My university library turned vicious today when they had a policeman threaten to drag me out in handcuffs for "disorderly conduct" because I said "fucking" one time, and not loudly. He called it a "warning," but his attitude was full-bore Authoritarian Condescension. The situation is strange enough that it seems like I shouldn't just let this lie, but what is the best way to complain to the school, officially, without actually doing something brash like suing?
The library at my university, Georgia Southern, in general, sucks. They have a new automated book retrieval system that messes up at times, they have a lot of books off in a warehouse that people only go to once or twice a day, and then only in pairs for safety reasons (if they're short staffed enough that two people can't go, then no one does), and twice in the past I've returned books that got reshelved without getting scanned back into the computer, meaning I ended up with a hold until I ran upstairs and found the book on their shelf to scan in. There are some excellent people who work there, it is true, but there is also sometimes great indifference. They've been known to turn out the lights a half hour early as their way to tell people they were about to close.
Today, earlier, I decided to check if they had the copy of the Codex Seraphinianus
, As Seen On MeFi, that I had requested through Inter Library Loan a week or two ago. It turns out that they had
, and hadn't informed me about it. It was late when I found out, and for some reason they weren't able to check it out, but they asked that I come back the next day, and I did.
When I arrived, I asked about the book, and was told that it had been taken "off hold," meaning, the book was now officially (but not physically
) in progress back to the University of Georgia, and they couldn't check it out to me, not no way not no how. To make a long story short, I called that situation "fucking stupid," and that's when the policeman came over, using his Mr. Rogers voice to deliver his stern warning. I had a strong feeling of indignation over it, and for a moment I felt like I was living (all Bush carping aside please) in a police state.
He made it clear that the cursing was "disorderly conduct in the State of Georgia," but if it was just this I wouldn't be quite so indignant. It seems that the policeman's standing within earshot was no accident. During my discussion with him, he said that I had a prior record of disorderly conduct. He claimed that I had "thrown things" on prior occasions, and that was why he had been called in. Asking him for more details, he said that the things in question were papers. Thinking back, the only instance he could mean had actually been throwing straight down, onto a table to punctuate a statement after one of their prior snafus. Nothing that could interpreted as assault or like one.
Before the police officer was through he had threatened to put me in handcuffs, yet while I was not lie-down-and-roll-over submissive, neither was I disrespectful. I understand that policemen have a tough job, but I am just about the least violent person imaginable. Anyway, the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth, and I'm going to find it difficult to make use of the university's library facilities now.
I recognize that this is Metafilter and that there will probably be a half-dozen folk who take the officer's side. But I feel quite aggrieved here, and considering that I'm not actually
violent (though I am a little dramatic perhaps), I'd like to at least make an effort to get an apology for this, if not for myself than for the next student who goes through something like this. But I'm new at this standing-up-for-myself thing. Does anyone have any tips on how to go about this?