darchildre: second doctor playing solitaire (bored now)
After a lovely (if dentistry-dominated) four-day weekend wherein I did not have to work at my un-air conditioned library, I am now back. Everything is dreadful.

Here's the story: we have a portable air conditioning unit. It's one of the ones you can wheel around and has a hose that goes out the window*. We just hired a new head of Facilities for the library system, who recently came to tour all the branches and find out what we'd particularly want from him. We impressed upon him very strongly the fact that our branch is unacceptably hot, to the point that we've sometimes had to close early. He said he would look into a solution for us, and at least try to get us a second air conditioner. Which he did last Friday.

It doesn't work.

Or, rather, we can't use it. Because using both of them at the same time overloads the circuits in our building, shutting off all our lights and computers. Probably, we should have looked into that before trying to get a second unit. But we didn't, and we had such high hopes, which are now all dashed.

My manager is considering changing our open hours, so we open earlier in the day and close earlier in the afternoon. I am still voting for hibernating till October.







*We also have a variety of arguments about said airconditioning unit. I think we should close all the windows and doors when we have it on, in hopes that it will cool all the air without us trying to aircondition all of Kitsap. My manager thinks we should leave windows or doors open, "so the hot air has somewhere to go". And the coworker I work with the most is slightly claustrophobic and says she can't work without at least a little airflow. So.
darchildre: ninth doctor and rose viewing earth from space (...and i feel fine)
Today is officially the first day of It's Too Hot In The Library For Human Life So You Get To Go Home Early, which is not my favorite thing, but is definitely better than standing around in over 80-degree weather at work all day.

Unfortunately, that means it also the season of Arguing About Air Conditioning, because my manager and I have very different ideas on how it works. She thinks we should run the portable air conditioning unit with all the windows open "so the hot air has somewhere to go". I think we should shut all the windows and deal with the temporary discomfort till the air cools down, because I can still hear my mother telling me to shut the door - we don't want to air condition the whole world!

At least my manager isn't also running her humidifier this year.
darchildre: green ultra magnified bacteria.  text:  "their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold." (what man knows kadath?)
So, we've been doing a lot of rearranging in the library over the past few weeks, and a lot of book-weeding as a result. Today, a coworker and I were discarding a bunch of weeded books, and she remarked that a lot of our books on the history of Antarctica were going. I mentioned that maybe we might get some new ones and she said something about the history of Antarctica not having changed a whole lot recently.

It was only at the last possible moment that I remembered that said coworker a) has actually been to Antarctica several times and knows actual things about its actual history and b) is not at all a geek. And thus, she is pretty much exactly the wrong audience for jokes about shoggoths and sinister penguins.

Which is a shame, as opportunities for jokes about shoggoths and sinister penguins really don't come up all that often.
darchildre: moody black-and-white crow looking thoughtful (crow is thoughtful)
Things:

- The roadsides of the roads I drive on to get to work every day are currently covered in fireweed. And foxglove, and daisies, and hawksbeard, and several other flowers I can't identify (yet), but it's the fireweed that makes me unreasonably happy every time I see it.

( - It's a UPG thing. Fireweed is a Loki flower for me. Also, it's very pretty.)

- I understand that there are a lot of people who disagree with me on this issue and think it's perfectly acceptable to blow their noses in public, but surely we can all agree that it's gross and unseemly when you do it two feet away from a person who's trying to check out your library books for you. Because ew.

- I made Mom watch the Thrilling Adventure Hour concert dvd with me. Which was so great, OMG. And she enjoyed it, so now I'm trying to convince her to listen to the podcast. Or at least the Sparks Nevada bits.

