“I don’t care who did it, don’t make me tell you again!”



Oops, sorry. Hello. Best keep my internal monologue voice down a bit. I do hope you’re well today, perhaps you’ve had a nice dinner, or you’re looking forward to going bowling, who KNOWS. You might on the other hand, have just got in from work, like I have. I work in a library in the southwest side of Glasgow. I quite like it so I do. As you can see from the picture, I have lots of wild adventures with some of my colleagues, like Gemma here, such as putting all the books away. Oh-ho what a night THAT was.

However, some nights (such as tonight) make me realise that I am turning into an Old Man. Here are a few pieces of proof:

  1. I occasionally call small boy-children “son” as in “Here son, put that book back.”
  2. I make a sort of weary groan when sitting down, or bending over to pick something up. My knees also make a funny crack sound.
  3. I own a smoking jacket (not really connected to working in a library, just something I like to mention)
  4. I often find myself shouting phrases such as “Hoaw! Pit that doon! If ye canny behave, yer no gettin on a computer, don’t make me tell ye again!”* and “I don’t care which one of ye it was, if I have to tell ye’s again, you’re all goin oot!”
  5. I have seen children figure out things on the computer/internet faster than me. Case in point: Google Street View.

I’m 22! I’ve got no business being an Old Man, or behaving as such! I remember being a young teen, studying in the very library I work in, showing off in front of girls, being a smart arse and being told off, to Quiet Down, to Sssssh! by one of the very people whom I would eventually work with, a few short years later. How did I so quickly become the Shoosher and no longer the Shooshee? Even adults refer to me as “the man” and not “the boy.”

Go on, give your books to the man.”


I tell myself they mean that i’m THE MAN, i’m the Fonz, the coolest dude…in the….library. But deep down inside, I know that I’m not that man at all…i’m The Man. The enforcer of the rules. I’m the one who tells you that you can’t borrow that book because its reference only, that you have to Ssssh!, that you can’t watch pornography on public library terminals, that you’ll have to turn your music down sir, people are studying. I’m a folk/punk musician by night, playing songs about politics and revolution and fighting the good fight and putting a middle finger up to The Man! Not to take his shit lying down! To fight! Then I spend my time in work….Ssssh-ing.

Fuck it though, its just a job. Plus there’s lots of biscuits. Don’t take it so seriously. Sake.

So the anecdote i’m drifting listlessly towards is from this very night. I was on my own at the counter in my library which is usually fairly busy. As I was serving the counter I became aware of what I can only describe as…a ruckus, over in the junior section of the library. I looked over to see a young ned** pushing and pulling a small girl, eventually pushing her so hard that he nearly knocked her over.


The young delinquent released the girl and sat down at his computer, looking at me. He didn’t leave.

It was at this point that I apparently thought I was Samuel L. Jackson, as I shouted:


The boy promptly left.

I might be turning into an Old Man, or even playing the part of The Man 3 times a week (for good money, I must admit) but getting the opportunity to use sentences like that in real life really make it all worthwhile.

Til next time folks. And don’t run!

love Old Man Shambles x

* Translation for non-Scots

* “Hey there! Put that down! If you can’t behave, you won’t be allowed to use a computer, now don’t make me tell you again!”

** A juvenile delinquent, usually tracksuited. See chav.


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