Check the Pile Over There!
The Librarian, grumbling, mumbling and generally in a disagreeable mood, was reshelving books. Behind her, the pile of volumes kept amassing such titles as she saw fit. It was a small pile, considering only a third of the Library's collection had been reorganized.
"Another down," she sighed, glancing at the previous encounters she had had, "ten thousand more." She went back to work. She was not paid enough for this work. And dealing with those students all day who kept asking where she had put their favorites…
"You know," one of them said, "I've been here for five years, and I'm just getting used to it when you go and change it all around" The Librarian glared angrily at him for a few moments before continuing. Personally, she hated people like that—always so pushy. Could they not just leave her alone for a moment or two?
She had responded later, to his repeated query by throwing the book at him, breaking his nose. "Now you have something to read while waiting for the doctor…" It had brought her only a small measure of contentment for her work. That had been one hundred fifty books prior.
Later, it was a female student—the kind that is always so cheerful that you want them to take a long walk off a short pier. "Can I help?" she asked naively. The Librarian had stupidly said yes, and consequently had to back up five shelves and replace the books that were out of order. The pile behind her had grown decidedly larger in the time that the female student had been with her, and was only now falling below its original size.
"Oh… do I ever want to get finished with this!"
She would eventually. Casually, she would flip open a book and skim through it. Once or twice she had become engrossed in her reading, costing her twenty minutes while she desperately tried to guess what would happen next. Now she was just putting one back onto the shelf.
"Huzzah!" Someone shouted over her shoulder. "How fares the loads of text?" The Librarian smiled unconsciously. He would either be of some use, or decide she was too busy and let her work peacefully. "Anything I could do to help?"
She turned to him. "If you could take questions for me, I would appreciate that. He nodded, sitting in a chair near the pile of books. "Beware of stupid people, by the way," she warned as she continued to discard books into the pile.
"Excuse me?" A kipper voice called. "Can you help me find—"
"Check the pile over there," he told the voice indifferently. "And could you bring me a large sheet of poster board and a marker?" The voice complied after searching through the pile and finding the requested item. "Thanks." He set to work quietly, making his instructions clear. When he finished, he set the poster up and walked away. It read: "Have questions? Check the pile over there!"