- Last night, I had a dream that I was walking through the woods looking at birds, and I was really excited, because they were all new birds and they stood really still so I could look at them, and I was going to get to add so many birds to my List of Birds I Have Seen. And then I woke up and I'm still unreasonably annoyed that none of them were real birds.
darchildre: a mad scientist lady doing mad science (malita is doing SCIENCE)
I think I have finally emerged victorious against smarmy-joke-telling dude. He came in just now and did, as always, come straight to my station to check out, but merely wished me a good evening before walking over to my coworker and telling his terrible joke* to her. (I don't wish him on her in the slightest, but she doesn't have the same history with him that I do and thus has only had to put up with the jokes.)

Triumph, Galatea!





*What is a tree's favorite drink? Root beer.

I'd still dislike him if they were better jokes, but it would be easier to deal with.
darchildre: moody black-and-white crow looking thoughtful (crow is thoughtful)
Yesterday, I had a day off and Mom and I went to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, where we saw a great many birds, several of which were new to me. Including a pair of cinnamon teals, which are my new favorite water birds - they're so pretty! And we got to watch a great blue heron catch and eat two fish. So that was awesome.

Today, I am at work and just had the following conversation:

Patron: I had some items on hold that were supposed to be held till yesterday. Are they still on the hold shelf?

Me: ...no.

Oh, people. Think it through.
darchildre: lieutenant braca, smirking (smirk)
We have a frequent patron at the library - he's been coming in as long as I've worked here and he used to mildly harass me. Not the kind of thing you could actually call him on: teasing that was just on the edge of mean-spirited, condescension. The kinds of things certain kinds of smug, pettily vicious men do to certain kinds of women. In any case, I don't like him, and he almost always makes an effort to check out at my station because he knows that.

He's not as unpleasant now as he once was, and basically just makes a point to tell a terrible joke to me every time he comes in. This is, on the face of it, not that bad, but I very much dislike him and I don't enjoy listening to his smug voice telling jokes.

Today, he came in and, after I'd checked out his books, said, "Did you hear the one about the neutron that walked into the bar?"

Now, as it happens, that is a joke that I tell a lot, when it is an appropriate time for telling bad jokes*. So I said, "Y'know, I think I have heard that one."

Which appeared to derail him completely. He blinked at me silently for a long moment and then said, "I guess I'll have to come up with another one, then." And gathered his books and left.

I will admit to feeling a certain malicious sense of triumph.






*But not an appropriate time for jokes that involve homicidal nuns or dead babies. These situations come up more often than you'd think.
darchildre: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
Dear library patron,

Please do not call me "dear girl". You are not my grandmother - you are, in fact, only 9 years older than me. 9 years. Also, you do not know me and thus have even less license to call me condescending names. I don't care if you think it's cute. It's belittling and overly familiar and is therefore rude. Cut it out.

I am too old for Archie Goodwin to date, ma'am. I am no one's "dear girl".
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
Dear Dude who comes to the library to place holds on dvds everyday and can never remember titles,

It is a good thing for you that I'm good at remembering the things you've checked out before because otherwise, and also that I really like The Jungle Book, because otherwise you would actually have gotten the movie of Rikki-tikki-tavi instead of Kon-tiki and you would not have been happy.

"Wait, are we talking about a mongoose or a raft?" is not a sentence I anticipated saying today.
darchildre: herbert is breaking his pencils because you are so dumb.  text:  "you said *what* now?" (herbert is smarter than you)
Things people have said to me today:

1) At the dentist, my hygienist told me one of my fillings was leaking. Oh my god, why would you say that? Just tell me it needs to be replaced - that is literally all I need to know about these foreign objects you have inserted into my teeth. When the cyborg revolution comes, my teeth are also something that I will upgrade.

2) At the library, a patron asked me if I could check and see if he'd checked out a certain item before. I told him that I can't, because we don't keep a record of what you check out after you've checked it in, in order to protect our readers' privacy. But this patron is a little bit of a crank and acted surprised that we aren't spying on him. "Just the CIA, then," he said, "and the Democratic party." I told him that I couldn't speak to that but that we don't keep records of check outs after the items are returned, at which point he said, "I bet you approve of pornography in the library, don't you?" Sir, you are old enough to be my grandfather - I do not want to talk about pornography with you, or indeed any of my library patrons. (For the record, though: I have no objection to porn in the library, if you're not breaking the law or bothering other patrons. Maybe don't watch porn on the patron computers, though - that's tacky.)
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
My new nametag-lanyard-thing has a bitey-clip at the bottom for...something. I'm not sure what they think we're going to be clipping to the bottom of our nametags. Anyway.

