times she’s there when you’re closed. Third, maybe there are some mental health issues going on. But, in any case bye bye. Disruptive, careless and a time suck.

    1. Millie*

      If there are patrons, there will be messes. It makes sense to have someone there at least part of open hours to take care of any spills or messes, especially in the children’s section or if there are play rooms/etc like some libraries offer.

      1. Our Lady of Shining Eels*

        And trust us, you want a cleaner in the library if stuff happens in the restroom. Or really, anywhere in the building. We once had someone projectile vomit in our library on a day we didn’t have a cleaner – it took three hours before someone could come to clean it up.

        1. Sara without an H*

          +100. One of my staff came into my office at 5:15 p.m. with a stunned look on her face, saying that she’d found poop on the floor in the children’s section. All the cleaners had gone home, but their manager was still in her office. She came over and did what needed to be done, earning my everlasting gratitude.

          And she had one of the cleaners there with the carpet shampoo machine as soon as we opened in the morning.

          We speculated for months on whether some little child had done what came naturally and then skipped away before her parent noticed what happened. Or if the parent knew what happened, was totally mortified, and fled with the child without saying anything.

        2. Brown River*

          I was at university years ago, and one early afternoon my classmate and I came across a toilet cubicle that had diarreah sprayed everywhere.
          Management were notified but I often wonder how long it took to have it resolved cause cleaners didn’t usually arrive until 6pm.

        3. Whanto*

          I’ve worked in public library branches that don’t have any onsite cleaners and so maybe even with the facetime bird party I’d still be jealous? I cleaned up puke myself before having no faith anyone would come so I just dug around a supply closet until I found , that weird powder you put on liquids to clean them up which kind of helped…library school did not prepare me for that!

    2. Dust Bunny*

      Ours come during open hours because our alarm system is fussy and the neighborhood, which is fine in daylight, gets a little weird after dark, and we have some slightly odd cleaning requests (we’re also a library) that get handled better if someone is there to keep an eye on the cleaning staff. No shade at the cleaning staff; we just have some situations that need to be cleaned in non-standard ways. We don’t have public-library traffic but they do still clean if we have researchers here.

    3. not nice, don't care*

      Because people like to poop in stacks, water fountains, flower beds, etc. They also like to shove clothes and entire rolls of TP/paper towels down toilets. Then there are the overdoses….

      1. Dek*

        The duffel bag full of poop underwear that had been shoved into the dumbwaiter… *shudders*

    1. ENFP in Texas*

      They gave her earpods for Christmas and showed her how to use them. She used them for 3 days and that was it.

    2. Snow Globe*

      In the original letter, she was given headphones as a Christmas gift, but stopped wearing them after a few days.

    3. Observer*

      Maybe this was suggested but couldn’t she just use headphones?

      How does that help any of the other issues that came up?

      Also, in addition to what the others said, it’s obvious that she DOES NOT WANT to use headphones. I mean, she looked around to see if the Head Librarian was gone the set up her music in her cart to the loudest volume. Which is what finally gave the LW their “lightbulb” moment.

      1. Jessica Clubber Lang*

        Yes, but it sounds like it was tried originally and didn’t work

        1. Broadway Duchess*

          Right, they tried it originally and it didn’t work, so would they just give her… more things to decline using?

    1. Rose*

      Or she was trying to get fired for unemployment. Or she wanted everyone to leave the library so she could work with her music/not have messy patrons to deal with. Or she just hated that library for whatever reason.

      She was able to instantly correct her behavior when asked, with sulking. We’re getting a story from an observer on the internet. We have no idea if she has mental health issues.

    2. ENFP in Texas*

      I am not sure that it’s a mental health issue. Read the last paragraph about the speaker, and the fact that she has now changed her behavior after are supervisor talk to her about it.

    3. Sparkle goth*

      Can we not assume that bananapants behaviour is definitely a mental health issue please and thank you.

      1. Nah*

        this time five million. sometimes an a-hole is just an a-hole, it doesn’t mean he’s secretly autistic or something. especially when you *are* part of that demographic it gets insulting at the connotation of “terrible person = has mental issues”

      2. Amber*

        Of course it is. Anyone acting so strange and not in thier best interest has some sort of distorted beliefs or internal struggle going on which is, in fact, mental health

        1. jasmine*

          Uhhh no. There’s a lot of reasons people might act strange or act in ways that are not in their best interest (seemingly or otherwise)

    4. Boof*

      I don’t think it’s clear what is going on, especially when she deliberately looked around and blasted music when the person who usually tells her to stop wasn’t there, driving away all the patrons. Maybe she just thinks the library is her own personal fun zone, maybe she is part of some weird conspiracy group that wants to sabotage the library, maybe she has some cognitive decline or other issue that’s not her fault but leads to unacceptable behaviors at work, doesn’t really matter.
      LW, consider continuing to report them if they continue to do things that drive away patrons. It sucks to have to report someone, especially when it’s hard to say what is driving it, but it also sucks to have a great public service institution become disrupted as well.

