Monday, March 27, 2006

Coots @ your library, Crazy old

Beware of crazy old men carrying briefcases. They usually have "special research projects" that they want to share with you. This might include rehashing tedious details of geneaology research, finding a mailing address for a hand-written tech-support letter to Gateway, shopping for replacement cane tips (that "aren't shit!"), and pulling seemingly random items out of library storage. Crazy old coots may or may not have excessive nose and ear hair, very loud voices, and a propensity to touch you on the shoulder and back. If you see one coming... run away.

10 comments:

Rose said...

*shudders*

I've casually abandoned the desk after spotting one of these. This particular COC always wants information on "gantry cranes." Because that's exactly what a 20,000-sq-ft neighborhood library attached to middle school is going to have plenty of resources on - gantry cranes.

There's another who wants "The New York Cookbook" - but that's not the title, it's just "the one they use in New York."

Jane said...

And they almost always wear the same out fit every. single. day.

Anonymous said...

In my library it isn't the COCs who wear the same outfits, but the librarians.

Anonymous said...

My COC had the worst case of gum disease and tooth decay that I have ever experienced. The smell was God-awful and he had a propensity to spit as he spoke. Despite my reserved manner, I was screaming on the inside. I immediately washed my face, hands, and the keyboard once I was done.

Everyone else laughed because they saw him coming. Dirty-rotten-so-and-so coworkers!

Debbie said...

We have one of these at our branch. He's certifiably crazy. Right now he's not speaking to us (thank God!), just sits at the computer and types in words from the concordance - just the words, no references or definitions, in HUGE font, all caps. He went through a phase where he tried (unsuccessfully) to get several of us fired. He was even going to try to get the governator to give him keys to our library so that he could run it right. I think they've adjusted his meds or something.

Anonymous said...

In the local history room, COC's are our specialty - staff and patrons.
Two weeks ago I looked up a mailing address for an airline for this guy (file under not my job, really - reference is downstairs but I think they point some "special users" our way). So Monday he shows up with a list of 17. Explaining the concept of "I shouldn't have done the one, and can't do 17" seems improbable, so my boss tells him to come back on Wednesday, and I just do it at home.
So of course he didn't show up Wednesday....

stark said...

The worst COC's are the one's who haven't found a briefcase and are instead carrying around their masses of "correspondance" and other scraps of paper around in a backpack or shopping bags!

Anonymous said...

Why are old coots so obsessed with geneaology and feel that they have to go on and on about it to you - the reference librarian. The only person interested in your family history is YOU, you old coot!

Anonymous said...

Hey, when your Dad gets Alzeimer's, that could be him, so be kind...

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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