Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Can You Help Me, Shayna?

Those words, spoken to me last week, made my day. That might sound a little odd, a little simple, but it's true.

At work, there is a gentleman who comes in, Mr. F. He's been coming in for years, apparently, but I've only known him for the past three. Now, although Mr. F is rather particular, I have never had any issues with him - my interactions have always been positive ones.

Since the pandemic though, I've really only seen Mr. F a handful of times. He calls semi-regularly, but it's not always me who picks up the call, and my name isn't always given either. He's the kind of person who has been around just enough that you wonder if he's doing okay, but is never gone so long that you officially start worrying about him.

So you might wonder, given that information, why his most recent visit was so impactful to me. Well, here's the thing - many years ago, Mr. F had a traumatic brain injury. He has a really difficult time remembering details, and often needs things documented in clear steps. He always needs his checkout receipt, and you need to go over his account carefully with him every time to make sure all of the items are returned. But, after many months of not seeing each other, the first words out of Mr. F's mouth to me, were "can you help me, Shayna?"

For whatever reason, Mr. F still remembers my name. I wouldn't have been offended in the least had he recognized my face and nothing else - heck, with half of my face covered by a mask, I wouldn't even have been offended had he not recognized me at all. But there he was, not only remembering my name, but feeling comfortable enough with me to instantly know he was safe in asking me for assistance. And the simple joy of it nearly took my breath away.

So thank you, Mr. F - you are exactly why I am here doing this job.


Tell me about an impactful interaction in your life, whether at work, or in your personal life. Did it help to recharge you? Inspire you?


  1. This is such a sweet story, Shayna! I'm glad Mr. F had an impact on your work life. Working in retail, I tend to focus more on the negative interactions than the positive ones. But when someone simply says: thank you for your help, that really does help to motivate me.

  2. That was sweet! Especially since the gentleman in question has trouble remembering other things. I guess you and your library are "home" or "family" enough to him, no matter how long he may be gone.

  3. What a sweet story. I’m glad Mr. F has you to rely on.

    My grandfather had memory problems in the year or two before he died. I’m grateful for everyone who was patient and kind to him when he couldn’t remember things he used to.

    You’re a kind person.