    5. Beth*

      We really don’t have a reason to assume that. It’s bizarre behavior, but people do things that look bizarre from the outside all the time, and mental illness isn’t always (or even usually) involved. Us not understanding why she’s doing this just means we don’t have the full story.

    6. zinzarin*

      Because it’s not *clear* that this is a mental health issue, and–with the exception of Patsy herself and OP–it’s essentially anonymous, so easy to laugh at.

    7. Temperance*

      Jerkass behavior isn’t necessarily a mental illness.

      Otherwise, a significant portion of the people who ride the bus every day are significantly mentally ill.

    8. Observer*

      Why are we making jokes about what is clearly a mental health issue

      Because it’s highly likely that it is NOT a mental health issue.

      And that part makes me a bit angry. She played the “poor, confused, and vulnerable” role to enable her to act obnoxiously and *dangerously*. Given that there actually *are* vulnerable people who really do have a struggle to maneuver real life, the pretense is pretty gross. Easier to laugh at it than get steamed.

    9. The Unspeakable Queen Lisa*

      Are you her doctor? How do you know it’s “clearly” any kind of health issue when you haven’t been in the same room/had a conversation with the person yourself? This is absurd. Do not DX over the internet.

    10. Moose*

      Could also be a brain tumor. I feel like we, as a society, often forget about brain tumors.

      1. SnackAttack*

        My husband’s mother passed away from a brain tumor, as did my BIL’s and good friend’s mothers, so I’ve had more of a first-hand look at it. Obviously not all symptoms are going to be the same, but on the whole, there are other side effects in addition to personality changes, depending on where the tumor is (seizures, slurred or stunted speech, tremors, debilitating headaches, etc.). If it were just the moving books and leaving cleaning solution on shelves, I’d say sure, but the rest of her behavior seems too intentional and patterned to indicate that.

        Plus, on the whole, I think we should avoid diagnosing people with brain tumors when we really don’t know anything beyond what the LW wrote.

        1. Moose*

          I guess I just don’t find “could be a brain tumor” to be a declaration of a diagnosis. I was literally just making conversation on the Internet based on my personal experiences with people with brain tumors.

          1. Mango Freak*

            Any weird behavior described on the internet could be a brain tumor I guess.

    11. Lilac*

      As someone with mental health conditions my biggest pet peeve is when people jump to mental illness or neurodiversity as the explanation for unkind / weird behaviour instead of just acknowledging that some people can just be arseholes. It makes it a lot harder to feel welcome in society if everyone’s kneejerk reaction to us is just to assume that any poor behaviour is intrinsically linked to a mental health or behavioural condition.

      1. Ink*

        +1, doubly when it’s something dangerous/criminal… like leaving cleaning chemicals in a children’s section :/

      2. Sagegreen is my favorite color.*

        This. I mean, people can just be jerks. Not everything is a mental health issue or whatever.

    12. e271828*

      It is not “clearly” a mental health issue. There are many possible explanations for this behavior. “Trying to get fired” or similar is not out of the realm of possibility in this case.

    13. Fluffy Fish*

      it’s not clear its a mental health issue.

      contrary to what seems to be a pervasive new belief – not all people behaving badly or bizarrely have mental health problems.

      as someone with a serious mental health disorder it’s actually really frustrating to see people chalk up any manner of bad behavior as oh they are mentally ill.

      please dont armchair diagnose

        1. Boof*

          uuuuhg, and then there’s axis i vs axis ii, personality disorders (ie, narcissism, oppositional defiance, borderline ) which are thought to be really learned/behavioral vs more physical (i don’t know if there’s even a proper umbrella term – things with a clear biochemical problem ie, schizophrenia, bipolar, etc) right now – who knows!

    14. Kit*

      At first I thought that was where this was going, or that she was developing symptoms of dementia or something similar. But the deliberateness of waiting till the head librarian left to blast music, coupled with being able to change her behavior after they spoke to her supervisor, suggests that it isn’t a mental health issue, or not just a mental health issue. She’s able to control her behavior but was deliberately choosing not to.

    15. linger*

      We don’t know what is going on in her head.
      And whether it’s mental illness, resentment, or huffing solvents, the ultimate cause doesn’t really change the outcome for OP or library patrons. The observed behaviour is a poor fit for a library, or really any position interacting with the public.

    16. Mango Freak*

      If this story describes mentally ill behavior that’s harmful and unacceptable to make fun of, then all bad behavior is mentally ill behavior that’s harmful and unacceptable to make fun of.

