Being “that guy”

Late this afternoon I’m sitting at my local library trying to get some work done.  The good things about being at the library are the lack of interruptions and the free (albeit slow) WiFi.

On the other hand, this is one of the noisiest places I’ve been in a while.  Cell phones ringing constantly, and each time a person scrambling frantically to silence it as if someone had tossed a live grenade at them.  ("Hey!  I didn’t know this thing could make a noise.")  Even sitting at a table with a sign that says "Quiet Study Area", I’m next to people who are talking to each other.  There are three tables in this area, and the two outer ones have this sign, which apparently means that you can make as much noise as you want at the one in the middle.  And that table seems to be preferred by pairs of people practicing a foreign language with the most horrendous American accents you can imagine.

What happened to the good old days when libraries were patrolled by cranky geezers sporting either hair in a bun or a pocket protector, as gender appropriate, shushing people’s faintest utterances?  The modern librarian has become a tech support person.  It is left to me to first glare, then point at the "quiet" sign, and finally get up and ask people to be quiet.


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