We've been dealing with poop at the library. I know, I know, you're all wondering why a hallowed institution such as the library would be dealing with feces, but we deal with it more often than one would think.
Our main issue right now is that our bathroom drains are backing up and sewage is spilling out onto the floor in the public AND the staff bathrooms. Now I could give a flying hoot about the public bathrooms but the staff ones? I like working in a place where there is a functioning toilet. And running water. It's the little things you know?
Anyways so our bathrooms have been shut intermittently for the past few weeks because every time they "fix" the bathrooms, they magically become "unfixed" soon after and the RAW SEWAGE comes back. Lather, rinse, repeat.
It's gross. It's yucky and it's times like these where I'm am STOKED I am not in charge. :)
Now the plumbers tell us that the culprit is the massive amounts of toilet paper/paper towels/newspapers/soda cans that are being flushed down. This makes us librarians (or in my case, librarian-in-training) suspicious of all of our patrons. We are carefully eyeing each and every person who enters the facilities to see if they look like a paper towel flusher or not. Needless to say, we came up with a plethora of suspects, but NUMERO UNO on our list was....
PURPLE SHIRT MAN
He's older, he lives out of his car and we think that perhaps he is not able to afford diapers and is not making them out of newspapers and/or paper towels. Which is sad, but NOT OK. He was very eager for our bathrooms to reopen and once we had identified him as our culprit I'll admit I took a little glee in denying him access to our bathrooms (note: there are public restrooms in the next building over from ours, we were directing people there). BWHAHAHAHAHAH.
But, unfortunately, the problems still persisted even though our bathrooms were closed. The plumbers came to fix the bathrooms, they fixed them, and the next morning they would be backed up again. This was perplexing because no one was using the bathrooms between the time they were "fixed" and the time that they backed up. So, we librarians (or librarian-in-training), put on our Sherlock Holmes hats again and started looking for clues as to the next likely subject....
We've been having some issues with our janitors. They break things. Lots of things. Our goose, our vacuum.. it's been an on going issue. So when we had to call the plumbers (and the facilities guys) back out to our branch to fix the problem AGAIN, we mentioned our next likely suspect to them and they decided to snake the janitors sink. And what do you think they found? Rags. Cleaning rags, down the drain. It was the janitors the whole time. We felt kind of guilty about suspecting PURPLE SHIRT MAN. But we got over it quickly.
So, in summary, don't let cleaning rags go down the drain. It backs up the sewer lines. Also, I learned what an "oven mitt" refers to. I was horrified and will now be using the phrase "pot holder" because "oven mitt" now has a negative connotation to it.