    17. Witch of Oz*

      Patty might or might not have mental health issues, we just don’t know.
      You know who else might or might not have mental health issues? Library patrons who just want to read or study or even have a little nap in peace and quiet without someone blaring music and Facetiming birds. Surely their needs and rights are valid too?

  10. Observer*

    Patsy looked around, noticed our head librarian (who is the person who speaks to her most frequently) had left for the day, set up a speaker on her cart, and began blasting music like she was throwing a dance party. Every single patron got up and left.

    It dawned on me at that moment that Patsy knew exactly what she was doing.

    Yes she did. It doesn’t really surprise me. I mean it surprises me a *a little* that she was deliberately trying to disrupt the library. But it does not surprise me at all that she knew exactly what was doing.

    But this does show that you were worrying too much about her being fired. What you describe here would have lead to firing in most workplaces – legitimately. Yet even so her employer did not fire her.

    But please do keep an eye on her. And if she leaves cleaner around one more time, I think you need to actively push for her to be removed. Because I do not care WHAT her backstory is, she cannot be allowed to put the kids at risk.

  11. Elle Woods*

    I don’t know what Patsy’s goal is but I sincerely hope you and your supervisor are documenting each and every instance of her behavior. You certainly have a strong case for her being fired with cause.

    1. I have RBF*


      Document, document, document.

      Because while she is complying with rules, albeit sullenly, for now, I do not think it will last, and when she snaps the damage will be major. Everything the LW has written indicates that she has a severe hatred for the library and possibly any books she considers “woke” or something. She tried to endanger kids, FFS. She has got to go.

  12. Jessica*

    For those wondering why anyone might try to sabotage work at a library, I’d point out that right now libraries are increasingly politicized spaces.

    1. Kyrielle*

      Yes, and while not everything she is doing can be clearly tied to that – moving additional random books into a black author display would fit right in with that sort of agenda.

        1. Dark Macadamia*

          Yeah that immediately makes me wonder what the kid book display was about. What’s the theme of the storytime she disrupts? Is OP more (or more likely to be assumed) LGBT/liberal/feminist/”woke” than the head librarian? etc

    2. HugeTractsofLand*

      Yep, this is what I thought of as well. Patsy might disagree with the content of the programming and that’s why she’s trying to drown it out. She might have issues with black history month, which is why she messed with that display. It does sound like Patsy might have mental health issues or not be the sharpest tool in the box, but literally anyone can have an agenda or hold certain beliefs.

    3. Student*

      That’s not accurate. Libraries are not “increasingly politicized”.

      Libraries are being targeted by a fascist faction of our country (in the US). Fascists try to suppress the free exchange of information so that they can more easily gain control over others. I’m sure they also find libraries to be attractive targets because they are “soft”, as in, open to and welcoming of the general public.

  13. DrSalty*

    This is maybe the most bizarre thing I’ve read on this site, apart from the no humor office.

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      Seriously, this makes the “I organize orgies professionally” letter look somewhat pedestrian.

      Humans are weird, and getting weirder.

  14. Sparkle goth*

    LW, I may be overly suspicious but considering how libraries are under attack right now…is it possible she’s doing this on purpose? Like, trying to get someone to post “omg Library put *insert non-black author here* in their black authors display!!!” (Depending on whether or not this author is white this can be followed by “they’re assuming anyone who isn’t white belongs here” or “they’re even colonising the library section!!!”). Similarly, leaving cleaning products in the children’s section could be a ploy to get the library seen as a dangerous place for kids.

    Now admittedly I’m not sure how putting picture books among the adult books would fit into this (the other way around I could understand) but still.

    1. Sarah H*

      Ditto, I said something similar (we must have been typing at the same time, haha!). With anti-library sentiment on the rise (pause to mourn that I even had to say that), that’s where my mind went.

      1. Sparkle goth*

        We probably were, yeah!

        And it’s definitely sad that “Library War” is on its way to becoming reality…

        1. La Triviata*

          Some are saying that libraries are hotbeds of drug use and sexual activities. Which, as far as I can tell, has librarians asking which libraries/where (with the implication they want in on the fun)

    2. KatCardigans*

      Re: your last paragraph—enticing children into the adult section, where they might encounter inappropriate content?

      1. Sparkle goth*

        Yeah, that might be it.

        Or as someone mentioned above, books dealing with bodily functions like Everybody Poops. It would be interesting to know which books were moved exactly.

      2. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

        I took it the other way – she decided those books were inappropriate for kids and moved them accordingly.

    3. Productivity Pigeon*

      Honestly, out of every other explanation, this makes the most sense to me.