I am super excited about this because it means that now I have a silent and easy-to-reach fidgeting device that I am required to wear on my person the whole time I'm at work. So convenient!
darchildre: text only:  "Circumlocution:  It's a way of speaking around something.  A digression.  Verbosity." (our little sillinesses of manner)
Things:

- Went to Emerald City Comicon this past weekend with my sisters, which was pretty much exhausting and honestly, not as fun as I'd hoped. I mean, I had a pretty good time, but there are just too many people and the panel format doesn't allow for discussion and, really, it's just not the kind of con I enjoy. (Plus, standing on the crowded show floor for more that five minutes made me literally feel like I wanted to cry, just from overstimulation.) So, I will probably not be back next year. Maybe next year I will try to go back to Wiscon instead.

- Though, I will admit, hearing the current creative team on Batgirl talk about the book was pretty cool. (Also, I am so excited for the upcoming Black Canary book, OMG.)

- The library is unveiling our new brand today, which...okay, I am not a sales-and-marketing kind of person, I understand why this sort of thing is important but I find it hard to get excited about. Mostly, it means that I have a new nametag. Which is on a lanyard now, so while I will be wearing something that obviously marks me as a library employee (which will make my managers happy), it will also be something that is easily manipulated to not obviously show my name (which will make me happy). So that's an improvement.

- I am going through one of my periods of being actively fannish about Discworld. This is always a little weird, because Discworld is normally just part of the background noise of daily life - my bedtime audiobook is a Discworld novel 95% of the time. I enjoy them as I'm going to sleep and basically don't think about them during the day. Except now I am actually reading one of them, and also reading fanfic. It is very exciting.

- Last night, I was seized by the urge to rewatch Farscape. (Or, let's be honest - an urge to rewatch all the Scorpius bits of Farscape.) I'm going to wait and see if the urge lasts till this weekend before embarking, because that is a perilous journey, fraught with emotion. (And also fraught with complaining about the general lack of the type of fanfic I want to see in the world, let's be real. I will be on my deathbed complaining about the internet's general lack of Scorpius porn.)
darchildre: text:  library rules 1) silence 2) books must be returned by due date 3) do not interfere with the nature of causality (library rules)
If you work in a library, maybe don't do this:

Coworker, after handing over a cart of items from the bookdrop: Okay, here's the cart. Now I'm going to go wash my hands.

Me, as they walk away: ...why?





(Evidently, the hand washing had little to do with the cart, but still.)
darchildre: herbert is breaking his pencils because you are so dumb.  text:  "you said *what* now?" (herbert is smarter than you)
Things you don't want your supervisor to say as you begin your workday:

"So, I can't tell you why because of HIPAA reasons, but don't sit in the armchair in the breakroom until we get it cleaned, okay?"

...

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
Dear library patron,

So, you've been calling here every couple of days for a couple of weeks now, and somehow, I always seem to pick up the phone. And you're kind of overly-familiar to my mind, but I'm aware that I'm a lot more uptight about that then other people, and you never remember to give your last name, but that's manageable. Previously, you've called asking me to check on a hold for you, or to place one, or to see if we have an item in the system. That is, of course, totally fine - that's my job.

But yesterday, you called and asked me to read you a poster on a bulletin board in the lobby - not a library poster, not a library bulletin board, pulling me away from the desk. Slightly less okay and a little irritating. And tonight, you called because a meeting of your condo board was being held in the community center, you weren't able to attend, and you wanted me to bring some questions to the person running the meeting.

