May 2014. I decided to pack two suitcases and take a Greyhound from Strathmore, Alberta to Vancouver, BC on a whim. It was a difficult process trying to decide what to pack. My HP desktop or.. clothes? When it came down to it, I decided that it didn’t matter how many resumes I sent out from said computer, nobody was going to hire a naked girl.
Well. Some places would.
Probably not the places that I’d be applying to.
Still, you can rent library computers to find work. You can’t really rent clothes – at least not very efficiently.
Did you know that in Vancouver, you get library cards for free?
My life was made. This news alone told me that I’d finally come home to a land of cultured and civilized people. Or so I thought.
Day one of my job search, someone stole my (FREE!!) library card.
I didn’t realize until I got home and spent the night wondering why somebody would resort to such a thing unless they were a genuinely terrible person. Fine. Let them take it, I thought, seeing a future of bad karma awaiting this tasteless individual. Since the cards were free, I’d just pick up another one. For free.
However, I was called for an interview, got the job (thank goodness for clothes), and forgot all about the missing card and the poor condemned soul attached to it.
Weeks later, I received an e-mail about my overdue items.
- The Twilight series. Books 1 – 4.
- Twilight: The Movie.
- A textbook titled, The Fundamentals of Ethics.
- Anger Management: The Movie.
Whoever took my card was either a teenage girl or someone with a very dry sense of humor. Probably both. I kind of admired her.
The overdue charges weren’t astronomical, but at this point.. I’d realized that the delinquent/my hero probably had no intention of ever bringing the overdue items back.
Also, remember the two suitcases thing? I had no books left to read. This was probably the greatest tragedy that I’d ever encountered in my adult life.
I marched back to the library, certain that they would understand my dilemma and secure me with another free library card.
Suspicious eyebrows were probably the worst thing that I could have encountered while explaining this situation. The librarian to whom the eyebrows belonged insisted that she believed me (she totally didn’t), but I’d have to provide a police case number in order to regain access to my account.
To summarize: I’d have to call the police to report a stolen (free) library card. On top of this, the library staff now saw me as a Twilight book thief. My shame was complete.
After much deliberation and countless self-deprecating Facebook posts, I finally summoned the nerve to call the Vancouver Police Department.
“Hi. I’d like to report a theft.”
The operator asked me for the date and time of the incident, followed by the question, “And what was stolen?”
“Books. The Twilight saga. Except they weren’t my books. They belong to the library. But they were on my card. I didn’t take them out though; someone else did. After they stole my card. I’m calling to report the stolen library card, actually.”
The operator burst into hyena laughter, covered the receiver for a moment to regain her composure, and then asked me again if I was seriously phoning to report a stolen library card.
When I finally received the police report number (and then lost it and then found it again – I’ll spare everyone the details), the library still wasn’t satisfied. Only because I’d brought the police number to a different library than the card was stolen from.
The interaction ended with me near tears wailing at a security guard, “Do you know what I had to read today? The Canadian Tire flier. FOR FUN.”
I think this was the point when they finally found their hearts. Or they realized that I might have a nervous breakdown. Whatever the case, I was given a new library card and was able to leave the building with a full stack of books.
Well. After having my bags checked.
Let this be a lesson to you all: If it ever comes down to a suitcase full of clothes or your computer.. go for the computer.