    4. Human Embodiment of the 100 Emoji*

      Yeah, it definitely seems to me from the sabotaging of the displays (especially putting the children’s books in the adults section- I’d love to know what specific topics those children’s books were about) that she might be part of the contingency of people who are on a book-banning crusade. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s intentionally trying to make the library a hostile place for patrons.

    5. not like a regular teacher*

      Moms for Liberty and similar groups have lobbied to have children’s books with “adult” themes (puberty, menstruation, the existence of gay people, etc) reclassified as adult books. It’s possible that could be what she’s doing.

      1. Testing*

        If puberty is an adult theme, either someone’s developing really late or were back to considering children small adults like we did a few centuries ago.

    6. Nah*

      re: last paragraph. there are several children’s books certain groups are trying to ban as Morally Evil Corrupting Our Innocent Children™ like ‘And Tango Makes Three’. Because Gay.

      (the book has a Grades P-3 reading level, by the way)

  15. Bookworm*

    I was wondering if she was trying to get fired or something. This one’s bit weird, but I’m glad it appears to be resolved (for now…) for you, OP! Good luck, hope it stays this way (?).

  16. Annabelle*

    “It dawned on me at that moment that Patsy knew exactly what she was doing. I don’t know why she was being intentionally disruptive, but she was clearly actively trying to interrupt our work. The head librarian made a call to Patsy’s supervisor. I’m not sure what the response was, but Patsy is still our housekeeper. She is sullen and scowls at anyone who tries to speak to her, but she rarely makes noise anymore. I guess it’s a win for now?”

    For the love of god, if only we had face-palm emojis. I’m leaning towards a few things here:
    Patsy is stupid but also straight up insubordinate. But also clearly can’t get fired *and knows it*.
    Also, I called it back on the first letter that she wouldn’t get fired unless she killed someone (and even that was iffy). City worker unions for the win [/s]

    1. MidwesternEnnui*

      Also what does “rarely makes noise anymore” mean? Like she doesn’t talk to anyone because she’s sulking, or does she still talk on speakerphone sometimes? I would be documenting everything, the vibes are so bad!

    2. Percysowner*

      I’m not so sure she can’t be fired. The original letter said that she was “contracted through the city” and “works multiple jobs and this is the only one that offers insurance”, one of the reasons they were hesitant to talk to her supervisor. That could mean she is covered by a city union, but then the insurance wouldn’t come into play. Plus she did stop misbehaving once her supervisor was alerted that it had to stop. Firing might be difficult, but if it was impossible, she probably would have gone back to her old behavior pretty quickly.

      For most of the story I was leaning into finding out there was some sort of mental issue going on, but it did become clear that she is just a jerk, with her own reasons for wanting to make a public library unusable by the public. Why? Who knows, but they got her to stop so success!

    3. Pierrot*

      Man, I hate this type of flippant anti-union rhetoric. There’s not a union contract in the world that completely protects a worker from getting fired for just cause. At most, she’d get a little severance to go away. If employers don’t want to go through the process of disciplining and firing someone, that is on them.

      1. Nah*

        absolutely this, I’m frankly becoming alarmed with some of the comments here about (what are usually exploitable and lower income) employees having the safety of a union backing them up to make sure they aren’t fired without cause. just like signing a waiver doesn’t protect an amusement park from negligence that injures or kills someone on a ride, a union doesn’t equal “unfireable, immune to any repercussions for their actions”

        1. Dek*

          Ok, good, so it’s not just me.

          afaik, there’s not a union available to me so I don’t know as much about them as I’d like, but the claims that someone acting in such a way would be protected by a union (that isn’t a certain thin blue line) seemed…very off.

  17. Purple Cat*

    I really advocate for giving people the benefit of the doubt and trying to work with them. But she obviously wants to be fired – and endangering the health and safety of the child patrons – she should have been. That is outrageous and completely unacceptable. And it’s the library that would have faced the repercussions, not her.

    1. jasmine*

      If she wanted to be fired, she would’ve continued her behavior. Or not waited until the head librarian left to blast music.

  18. BellyButton*

    Truly bizarre behavior. It sounds like she had a very big dislike for the patrons and the staff. Maybe she wanted to clear everyone out so she could do whatever she wanted and not have people around.

    I am in awe that everyone tried for so long before speaking to the person’s supervisor. I would have requested the behavior stop 3x and then that’s it. I am also surprised they let her come back, especially with the moving of displays and leaving cleaner out.

  19. Liz the Snackbrarian*

    I feel like Patsy has something else up her sleeve and the disruptive behavior could resume in a new way.

    1. Lily*

      I was thinking the same thing. She needs to be closely watched or fired.
      I vote for fired for cause.