Lady, that is not my job. It's not something I feel comfortable doing, and it's not within the realm of things you can legitimately ask of me as a library employee. That is in the realm of a personal favor and, as such, I am within my rights to say no. And when I do so - when I say "I'm sorry, but I can't do that" - you don't get to sound snotty and ask why not.

I am not your secretary.
darchildre: children reading books in a field. (books are for adventure!)
Yesterday, the children's librarian at Bainbridge made a difficult decision - we have a bunch of John Bellairs hardcovers with the Edward Gorey illustrations, and they just don't check out. They've consistently been on our dusty shelf reports (the reports of books that don't ever get checked out) for years now and we just don't have space to keep them. So they had to be weeded.

Now, this is a tragic thing. But, on the upside for me, she knows that I also love John Bellairs and she wanted the satisfaction of knowing that at least some of the books would be going to a loving home. Which is why I now have hardcover copies of The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb and The Secret of the Underground Room with the Edward Gorey illustrations.



Friends! Do you like: kid-lit, excellent writing, gorgeously spooky things that aren't gory, inter-generational friendships, well-researched occult phenomena, American small-town life in the late 1940's, and happy endings that usually involve eating cookies? Then you should go to your local library and get some John Bellairs - save them from the dusty shelf report. You will not be disappointed.

There are three series, each about a different boy and his elderly friend: Lewis Barnavelt (and his uncle Jonathan and their neighbor, Mrs Zimmerman, both of whom are witches), Anthony Monday (and Miss Eels, a librarian at the library where Anthony volunteers), and Johnny Dixon (and Professor Childermass). I'll give you a recommendation from each series:

For Lewis Barnavelt, you should start at the beginning with The House with a Clock in its Walls. Lewis comes to live with his uncle Jonathan, but Jonathan's house used to belong to a wizard working to bring about the end of the world and there is a clock hidden somewhere in the house, ticking down to Doomsday. I basically stole this book from my third grade teacher and read the cover off before I returned it to her.

For Anthony Monday, try The Dark Secret of Weatherend, in which Anthony and Miss Eels have to stop an evil wizard from transforming the world into an icy wasteland. There's a scene in this book where they almost get killed by leaves that I think about every autumn.

And for Johnny Dixon, start with The Curse of the Blue Figurine. There's ghosts, dead priests, possession, Egyptian artifacts, and evil magic rings. It's pretty great. Honestly, all the Johnny Dixon books are pretty great.

There's also an adult novel - The Face in the Frost - which is about two wizards and is lovely (and scary enough that I don't listen to the audiobook at bedtime). Well worth checking out.

So go - read John Bellairs! And then come back here and talk to me about it, because these books were a mainstay of my childhood and I don't get to talk about them nearly enough.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
Oh god, the ebola guy from this post returned the movie Outbreak today. And wanted to put it back on hold because his daughter is coming from Christmas. Fortunately, he latched onto my coworker today and not me but he did tell her, "And I think your helper there needs to see it."

1) Fuck you, sir, do you think you could have found a more dismissive and condescending way of referring to me? I am an intelligent adult woman who works here in her own right - I'm nobody's "helper".

2) When I told him that I didn't think I'd be watching it, he said, "Oh, so you're squeamish," in this very contemptuous way. Y'know what? Yes, I am. I am aware of my limits as to media consumption and I know that stories about realistic disease outbreaks make me very uncomfortable, so if I don't need to be exposed to them, I choose not to be. I also, if I can help it, don't watch realistic surgery, possession horror, or things that contain repeated rhythmic electronic sounds. Because I get to choose the fictional media I consume. This isn't a real-life news issue that I'm choosing not to watch - it's a frelling fictionalized disaster-thriller created to be entertainment. You don't get to shame me because I don't want to watch it.

I know my coworkers think he's an amusingly cranky curmudgeon, but he is really starting to get on my nerves.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
On Mondays, I start work at 9:30. I walked in the door this morning and my supervisor immediately said, "Oh, I had scheduled you to come in a half hour late today. I guess you didn't read the schedule."

