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T. John McKeown

A student entered the PSU library at 4:40 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon and approached the computer lab on the main floor. Three people waited in line to use a computer, and the student would have to join the line.

While standing in line, he made note of one broken computer and one that was not being used. Well, at least no person was sitting at it. The only thing that occupied the chair in front of this lone computer was a coat.

After 10 minutes of watching the coat sit motionless, the two workers at the help desk were queried as to how long a coat could “hold” a computer for someone who had left. Was it 10 minutes, or 20? Or was there even a coat-holding-the-computer limit? The worker said there was no rule for this and dismissed the question.

Another 10 minutes slowly ground by and the coat was still using the computer. The waiting student started wondering why a coat was allowed to go to PSU. Did this coat pay the same tuition as corporal entities? Or was it given a break because of its less-than-human status? Whatever the case, the coat refused to use the computer at which it was stationed. It just sat there on the chair and didn’t even attempt to communicate with the computer. How rude, for, as people stood in line to wait for an opportunity to actually use the computer, this coat just sat and took up space.

The workers were once again queried about the coat and one of them begrudgingly went over to see what the story with the coat was. He came back and said there was nothing he could do. A computer came open at 5:05 and the student started working on his project, all the while, tracking the incredibly inconsiderate and rude coat.

When leaving the computer lab the student noticed there was still a line of students waiting to use a computer. The coat seemed to have made a friend with the person sitting at the computer next to it. This person would look around and occasionally type something on the coat’s computer. Thanks to this student, the coat made a friend and was finally using the computer it had been seated at for the last 50 minutes.

The inability of the workers to remove the coat to open the computer up to a real live human is asinine. I can see “holding” your computer if you need to use the restroom, but this was ridiculous. The computer lab technicians said they don’t have any guidelines about using a personal item to hold a computer while people stand in line. Maybe it is time they did.

P.S. The author wishes it to be announced that he has “nothing against coats,” and does not intend to cast aspersions upon coats in general. This guest columnist (whose opinions, especially regarding coats and other forms of outerwear, are not reflective on views of the Vanguard staff) further hopes that he will cause little in the way of mental anguish in pointing out this certain inconsiderate coat.