I relatively frequently visit my local university library as it is conveniently located. Depending on which country you live in, you may be surprised to hear that in Sweden, the character of libraries has been changing for the worse. They are nowadays meeting places for people. I would even find whispering inappropriate, but you often encounter study groups who talk loudly, completely disregarding that others may want to work without interruptions.
Another trend, which I have seen being spearheaded by women, is to eat (!) in the library. The most egregious case was a young student who watched some TV show on her laptop, perhaps surprisingly via headphones instead of loudspeakers, while munching on some take-out food. I could not believe it.
All of this is pretty bad. However, there is also a designated study area in this library, in which people are supposed to not talk. This is frequently ignored, however. Just last week, some brown-skinned student did a VoIP call, and two girls shared one cubicle, chatting away about random bullshit and looking pretty upset when I reprimanded them. They continued; I told them off again. They continued some more, to prove a point and then, while looking at me dismissively, left. Some other woman entered that room without closing the door behind her to access the bookshelves in the quiet study area. This made it impossible to get any work done because it’s pretty loud outside. When I asked her to close the door, she acted surprised at first, but she then realized that she really is in a quiet study area, apologized, and closed the door. It is mind-boggling how inconsiderate some people are. The last three women mentioned where white and didn’t look poor. Does the white middle class no longer raise their kids? (EDIT: As I am editing this post prior to publishing it, some ditz is loudly clipping her effing nails.)
Yet, all of that is nothing compared to the behavior of one of their employees. This is what happened: a fat feminist with short hair and tattoos walks into the room, with some other woman in tow. She then talks rather loudly about the various books and how they are organized. I asked her to keep quiet because she’s in a library. My very words were: “Would you mind keeping it down, please?”, to which she responded, “No.” I thought I didn’t hear properly. She turned back to the shelf and now spoke even louder. The other woman was whispering, by the way. I addressed her again, this time a lot more sternly. Her response was that she is an employee of the library and that she has to talk to the student. I then, rather aggressively, pointed out to her that as an employee she should serve as a positive example for others and not ignore the rules of the library as she represents that institution. She did not like to hear that and walked out. It was more of a stomping than walking, though.
Now you may ask why it matters that I get disturbed by inconsiderate bitches. Yet, there is so much more going on. Institutions are upheld by rules. If you do not maintain them, their culture will deteriorate. It’s similar to the broken window theory: if there is a broken
Did you enjoy this article? Excellent! If you want to read more by Aaron, check out his excellent books, the latest of which is Meditation Without Bullshit.
Aaron is available for one-on-one consultation sessions if you want honest advice.
Lastly, donations for the upkeep of this site are highly welcome.