So I said, "Oh! No, I didn't - I didn't see one. When you did you send it out?"

And my supervisor said, "I sent it on Friday and I know you were here. No one ever reads the schedules - it's really annoying."

So I checked my email and, yes, I did have the schedule and yes, she did send it out on Friday. At 5:57, on a day that we close at six, before a weekend, in a job where there has never been any expectation that we would look at our email when we're not at work. And okay, sure, it is my responsibility to know what hours I work but if you change those hours in such a way that there is no reasonable way for you to expect me to find out about it, I feel like you don't get to scold me for it.

I am distracting myself from feeling infuriated over this by thinking about the book I started this morning. It is Roadside Geology of Washington and the chapter on how Washington was formed is pretty great so far. Geology is neat and rocks are interesting and they do not piss me off by having absurd and unrealistic expectations of people.
darchildre: g'kar in a jester's hat, hating the world.  text:  "why does the universe hate me?" (g'kar is not amused)
Alas, I am having a day where all of the people I come in contact with at the library are annoying me. It is mostly not their fault - I'm having one of those days where I just don't want to talk to people - but there are a few where I feel my annoyance is justifiable:

- The lady who came in and told me not to come close to her because she has the flu but still has dvds she wants to hand me.

- The elderly rightwing gentlemen who really really wanted to have a long monologue at me about how the protests in New York and Ferguson are unjustified. Sir, I am working so I can't tell you to take your nonsense elsewhere but you really need to. Also, I do not want to talk to you about ebola, biochemical warfare, or your thoughts on The Russians.

- The person who called and told me she was from the ILL department and asked me if we had a certain title ready to go back to them without mentioning that what she was looking for was a bookgroup kit and not an ILL at all, and then proceeded to get snippy with me for not magically knowing what she wanted.

I feel like I've had my quota of irritating people today, y'know?
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
Things:

- Okay, so, I've been really terrible about actually posting of late. And that topic-a-day meme is going around again - I'm not doing that, but I am making a little resolution to post at least something every day in December, and we'll see if that gets me back in the habit of regular posting.

- Today was my first day back to work after my vacation. Which was great, btw - I had several days of doing nothing whatsoever, which is really lovely once in a while. I did some knitting, caught up on some tv (Gotham is ridiculous, but I kinda love it), played some computer games. And yesterday, I went to visit my sister and watch weird old musicals with her. We watched Yankee Doodle Dandy (which marks the first time I've ever actually seen a James Cagny movie), There's No Business Like Show Business (my first Ethel Merman movie), and 42nd Street. So that was cool. Megan has decided that next time we do a movie marathon together, we're going to watch Footlight Parade and Gold Diggers of 1933. Which is something to look forward to. Megan is great fun to watch movies with (when we're getting along) because we watch them in a very similar manner - we both talk all the time during the movie, we're both okay with rewinding several times if we miss something, we both like the subtitles on - and it's always better when you're watching with someone else like that. I like to discuss a movie while I watch it and so does she, but no one else in our family really does. (We both also do this while watching tv, but we usually have very disparate taste in shows, so it's harder to find one we agree on. Eventually, we're going to have to have a Flash marathon together, if only because it's a show we both watch.)

- Alas, the heating situation in the Kingston library has not improved while I was gone. When I got to work this morning, it was 49 degrees and when I left at one for my shift at Bainbridge, it had just hit 60. Too cold.

- My Christmas concert is next week, which seems entirely too soon. I think it's going to be a good concert, though. Our big piece is Z. Randall Stroope's Hodie and it is the most Star Trek-sounding piece of choral music I've ever sung. I can't wait to sing it with the instrumentalists.