      1. Sagegreen is my favorite color.*

        Ditto. I would be worried she’s up to something but being less obvious about it. I wonder if someone has looked her up on Facebook to see if you can tell if she’s part of a group that wants to cause trouble.

  20. Sarah H*

    I’m alarmed by the sabotage of library displays, particularly the one featuring black authors. I wonder if Patsy holds a negative attitude toward libraries/freedom of information/encouraging diverse reading interests, and is “acting out” because of those sentiments?

    1. Elsewise*

      Yeah, the fact that that was the display that she was specifically mentioned as sabotaging raised some red flags for me too.

    2. Ink*

      I do wonder what those picture books moved to the adult section were about. If, say, And Tango Makes Three was among them, I’d consider that a point in favor of her behavior being partially driven by that sort of attitude.

      1. Minimal Pear*

        That’s the EXACT book I was thinking of as an example of what she might’ve moved.

  21. Moose*

    Patsy:s behavior, especially the Face timing birds thing, reminds me of an employee I managed in an in-home caregiving situation. Her behavior slowly got more and more bizarre, including 2 incidents of her putting raw chicken in the vegetable drawer to thaw all over a full week’s worth of freshly bought vegetables.

    I found out later she’d had a brain tumor that was the source of her erratic behavior and it almost killed her. She’s doing much better now.

    I hope someone near and dear to Patsy gets her to a doctor for a health checkup.

    1. metadata minion*

      This seems less likely given that she’s clearly able to control her behavior now that her supervisor has talked to her.

    2. :/*

      lol you know how convinced y’all are that she is “mentally ill” (which diagnosis? Pls, tell us) or “has a brain tumor”? I’m equally convinced she’s an asshole.

  22. Stefon*

    The hottest new club is Library STAX. This place has everything, caged birdsongs, OPACS, staff with nose rings that shush you, industrial cleaning solutions, and sloppy mops and brooms.

      1. Bruce*

        Ha ha Ha!!! Looks at you with the eyes of a parent who has an adult child who goes clubbing in NYC

  23. An Honest Nudibranch*

    Honestly, the cleaning fluid in the children’s section should be a fireable offense – at this point she’s endangering patrons. The reason why doesn’t really matter beyond “do we instantly fire this person, or do we have reason to believe a medical leave might resolve this”: either way, she cannot ethically keep working at the library in that state.

    (That said, if she gave a reason *why* for the book reshelving, I’d love to hear it! I’m truly baffled by that one.)

  24. I should really pick a name*

    I’m curious why it took so long to address this.

    Whether it was clear that Patsy knew what she was doing or not, this was an issue impacting many people and really should have been dealt with.

    Even the fact that the music was left blaring long enough for the patrons to leave seems weird to me. Shouldn’t that have been shut down immediately?

    1. Ink*

      If I were a patron at that library regularly I think my tolerance for noise there would be drastically lowered by now. Historically, Patsy turning on her phone has meant the library won’t be usable/ pleasant rest of the day, so might as well pack up before you get a headache, sort of deal

  25. e271828*

    I would be watching Patsy closely, because I think she’s going to escalate to more than behavioral vandalism. She’s already messed with books and displays.

    1. Betty*

      Yeah, exactly my thought. IANALibrarian, but “do not randomly move books around the library” seems like one of the major rules (In fact, it’s the second rule I’ve given my 4 year old after “use walking feet and quiet voice”).

      1. Percysowner*

        Honestly, in a lot of libraries we ask the patrons to not re-shelve books, not because we are being “nice” but because we know people often don’t pay attention to where they put the books.

    2. goddessoftransitory*

      She might be putting things IN the books, or behind them in the stacks.

      1. not nice, don't care*

        We find antisemitic stuff in our books and tucked into shelves on a regular basis.

        1. CorruptedbyCoffee*

          I once had a patron hiding condoms and candy bars in-between books in the stacks.

          1. Enai*

            What? Did you find out who did that and why? Was it a sort of misguided public service?

          2. Nah*

            I’m reminded of that “what is and is not a bookmark” poster that went viral years ago after someone returned a book with a *taco* inside of it.

      2. TinySoprano*

        Thank goodness when I worked in a library the only thing I ever found in a book was a very old anonymous love letter from one patron to another. It was actually really cute.

        1. Dek*

          Oh, I found one of those too! It was…very high school, iirc, with some Aragorn/Arwen comparisons, and very flowery language, and also gave the distinct impression that the girl he was writing to barely knew him.

