Projections and Reactions


Today a couple notable things happened here at the public, within about 10 minutes of one another.

1) I go to wake up a man who is asleep snoring in the quiet reading room. I know he is snoring because people have politely and reasonably come to complain about it. I approach the reading room and find said man in front of the window with his feet up (shoes off) slumped down snoring in a chair with earphones in. I touch the chair next to his head slightly to try to rouse him without touching him. Nothing. I touch his shoulder just once, and he jumps out of sleep looking at me and yelling about how rude I am that I did that. That he wasn’t sleeping. I said well, we are getting complaints about the snoring. Well I WASN’T asleep, that’s rude you can’t just do that. I left promptly before I said something like…

OH so you must snore when you are awake and also just resting your eyes at the same time. How interesting. Also, put your GD shoes on, this isn’t your f*ing house you are in a public space and literally I’m rude? Go f* yourself. (Look at me I didn’t curse at all!)

At least 2 other people in the room smiled at me as I left. Smiles of condolences. Smiles of YES. I understand. Smiles that say, really? WTF. My people.

If I ever see him again, you can believe I’m not going to help him with anything. Crap I say that today, but I totally will. I’m such a pushover.

Makes me think of projection though, and everything I’m learning about it. I use it to try to understand the very strange reactions I get from people at times. Maybe he was feeling rude or embarrassed for being asleep like that in public? He’s probably sad and lonely and frustrated, which in and of itself sucks. He could feel that people are always being rude to him because of his attitude. Maybe his dog just died, or he has to take care of a sick relative, or nobody ever told him that they loved him, I have literally no freaking idea. I’ve had encounters with him before when he rambles on for 30 minutes about how horrible our fantasy selection is and why don’t we buy all the books that he thinks we should buy, etc. I can only guess, maybe he has everything he’s ever wanted in life and he’s just a jerk. That’s the thing about this whole game of being a human, appearances don’t mean much at all. The inner world and exterior package can be so different.

2) The tech air isn’t working again and its 80 degrees in here with about 20 people. I know usually it’s not a big deal in mid-November to not have your air work, but here in so Cal it’s still 90 degrees every day. So it smells in here, again. And it’s hot af in here, again. It’s hard to concentrate. I was supposed to help a lady email herself the resume she spent hours working on. After helping to save to the desktop and letting her know it had to be closed out in order to attach, I walked away, assuming that she was going to email it to herself (she seemed savvy enough). Then another patron who tends to be quite manic comes in, talking in a yell, leaning over people to grab paper and slamming her plastic bag on the keyboard so hard everybody turns to look at her. She manages to make the screen shift to vertical view, and I have no idea how so as she’s freaking out about it I had to reset the computer. Now she’s yelling about how she has to pee and swinging her bag about again. OK ok, I have to turn back to the lady I’m helping, and for some reason, I think that she’s already emailed to herself and now she wants to delete from the desktop. So what do I do? Delete it. Not even recycle bin delete, I Shift delete the darn thing because when I do something I just can’t do it halfway.

Then the realization hits. OH crap. She hasn’t emailed herself yet. AAAAAND I’m a humungous screw up. I had to look her in the eye and apologize and take full credit for being an absolute mess up here. At least we had printed it out so I offered to scan it and email it to her, which is usually something we don’t do but I would literally bend over backwards to make this up to her. She was so nice, and so gracious, and understood completely and didn’t freak out at all. I wanted to high five her, then go buy us both a very stiff drink, and give her a sash that says most awesome library patron with a small trophy. I wanted her to get all the good things in life such as kittens, ice cream cones, and a satisfying partnership.

I guess what I learned from today is… Try to be like person number two. The large range of people you can be and experiences that you can have in one day in the public sphere can be quite eye opening. We have every single one of these reactions within ourselves, and most reactions that are negative are due to underlying causes not the actual occurring event. We have all done something like this, we have all been person number one and person number two. Just remember, the more you are like person number two, the more likely you would be to receive a kitten or ice cream cone for just being a downright good reactor.


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