Shady children are possibly the result of a shady environment, and dare I say the result of shady parenting. I work at a community college library part-time. Slim Shady-Daddy came in the library and tried to get over on the “system.” Really? What the hell is wrong with people? If we don’t live a life of integrity, do you not think your children will inherit that same skill set or lack thereof? Disclaimer: This does not apply to all parents or parenting styles. I am not one nor can I relate. I can just tell you what I observe. Some people have this “get over” mentality. Always looking for a shortcut or a quick fix. So this man of about 50+ years came into the library and asked for a study room. Study rooms at the community college are for ENROLLED students (paying tuition, NOT faculty or the general public)! I asked him how many will be in the study room and he said, “Two.” I followed protocol and asked for his student ID, which he willingly provided. In the meantime, I had another group of students ask for a study room. I had no vacancies…there was no room at the library. Shortly thereafter, Slim Shady-Daddy came up to the reference desk and asked how he could print something out. “Ding-Ding-Ding” went the bells in my head! An ENROLLED student would have a college login ID and password. I said to Slim Shady-Daddy, “Sir, if you’re enrolled, your college login and password will work on any campus computer.” Then it all comes out. “Oh (heh, heh, heh), I’m not enrolled this semester.” My eyebrows raised and to the best of my ability I tried not to give him the “You tried it,” slow, prolonged blink look, but to no avail. So in my most professional-trying-not-to-make-your-ass-feel-stupid voice I respond, “Sir, some services are limited to enrolled students only.” Dumb ass responded, “Well, I thought this is a community library.” The intelligent librarian responded, “Community college and public libraries are not defined the same. This is not a public library. The general public may use the our library as a guest and you must complete required paperwork in order to do so. Also, by signing in, with a valid driver’s license, I am allowed to log you into a computer with a guest login should you request one.” He continued to play dumb. No worries. If that is the example he chose to set for his daughter, who appeared to be in middle school, then so be it. Now get this! Initially, I was not aware that the party of two included his middle school aged daughter. That was the beginning of the deception. His deception. I know where it began, but where does it end?
This is why students at the high school come in the library with that attitude. You need to be honest and kind to people in a service industry. Heck, just be kind…PERIOD! No one owes you anything. I am here to assist and serve, not to give stuff away or pucker up and kiss your behind! You may be a prima donna or head honcho at home, but not at school, or other public places. My world does not revolve around you. There is something called integrity, a lost art that our society has forgotten. It is not a learned behavior. It is taught. Now, I will say that some parents do some serious, on point parenting, but to no avail when they have a child who just refuses to apply the values that were instilled in them.
I’m not a shady person. First of all, it’s not in my genetic makeup. Secondly, the Holy Spirit will not allow me to lie. I’ve never been able to do it,and I am easily convicted when I do anything wrong. Lastly, my mother worked too hard to provide a good life for my sister and I. She is one of the few people I’ve ever met who has truly walked her talk. Her honesty and integrity caused her to struggle in providing for us. In reporting her actual finances, it caused our receipt of public assistance to be drastically cut, while young teen mothers reaped benefits from the local Department of Social Services with WIC and other assisted programs. In any event, in doing so, she showed me the kind of person I want to be. I don’t try to get over on people. I choose to live with the consequences regardless of what they will be, even if it means going without. Sometimes, if you’re honest, the consequences may not be as bad just because you demonstrated some integrity.
Again, my disclaimer is: I. Am. Not. A. Parent. I can only tell you what I observe. I see it in situations with parents like Slim Shady-Daddy, and I see it in the students that work with daily. Lately, I’ve gotten to the place where I have to call them out on their lack of integrity. It is, after all, part of my responsibility to help cultivate productive members of society…our future leaders of America.