  26. Sybil Writes*

    When I was young, being a librarian was one of the careers I thought I might pursue. I loved books, I loved the public library, everyone who worked there seemed both smart and kind. It really seemed like a magical place.
    Who knew public libraries housed such workplace drama!?!
    I’m quite concerned for you re: Patsy’s behavior. It’s good that the noise went down, but the documented acting out as soon as the head librarian was out of office? leaving cleaning supplies in reach of children? spending hours on personal calls and face-timing birds (OK, that one is kinda epic!)? It seems like the library is accepting a lot of risk to keep on a low-skilled employee. I have great respect for anyone who works hard at any job. Sometimes when an employee has a hard to replicate set of skills or knowledge, the org will put up with more usual in order to keep them. But when a role is relatively easy to fill, I don’t get why they would tolerate a pattern of insubordination, disrespectful and disruptive behavior.

    p.s. just want to plug my local (Indianapolis) library system – it is amazing and one of the best resources we have in our city. I hope it is as great place to work for our local library staff as it is to visit.

    1. Kristin*

      Being a librarian today is like being a teacher, except with patrons experiencing homelessness/drug addiction/domestic abuse in the mix. After going home exhausted every day, I left the profession due to patron misconduct. However, misconduct by a third-party employee is something else again. That should have been addressed immediately by Patsy’s supervisor.

      1. Rebecca1*

        Well, we teachers get all that too. But I think our unions are a bit stronger.

      2. Bruce*

        My SIL was a customer facing librarian for a while in a distressed area, she saw it all and it was breaking her health down. She has been able to move into a remote admin type job, hopefully can keep that going…

    2. Esmae*

      Tbh the only part of this that’s weird by library standards is the bird facetiming.

    3. OrigCassandra*

      I teach the required information-and-society course in our library master’s.

      One thing I think it important to do in that course is dispel exactly these sorts of rose-colored glasses. Make no mistake, a lot of students HATE THIS SO MUCH, and hate me for doing it. (Once or twice they’ve even tried to get me disciplined for it. That… hasn’t worked, though I was prevailed upon once to change my approach slightly.)

      I’m quite plain with them about why I do it. It’s not because I hate them or because I hate the information professions. It’s because (as I know from experience) disillusionment sucks the big one. Better they understand more about what they’re getting into, well in advance.

      (Yes, librarians, I absolutely do assign Ettarh’s vocational awe piece. Week 1.)

    1. Fluffy Fish*

      unfortunately in government spaces with the way personnel issues are handled (or not I should say) this really is a win. including contracted employees.

      the level of which things tend to need to arise to results in being terminated is a high bar.

      im in no way saying its right, it’s just a reality.

      1. pally*

        My tax dollars at work. Sigh.

        I’d be raising holy hell (albeit quietly) if I had been one of the patrons present when the music blasted. My library should be a sanctuary of quiet.

  27. Kristin*

    Former librarian here. Patsy left out cleaning supplies in the children’s section “which could have been disastrous if I hadn’t noticed them” and then she blasted music so that library patrons left?
    No, no, and no. My system would have marched her out the door, pronto. Why is she still working there? This isn’t about music, or birds, or bizarre behavior – she sounds dangerous. She left chemicals that children could have ingested, and now is sullen, apparently contemplating her next sabotage.

    1. HugeTractsofLand*

      Yeah, I don’t understand why Patsy still works here unless the head librarian seriously softened the message when they spoke with her employer. Given that OP also watched this happen for who knows how long, I’m worried that that’s exactly what happened.

    2. learnedthehardway*

      Yeah – I don’t understand why the behaviours are being tolerated. You’d think the library could simply refuse to let her on the premises as a health and safety issue, given the chemicals left repeatedly within reach of young children.

      That is a VERY, VERY serious safety concern.

  28. Dido*

    It’s really outrageous that Patsy’s behavior was allowed to continue for this long

  29. Stuart Foote*

    I have encountered people like Patsy before whose actions are not exactly driven by mental health issues (though they probably have some), and not exactly driven by stupidity (although they aren’t smart), but just seem to have a hard time not doing what they want to do, when they want to do it, and have a hard time understanding that there will inevitably be consequences. An example would be people that drive extremely recklessly, weaving through traffic, running red lights, maybe drunk…but then are extremely surprised when they get into a wreck and total their car and get in legal trouble. They seem to have trouble connecting the actions to the consequences.

    This is speculation to an extent, but it seems like Patsy’s mind goes “Head Librarian isn’t here to tell me to stop–I can play music as loud as I want!” without understanding WHY she can’t play the music (or randomly switch out books, etc). I feel for her because most of us here probably have much better jobs that do allow us to do stuff like comment on AAM during work hours, and she probably has some mental health stuff going on, but it seems like the only solution is to do is keep an eye on her and hope that enough calls to her supervisor either keep her behavior in line or get her fired.