And now, bed!
darchildre: g'kar in a jester's hat, hating the world.  text:  "why does the universe hate me?" (g'kar is not amused)
So. The Saga of the Kingston library, autumn 2014 edition:

Last week, on Wednesday, it suddenly got cold. We'd had a pretty mild fall up to that point, temperatures in the 50's and high 40's, but on Wednesday, it was suddenly below freezing.

It was at that point that we realized that the furnace in the Kingston Community Center was not working.

We still had electric heaters, so the interior of the library itself was livable, but anywhere else in the building was frigid. (Gods help you if you needed to use the bathroom.) The furnace repair guy came on Friday and told us that we had no fuel (we were supposed to be getting regular refills) and that the filters were clogged. So he fixed that and the furnace worked again. Hooray!

But the library is heated primarily via electric heat and our wiring is old. The electricity, along with the wifi, went out three times on Friday because of tripped breakers.

Yesterday, we discovered that, if our patron computers are all in use, the heat is on, and someone uses the printer, all the power to said patron computers and printers cuts out. So we get to choose between patrons who can get online and patron who can enjoy comfortable temperatures. It is not an easy choice, considering that the computers are the main reason half our patrons come in.

And today, the locks to the outer doors, which are on an electric timer controlled by Kitsap County and not at all by us, did not unlock at the appointed time. So nothing works reliably but at least no one can get it.

I am on vacation starting on Saturday until the end of November. I seriously cannot wait.
darchildre: sam beckett rocking out.  text:  "complete and utter dorkmuffin" (dorkmuffin)
One of the great things about working at the library is that there will inevitably come a time when a patron will come in and want to gush at you about a book that they just read and thoroughly enjoyed. And it will be a book that you also read once and completely loved and now feel a little embarrassed about because maybe it wasn't actually all that good and was kinda silly but still, love. And you can talk about it with that patron and they will understand.

By which I mean: yes, new patron who mostly uses the computers but has just started placing holds, please come back soon and talk to me about how awesome Raistlin Majere is, that would be great.
darchildre: rebis in a purple trenchcoat, looking enigmatic (rebis says:)
Things:

- Apparently, I had requested today off at Kingston and then completely forgot about it. I did not request today off at Bainbridge. (I have checked. Three times.) So I showed up to work and everyone was surprised, but we decided that it would be better if I stayed and then called the person who was meant to come in to cover lunches and let him know that he could stay home until his normal shift later in the day. So here I am!

- Yesterday, I was seized by a desire to reread Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol. I am currently in the middle of two books and trying to be better about finishing things, but Doom Patrol. So now I am reading that too. (OMG, Rebis, I love you, I missed you!)

- This weekend, my mother and I went to Goodwill and bought puzzles. Because that seemed like a good idea at the time. So we have cleaned off the dining room table (which is never used except for storage) and have a giant puzzle spread out all over it. It's pretty great.

- Next weekend, we are visiting my sisters for a crafternoon and we're each supposed to have some sort of autumnal/Thanksgiving-related craft to share. I am having trouble coming up with one. I mean, once you get past handprint turkeys, what else do you do? Maybe I will teach them to make friendship bracelets and only bring string in autumnal colors.
darchildre: second doctor playing solitaire (bored now)
Every year, I forget that Columbus Day is a...thing that happens, until I get to work and proceed to answer dozens of phone calls along the lines of, "Oh, I'm just calling to make sure you're open today!"

I wish there was a way you could put up some sort of auditory sign. It would save me a lot of phone calls.
darchildre: herbert is breaking his pencils because you are so dumb.  text:  "you said *what* now?" (herbert is smarter than you)
Things the library-going public asks in all seriousness:

"So, I have a book checked out that's due on October 16th, but I'm going to Pittsburgh in three days and won't be back till after Christmas. Can I renew it so it won't be due till then? I really want to read this book."

...

No.

I'm pretty sure they have libraries in Pittsburgh, though. You might try getting a temporary card with one of them.

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darchildre: a candle in the dark.  text:  "a light in dark places". (Default)
Renfield

June 2016

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