Getting Yelled At
I now get paid enough to get yelled at. Not that I didn’t get yelled at before, but now I feel like it’s my responsibility to deal with the angry patrons rather than leave them to my coworkers that are assistants and make less. Last week we had a very popular program for preschool age kids with a very limited amount of space. The program started at 10:30; we ran out of tickets at about 10:05. We did this program two days in a row, so the first day was easy. After we filled up, we could tell people to try back the next day, and most of them were okay with that.
The next day we filled up at 10:02. People were very upset. We went ahead and started the program early since everyone was already there. My coworker went in to start the program at about 10:15, and I stayed out to work the desk and deal with the continuing stream of families coming in for the program, telling them all until about 10:45 that it was full. Many of the parents argued with me, told me that it was “dumb,” “ridiculous,” and even “obnoxious” (and yes, including parents that arrived 15 minutes after the program was supposed to start). Finally, it seemed like I was done breaking the news to people.
The families that didn’t get in to the program all stayed in the children’s area, watched the program through the glass doors, and grumbled to each other about how unfair it was. One by one, the parents and grandparents that hadn’t argued with me when they first came in started coming up and yelling at me. Now, I can generally handle a couple of complainers no problem, but after literally an hour of dealing with this, I was pretty mentally exhausted. I mean, I understand that people were disappointed, but it was stated in the brochure and online that the program was limited, so they should have been prepared for the possibility that it would be full. And even if they didn’t see that, you would think that some people could be a little more understanding about it. It was the first time we had offered the program, so now we know to create a registration if we do it again.
We did end up running the program again immediately after it was over for those that had stayed. I work in a pretty rich, privileged suburb, so this is the kind of thing we have to deal with on a regular basis. A couple of months ago, a lady came in with her daughter five minutes before an hour long craft program was supposed to finish, and she told me I didn’t understand and wouldn’t let them in because I don’t have kids of my own. I mean, honestly. Anyway, as I was saying, as an introvert, I can send out enough energy to handle this kind of onslaught for only so long. I desperately needed a break to de-compress. Then I managed to face the rest of the day.
Of course, because this is my luck, as I was closing the door that evening at closing time, a girl wanted to come in. I told her we were closed. She said she just needed one thing, but it was already after the final closing announcement, almost everyone was gone, and the computers were shut down, so there was nothing I could do. She got mad at me and kicked the leaves on the ground on the way back to her mom’s car. I closed the door to the library and on that horrible day! UGH