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      There’s a guy here in my city that’s getting sued by said city for racing his car on the streets with an amplified motor and sound system–think a plane taking off level of decibels. This guy told the JUDGE that he wasn’t quitting because he liked driving fast and his followers on TikTok enjoyed his videos.

      He basically did not seem to get that he was going to jail if he didn’t knock that shit off.

    2. Paint N Drip*

      I agree. There seems to be a subset of adult-age people who still operate in the ‘as long as I don’t get in trouble’ state of mind, which I find very strange

    3. The docs doc*

      Agreed! I’m a bit surprised at everyone jumping to sabotage and/or mental health issues, when this is a fairly common behaviour (kinda unhinged, yes, but still common).

      Where I live at least, you can encounter people with this attitude in any low-paid job with a lot of security – think low level admin in a government job, cleaner in a school/library, clerk in a small grocery store etc. When I was younger and working low-level temp jobs, I always worked with at least one Patsy! They often seem to dislike their job and are only doing it grudgingly, being slow on purpose, taking a ton of smoke/coffee breaks, looking annoyed to have to deal with people etc. They will push the boundaries of what’s allowed because they want to make work more enjoyable for themselves. I’m very familiar with the blank look when confronted, and I fully believe that it’s because the person confronting them doesn’t usually have any authority over their work, so the comment is immediately dismissed. And I’ve seen firsthand how once a Patsy gets a talking-to from a person with actual authority over them, they get sullen and withdrawn, because they can’t lash out in any other way without risking their jobs.

    4. theletter*

      +1 – it seems like she’s trying to exert a small amount of control over the space she works in, and she really does not like the work itself.

  30. Lizbrarian*

    The moving of the picture books makes me wonder if she’s secretly a Mom’s For Liberty member. Or another group that wants Libraries closed for *hand waves* reasons.

    1. Sloanicota*

      I wondered that since OP noted it was specifically authors of color she messed with. That’s a “thing” for such people.

  31. Raisin Walking to the Moon*

    I didn’t get a chance to comment at the time, but in the original post I remember that the “stares in confusion” thing hit me as being performative and insincere. Genuinely confused people don’t take several moments to stare at you, but liars absolutely do.

  32. Hashtag Destigmatize Therapy*

    LW knows the situation better than I do, but I don’t quite follow why looking around to see if she can get away with turning the speaker on would be definitive proof that she knows exactly what she’s doing and is disrupting the library on purpose. It’s certainly possible, but if she’s leaving cleaning fluid in the children’s section on purpose, that’s not sabotage–it’s attempted murder.

    I think there are other possibilities: she’s really reckless, she doesn’t give a @#$%, or she has some kind of mental illness. Who knows? I don’t think we have enough info to know what’s going on with Patsy, although again, LW knows the situation better than I do.

    1. Sloanicota*

      Well, OP’s original take seemed to be that Patsy was confused about why it was an issue or forgot the instruction between days, and there was the suggestion she might have some kind of medical issue with remembering instructions, so I think in her mind seeing Patsy deliberately check that the coast was clear means that she does in fact understand that they don’t want her to do this.

    2. New Jack Karyn*

      Come on, leaving cleaning fluid in the kids’ section of the library is a stupid and dangerous lapse in judgment, but it isn’t attempted murder.

  33. pally*

    Maybe she’s trying for a Section 8 discharge.

    Obviously, a non-starter for Patsy. But maybe she doesn’t know that.
    /sarcasm off

      1. The Gnome*

        The true plot twist would be finding out that Patsy’s now gotten accustomed to the job and actually WANTS to stay.

  34. Ink*

    Between this and yesterday it’s a big week for endangering library patrons on AAM!

  35. KellifromCanada*

    This is NOT the end of the Patsy drama. OP, please keep us updated!!!!

    1. BrandNewBandName*

      I hope it ends swiftly, with her being fired. I feel so bad for the letter writer and patrons.

  36. warm smile in your voice*

    I feel like the whole leaving cleaning solution out for kids to get is a much bigger issue? Patsy’s boss had no thoughts about that?

  37. Rosemary*

    Intentionally leaving bottles of cleaning product in the CHILDREN’S section should have been an immediate dismissal. But seriously – even with that – HOW is she still employed?!

  38. Lizy*

    On my list of things/places/people to sabotage, libraries are waaaaaayyyyyyyy down at the bottom. I mean, it’s a LIBRARY. Unless you’re a wacko book-banner (which Patsy doesn’t seem to be, but I could be wrong), why on earth would you hate libraries????

    1. Ms. Murchison*

      Oh there’s a whole wave of anti-library sentiment right now in the US. Some communities are trying to de-fund them. Those same people who don’t want kids to know anything about their bodies and are trying to ban certain subjects in Florida? Those are the kinds of people who see librarians as a threat.

