Thursday, 12 February 2009

For Pat

It's been a tough work week this one. I arrived at work ready to make everyone laugh with my tale of falling flat on my backside outside of McDonalds in the ice on Monday and how it was a good job it was well padded cos it didn't really hurt that much. It was never to be though. I walked into the section as usual and noticed that there was a very sombre tone about libraryland. One of my closest friends in work was waiting to tell me that one of our much loved colleagues had died over the weekend. To say that a state of disbelief rested over us all would be putting it mildly. I thought long and hard about whether to blog about this but then I sat down just now and thought how tickled Pat would be so I've decided I will.

I got an email at work today asking me to write a few words about Pat. It took me a long time to decide what to write, mainly because she wasn't someone you could sum up very easily. To the outside world she was a rather smart, rather well spoken lady. But we in libraryland know that really she could swear worse than a sailor. And did. Frequently. She was never afraid to say exactly what she thought. And usually in the worst language she could dream up. In fact, it would be fair to say that she eff-ed and jeff-ed her way around the library on a daily basis.

She was my journals assistant so I worked very closely with her. There's so many tales I could tell I'm not even sure where to begin. So I'm going to pick out my choice memories and share a few of them with you readers. She was, I believe, a rather dotty old bugger. She walked around on a broken foot for 3 weeks before she finally got herself off to the A&E. A few hours later we all got a bit worried when we heard this tap tap tapping noise - yep that was Pat struggling back into the library on crutches. And she only agreed to go home when she was called a "health and safety issue" needless to say she might have gone home but she didn't do it quietly, there was a few choice words muttered to me as she waited for her taxi.

And she was totally obsessed with the newspapers. They frequently go missing from the building and it became Pat's personal mission to save them all, even the 42p local rag. If she'd have had her way they'd have been under lock and key that only she had access to. I heard a rumour today that the management bods would like to create a commemoration plaque for her. I suggested that it stand above the newspapers with a security strip attached to it and a warning that Pat is watching you! She'd be properly pleased about that.

When we started to clean out her desk we found 14 teaspoons in her top drawer. As well as 6 pairs of scissors, possibly all the pens that ever existed in the world in a carrier bag, a lot of varying sizes of post-it notes - a total stash of stationery! No wonder they took the key to the cupboard away from her! No-one could bring themselves to count the pairs of shoes she had hoarded away in the box under her desk but it was clear what she mainly used to buy from ebay, oh did I not mention she was addicted to that? As I've typed that last paragraph my eyes started to fill up again. I still can't quite believe that it's real. I keep expecting her to hobble over to my desk clutching a journal to ask me if it's gone on claim or not and then eff-ing and jeff-ing her way back to her desk...

We've reached a stage now where we are remembering her with funny stories now and eeeh do you remember when...we had a laugh today as well as a few tears once we'd all sent our words for the email. I summed mine up by saying that she was a wonderfully eccentric character with a wicked dry sense of humour. I'm going to miss her lots and she won't be easily forgotten.

So this is for you Pat. I'll watch over the papers for you... xx


Librarian Girl said...

I am so sorry to hear that. What a wonderful blog post about your friend and co-worker. Hugs from across the sea to you.

Anonymous said...

RIP Pat you will be missed, i just laughed and cried at that Claire, it's a lovely tribute to a very fabby lady, guess that answers the question to where did all the teaspoons go.