Saturday, April 9, 2011

library liveblog

I'm alone at the reference desk for 8 hours, here's an example of my day:

9:30 AM Older gentleman, wearing his wristwatch nearer to his elbow - "How do I get the internet to stop remembering my card number and PIN? I clicked 'ok' without reading the box."

10:00 AM College student, still in PJs, hair standing up on the back of his head, rubbing his eyes. "I'm looking for this book I can't believe you don't have it. It's called On the Razor's Edge." Sounds simultaneously disgusted and stoned.

Me, looking cute with lipgloss: "Do you know the author?"

"No. But it's an old book."

"Do you mean THE Razors Edge, by Maugham?"

More eye rubbing. "Uhh. Yeah, I guess."

"Perhaps that's why you couldn't find it. It helps to have the correct title." I give him a librariany look.

10:06 AM Woman prints 6 pages. The first two sheets are free and the others are 10 cents each. I have to do the math for her.

10:07 AM The silent Russian guy with the crazy hair checked out my rack and nodded at me while signing up to use the computer.

10:25 AM When I wish you a "Good morning" the polite thing is to respond. Bastard.

10:50 AM Mother is looking for her little boy and calling out, "Shane! Shane!"

11:02 AM Things have settled down, I'm going back in the stacks.

11:30 AM I wore short sleeves. What was I thinking? Time for the space heater.

11:32 AM Fifth time I've had to point to the tax forms. And, no, putting up a sign wouldn't help...even if it's hot pink, in bold font and 72 pts high. Believe me, we've tried. This year, someone put the forms behind a pole. It's like a scavenger hunt!

11:35 AM Someone smells like dirty cat litter. Eeep. I'll be in the stacks.

11:57 AM Older woman in hot pink lipstick approaches, looking bashful. "I'm looking for a new book but I'm not sure of the title."

"Do you know the author's name?"

She shakes her head. "No, but it's that woman who wrote a book about that racehorse. And the title is 'Unbroken' or something like that."

"Seabiscuit? Laura Hillenbrand?"

"Yes! Her new book! You guys are amazing."

I beamed. Yes. Yes, we are.

12:03 PM Had to get a VHS tape from the basement. Why won't people buy DVD players?

12:09 PM The creepy guy I almost shanked for trying to hug me a few months ago is now coughing all over my personal space. I also really wish he wouldn't wear sweatpants - his crotch is directly at eye level when I'm sitting at my desk.

12:55 PM Elderly man wants information on the city of Arkhangelsk in Russia. Not history, he knows that and is telling me all about it. He wants to know about the city today, what it's like now. I print out a bunch of pages from Wikipedia and Wikitravel for him, no charge. I'm a sucker for these old vets and their WWII stories.

1:00 PM LUNCH!

1:55 PM It doesn't matter if you're sitting at your desk with ear buds in, behind a sign that reads "Librarian is at lunch, be back @ 2PM" at least 5 people will immediately descend upon you to ask their burning questions of earth shattering importance that absolutely cannot wait a few more minutes.

1 - "I can't find this book. It's 612.7" "Do you know the title?" "No."
2 - "Do you have a bible?"
3 - "Can I borrow some scotch tape?" (borrow?)
4 - "Can you find these DVDs for me?"
5 - "I can use that counter to organize my papers?"


2:25PM Guy who wouldn't say "good morning" is still here. He's now paying for his printouts by dropping change on my desk as if I was nothing more than a toll booth turnstile. I'm not sure he's aware that I'm a person. I wonder if he's single. (and by that I mean, I BET he's single because he's a JERK.)

3:04 PM Talking beer with the guy who fixes the miniature train at the WBC. Yes, he's wearing his stripey engineer's cap.

3:20 PM Hey, wait a minute! A little earlier I saw a waitress from the brewery. She waved to me from the children's department. I think the universe is telling me I need a beer.

4:20 PM No workday at the library would be complete without an appearance by the little gang of delinquents. They start shouting "PENIS!" again, I swear to God I'm calling the cops.

Ah, forget it, I'm kicking them out just on principle.

4:41 PM The first "GTFO" announcement just came over the PA...and of course Snotman just arrived and sat down at a computer.

4:45 PM Announcement #2. I need a nap.

4:47 PM OMG! There's a man with a gun in the building! (Hah. It's a cop. Just kidding.)

5:14 PM 74 people used the computers today and not one of them needed my help pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL. Bravo, patrons, bravo! Only took an entire decade but that's what I call an improvement. Next lesson? File -> Print preview.

6:11 PM home. Safely ensconced on the sofa with a cat, watching season 2 of Dollhouse, having a well deserved beer and painting my nails a cheery periwinkle.

So there you have it - my glamorous librarian life, no pencil skirt required.


Sdv1949 said...

@10:07, the only proper response is to rack your slide....

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Rack of what? Baby back ribs? Mmmmm, BBQ ribs...

Alan said...

Did you say, "Come back Shane!"

Mike W. said...

10:07 AM The silent Russian guy with the crazy hair checked out my rack and nodded at me while signing up to use the computer.

The progression there is gross considering what the primary use of your library computers seems to be.

I'll bet all the really fun stuff happens back in the stacks. That's where the secret librarian club meets right?

rotter99 said...

I'd post something but I'd just get yelled at....

John Richardson said...

Are you sure that something smelling like dirty cat litter isn't coming from the Government Documents section?

Bubblehead Les. said...

"11:30 am: I wore Short Sleeves. What was I thinking?..." AHA! So it's okay for YOU to BARE ARMS in the LIbrary, but not others? HAH!

BobG said...

Sounds like the people I used to talk to when I did tech support.

PPPP said...

Some of them sound bright enough to have been the originator of this little gem:

Excuse me? Can you tell me the number for 911?

Old NFO said...

I admire you for putting up with what you have to every day... I couldn't do it!

Anonymous said...

"I give him a librariany look."

Hahaha! I know that look well, my mom used to be a Librarian at the state reform school.

d said...

Nice Spork!

You're a hero, I'm unable to do customer service without being either:
a- condescending
b- sarcastic

Lissa said...

Target Greek yogurt, right? And a reduced fat string cheese and salad. Throw a handful of slivered almonds on top and some Kraft Free Caesar Italian dressing and you're literally eating my lunch!

Glenn B said...

Sounds like a great job for retirement, where do I sign up?

Willorith said...

Are you sure that was a Pole? It may have been a Lithuanian.

Mike W. said...

My mom read this post. After she got done laughing she said "she should call the cops on the penis yellers. That's disorderly conduct.

She works in Family Court on the juvenile cases so she gets stuff like that all thet time.

DaddyBear said...

You have way more patience for your fellow human being than I have.

BTW, a pencil skirt may not be required, but it is appreciated.

Kristin said...

When people ask to borrow scotch tape and staples (not the stapler staples) from my desk I always tell them only if your promise to bring them back when you are done. I usually get a look of confusion and when I am really luck I get asked "How?" with the confused look. It gets me through the day. Well I also post random signs around my desk just to see who is paying attention.

I work at the local Community College in what is called the Student Engagement Center.