I often tutor at local libraries, and there is one branch in particular that is most preferable. It's large and in a good location and there are private study rooms that I can reserve in advance. I call a day ahead and reserve a room through the security desk.
When I arrive, I check in at the security station, and one of the guards accompanies me to the room to either unlock it for me or to boot the previous occupants out. I've done this for years, so at this point, the security guards - of which there are just three - and I are pretty familiar with each other.
Last Friday evening, I was with a student at the Barnes and Noble coffee shop. It was for a relatively short meeting, and while coffee shops aren't always ideal for tutoring, it was fine for just our quick review.
So I'm there, and I get that feeling that someone is watching me. You know that feeling? I look up and who is there staring at me from the counter but Security Guard Bob from the library.
I realized then that I've never seen Security Guard Bob anywhere but the library. It was a little strange to see him with his clothes on.... regular clothes that is, instead of his security uniform.
Anyway, he's looking at me as I'm there with this teenager and our books, and his eyes are all,
I suddenly felt guilty! It's silly, but I felt like I was caught cheating on the library. My eyes said back to Security Guard Bob, "This isn't what it looks like! Really!"
But then I start thinking, wait a minute, and my eyes accussingly say to Security Guard Bob, "What are YOU doing at a book store??"
And then his eyes are all, "I'm just getting a coffee so shut up!"
So mine are back to him, "I can tutor wherever I want, we never said anything about being exclusive!"
With that, he grabs his BOOKSTORE coffee and heads to a different table. That was the end of it.
I'm tutoring this evening, so yesterday I called the library to reserve a room. I'm not sure who I spoke with, if it was Security Guard Bob or not. They all kind of sound alike on the phone. But when he asked my name and I told him "AbbyNormal", there was a pause. And then
He assigned me the GOOD room.