Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PPL: Overheard

Killing time but comfortably.

I'm ensconced in a big chair with overstuffed cushions on the main floor of the Plattsburgh Public Library. Upstairs the PPL Board of Trustees is in executive session, meaning this blogger, other members of the media, and the public have to wait here until the meeting is open to all again.

With notepad in hand I scribble some notes. Behind me some library employees discuss various issues concerning the PPL budget shortfall, concerned about four jobs on the chopping block.

Closer to me I hear grumbling. A man sitting at one of the public access computers is thinking out loud to himself about taxpayer's money being wasted. But he's not reacting to a news item on his computer screen about District of Corruption drunken spending, but to the sight of the PPL employees -- who at the moment aren't on the clock -- just standing around and talking.

I can't help but overhear him complain about the apparent (to him) waste of his tax dollars. He talks on, saying that $8.00 an hour times X number of employees times so many work hours per week times 52 weeks in the year -- well, that was big amount of money wasted.

Yup, that's a lotta good money down the crapper IF every employee spent every minute of every work hour goofing off, as it were. But I've never seen that at the library. The PPL employees are already understaffed, trying to keep up as it is. Cut four positions and see how long it'll take for service.

Regarding the employees that triggered the man's personal tirade, one was on vacation and the others were either off-duty, done for the day or on break.

It's been a tense time for the library staff. Since they're human beings, not robots, they're allowed to talk about the proposed cuts hanging over PPL, relieving a bit of stress.

Of course, the man sitting at the computer is allowed to deal with his own tension and express himself -- within reason -- but still...

Two thoughts pop into my head.

First, if you're a guest in someone's home, don't be rude to your host.

Second, if the disturbed man at the computer turns out to be a Tea Party supporter against "socialism," how can he justify using a public access computer free of charge, paid for by taxpayer funds?

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