FFF 03: Library

“Do you guys have 3G or 4G internet here?” the man asked over the counter.

The librarian looked up from her work, the corners of her mouth turning down. “I’m not sure what you mean, sir.”

“Do. You guys. Have. 3G. Or 4G. Internet. Here?” he repeated the question slowly, as if he was speaking to a simpleton.

The librarian’s frown grew. “Sir,” she said calmly, “we have wireless internet service here. It’s also known as Wi-Fi.”

The man seemed agitated. “Yes, but is it 3G or 4G?”

The librarian pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and rose from the desk chair to be eye level with the man. “It’s neither. We have a modem and a wireless router here at the library.”

“What are you talking about?” the man asked, splaying his hands out on the counter as though he was hoping his arms would take root in the desk. “Internet is always 3G or 4G.”

The librarian shook her head. “3G and 4G services come from a cell phone tower direct to your phone, sir, and—”

“How dare you try to keep information from me. You’re a librarian in a library; you’re supposed to help people, not argue with them!”

“Sir, I was just–”

“Is the service like this all over the city? Because if it is, we’ll see how long you people have your jobs! Do you know who I am?”

“Sir, please keep you’re voice down. You’re in a library; you’re disturbing the other patrons.”

“Oh, now you’re telling me what to do, too, are you? This is ridiculous!” The man slammed the book he’d been holding down on the counter with a loud THUMP, strode purposefully back to the chair where he’d been sitting, packed up his things, and walked out without another word.

The other library visitors who’d been watching the altercation looked to the librarian, who shook her head and shrugged as though she didn’t know what his deal was, either. They went back to reading and working, and she picked up the book without bothering to look at the cover or read the title on the spine and put it on the cart behind the desk so it could be re-shelved later.

This post is part of Flash Fiction February.