irishdf: (Wolfies in Love)
[personal profile] irishdf
It's January in Ottawa, which translates to really freaking COLD. Chill you to the bone cold. Wind cutting right through you cold. And I spent the day at work, at the Public Library, and it was like working in a meat locker. Because the front desk faces the front door, and every time the door would open, we'd get this blast of Arctic air right to the face, sucking the very idea of the definition of warmth from your memories. When we checked the thermostat, it was -16 degrees Celcius *inside* our workroom. Which converts to what? 3 degrees Farenheit. We almost had to go and put our winter coats on. But I digress.

The drop-boxes were literally covered in frost, and we huddled around little space heaters like extras in a movie set in the Depression. Most unpleasant. Now I understand, people gotta come in, and people gotta go. And I have no problem with that. My extreme irritation comes from those people, those perfectly able-bodied people, who insist on slamming their fists into the handicapped door opener, who stand there and wait while the door slowly swings open, before leaving. Now, this is particularly irritating on a day like today, because the door stays open for minutes at a time, each and every time it's opened.

But it's actually the sheer principle of the thing that drives me crazy. That people are so lazy, and apathetic, that rather than using their own strength to merely push the door open, they abuse the assistive technology to the point that it breaks down. Frequently. Not only at the library, but at a number of other places I've been to, as well. And when those mechanisms break down, then who's affected? The very people that *need* that accessibility. It's so outrageous that I've seen, on at least 3 or 4 different occasions, with completely different individuals in different places, people in wheelchairs being forced to try and accelerate forward hard enough to push the doors open themselves. With great difficulty. If they're lucky, there might be someone close by who could rush to assist. But that shouldn't even be necessary in the first place.

So I'm sitting there at the front desk, watching it happen over and over again, and I just want to say "Use your hands, and open that door yourself!!" And "Don't touch that button!! Don't even think about it, Mister!!!" We were discussing that what we really need is something like an e-collar, only it's something that  wouldn't have to be worn by the recipient of the gentle "warning". And it could be activated remotely. Just zap 'em once or twice to curb the urge and keep them moving. And it could be used in all sorts of situations.

Just last week, we had a guy with anger management issues, who was upset about something or other, and after shouting about teaching us to leave his "stuff" alone, he hauled off and threw a full styrofoam container of pasta and sauce at the front desk. Unbelievable. It didn't hit any of the staff, thank goodness, but it exploded and splattered *everywhere*. Took us over an hour to clean up. Windex is our friend. That e-collar would come in really handy in a situation like that. Take that, Pasta Bandit. Or was it Pasta Perp they decided on? *g*

I keep telling myself that 95% of the people we serve and help are all right. And some of them are downright awesome. But that 5%, man. Do they every linger like a black cloud of toxicity. That's why it's important to have happy places to go to, whether it's puppies, or paintings, or porn. Or all three. *g* Oh well. Someday the spring will come. And in the meantime, I have the internet to keep me warm. :) 
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