  39. I'm just here for the cats!*

    My first thought was that this is someone who is doing some sort of social experiment. Kind of like how to loose a guy in 10 days. She’s trying to see how far she can take it.

    I actually wonder if she is trying to get fired? Maybe try to do some sort of claim? I would watch out and make sure nothing else happens. It’s so weird that she is still there.

  40. Not Always Right*

    As I read this update, I was thinking that maybe Patsy had suffered from “mini strokes” or perhaps she was in the early stages of dementia because that would explain most of her behavior. That is until the last paragraph. Patsy is a real piece of work

  41. Hedgehug*

    Out of curiosity for LW/OP, has no patron ever just told her to stfu?? In nicer terms obviously (or not!). Or if an employee who isn’t the head librarian sees her doing something out of line, like moving displays, does no one point blank ask her what the hell she thinks she is doing?

    1. Witch of Oz*

      I know! Where is the shushing? Surely the whole first semester of librarianship at uni should be “Intro to shushing”!
      But if the librarians aren’t doing it, as a patron, I would have no hesitation telling Patty to stfu and I’d be complaining LOUDLY to the library staff about her.

  42. Ms. Murchison*

    LW, as others have said above, there’s a good chance that you’ll see more sabotage from this woman. Hopefully you can point out that, when her actions are examined in total, it’s clear that she’s one of these crazy anti-library folks and is unlikely to stop (and, worse, has a good chance of escalating). Good luck and keep an eye on those cleaning products

  43. VP of Monitoring Employees' LinkedIn Profiles*

    It dawned on me at that moment that Patsy knew exactly what she was doing. I don’t know why she was being intentionally disruptive, but she was clearly actively trying to interrupt our work. The head librarian made a call to Patsy’s supervisor. I’m not sure what the response was, but Patsy is still our housekeeper.

    The original letter mentioned that Patsy is contracted through the city. Does this mean that she’s a city employee “on loan” to the library? Or is she employed by a private cleaning company that has a contract with the city?

  44. Moonstone*

    After reading this my immediate thought is that she is one of those absolute loons who believes librarians are “groomers” who are trying to destroy children’s brains with the “porn” they think is apparently in every children’s book on the shelf. Is she in Moms for Liberty perhaps? Did she get this job in order to go undercover to sabotage the library from the inside? I hope not; maybe she’s just a run of the mill nut and she’ll remain sullen and quiet.

    But I find it so annoying that after causing so much disruption and after behaving with such insubordination, she’s allowed to keep working there! Why??

  45. Middle Name Jane*

    What is Patsy’s end game here? What is the point of her behavior? I don’t get it.

    1. I take tea*

      One of the more frustrating things I have learned is that some people just don’t have any particular reason to do things, they just do them.

  46. The Gnome*

    My late father was the Bookmobile driver for our county library system and as gruff as he was (Vietnam vet with zero tolerance for Le Nonsense) the library staff all loved him because they knew if someone gave them a hard time and he saw it, he had zero problems telling that person all about themselves.

    Reading this letter, I am suddenly extremely glad nobody like Patsy worked at our county library, because I’m pretty sure Dad would’ve gotten fired for a verbal altercation gone VERY LOUD. (Although Dad probably would have found Facetiming the birds adorable the first time it happened; the man was gruff as all hell but loved animals.)

    Because Patsy-type folks should very much NOT be employed by libraries if they’re well aware that they’re doing something they’re not supposed to, and I find it VERY hard to believe she’s immune to firing. Unless she’s a Targaryen or some such.

  47. Hexiv*

    Great update! Now I want an update from WolfSkull (at the link to the original letter).

  48. Tiger Snake*

    I have to assume this is money motivated. That either she thought that if she’s fired she can sue (libraries being public institutions and all), she wants a different placement with her agency but was refused, or something to do with option b and unemployment.

  49. Ebar*

    The softly, softly does not penetrate with some people and when they eventually get the read the riot act they get sulky because it ‘came out of nowhere’.

    1. New Jack Karyn*

      Possibly. Or had a minor stroke, or a brain tumor. But I’m not a doctor, and you haven’t given her a workup, so neither of us know. She could just be a big ol’ jerk.

  50. Mister_L*

    When I reached the “facetime a cage of birds”-part I expected the story to end with Patsy being diagnosed with a mental condition like Alison suggested in her original answer.
    Sorry to hear she’s still there, but after it’s been established that she intentionally tries to sabotage you (especially leaving bottles with cleaning agents in the children’s section), she should have been banned from entering the premises again.

    Right now she might just be waiting for her opportunity to “get even”.

  51. Bill and Heather's Excellent Adventure*

    Good lord… is Patsy trying to get herself fired?? Clearly she failed, for now!

Comments are closed.