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)
In our library, we have a combination printer/photocopier. The photocopy part is controlled by a panel on the machine itself, while print jobs from the patron computers are released via a print release terminal on a table right next to the printer. The print release terminal says "PRINT RELEASE" in big purple letters. There are instructions on the table explaining how to use the print release terminal. The panel on the copier has big letters that say "USE THIS SCREEN FOR COPIES ONLY!"

Every day - every day - I have at least one patron come up to the desk and say, "I sent something to the printer and put my money in and all I got was this blank piece of paper!" Well, sir or madam, that is because you are apparently incapable of reading even very basic, very obvious instructions.

I tell you what, I am really looking forward to our three-week closure.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
We had a windstorm yesterday, which knocked out the power in a lot of places, as well as leaving debris all over. So I got to the library this morning a half-hour before opening, to find that the computers are all funny because of the outage, there's debris everywhere outside, our clock that's supposed to reset itself for DST hasn't, neither have the automatic locks on the doors, and my coworker is out sick. So it's just me and my manager, who's busy doing managerial things.

Okay, cool, so I'm running around trying to get all the opening stuff done that usually has two of us to do it, plus all the extra stuff due to the power outage and DST. And I get all of the inside stuff done, we open okay, and I run out to get the newspapers, because if we don't have the Wall Street Journal in its place first thing in the morning, the cranky guy who reads it every day will be the first person through the door and he'll crab at us.

While I'm digging through the bookdrop for the newspapers, a patron walks past me. So I put on my customer service smile and cheerily wish her a good morning. And what do I get in return?

"You need to sweep that stuff up."

Gosh, I am glad that I came out to open the library so you could get your books today, ma'am, instead of staying home to drink tea and reread The Gunslinger. It's awfully nice to know that people are so kind and appreciative.
darchildre: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
Dear library patron,

It is not acceptable to call me "Shylock" because the cash register is at my station, holy shit.

Wow, dude. Wow.
darchildre: a large blue marble.  text:  "today I am a small blue thing" (cool and smooth and curious)
Today, work is stressful. We are short staffed - one of my coworker's mother died late last week, so she's out all this week for obvious reasons and we're scrambling to cover her shifts. There were extra people here this morning, doing inventory before our move to our new building and trying to fix the furnace in this building because the room next door (which serves as an emergency shelter for the community during inclement weather) isn't getting any heat. We have mice in the office. And the internet went out system-wide for several hours this afternoon, which also knocked out the phones and with them all our usual avenues of communication. And later this week, on Thursday, I have a meeting in a library I've never been to before that only has street parking (I hate street parking) and then I get to come back to my library and run a program.

So that's cool.

I really want to take a mental health day, but we're short staffed as it is, so I would feel terribly guilty doing so. (And if I did, my mom would decide that we should "do something fun together!", which would rather defeat the purpose. Not that Mom isn't fun, but it is not a proper mental health day if it includes time where I have to worry if other people are enjoying themselves. Which I would do.) It is a problem.

I have a jury summons for next week and let me tell you, it is probably some kind of warning sign when you start fantasizing about being called for jury duty because it would be a day off. But I am absolutely doing that - ideally, I would get called in on Tuesday and then not actually get put on a jury but not have that decided till the end of the day. Because then I could spend the majority of the day sitting quietly and reading while I wait for things to be decided around me. Doesn't that sound lovely?

With my luck, I will get called for Monday and put on a jury for a trial that lasts for days so that I'll have to call into work every day (which I hate doing) and then feel guilty for adding extra stress to my coworkers' lives.

Maybe I will go live on the moon instead.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
Today, I had to actually stop a kid from doing cartwheels in the library, while her grandmother stood right next to her and watched, while complaining that we didn't have any books in our tiny library specifically on doily making*.

People are inexplicable.




*We offered to put books on doily making on hold - no good. We offered to find and print patterns from the internet - no good. She was amazingly offended that we had no books on hand to offer her. It was pretty astounding.
darchildre: ninth doctor and rose viewing earth from space (...and i feel fine)
Back from the film festival and back to work!

So, this is my tenth year of working at the library. Which is pretty cool - I like working at the library and it's nice to think that I've been there that long and still enjoy it.

When you get to 10 years at the library, they give you a pin. I got mine today. I got one at five years, too.

I don't know, you guys, maybe I am just really cynical but what is the point of that? I assume there are people who value things like that and I envy them, but it always puts me in mind of those awards ceremonies we'd have at the end of the year in middle school, where everyone got a certificate for something. Just these weird mass-produced pieces of paper with a facsimile of the principal's signature, saying that you'd had perfect attendance* or whatever you were being "recognized" for. Ours had pictures of tigers on them, despite the fact that our school mascot was the jaguar, and we told at least one of our teachers that every year. (Once I had a teacher try to argue with me about that, as if I didn't know/couldn't tell the difference between tigers and jaguars. I invite you to imagine my adolescent scorn.) That level of attention to detail should give you an idea of how valuable these certificates were, yet they were given out every year of my school life as though we ought to treasure them.

That's what the pin feels like. It's a random mass-produced anonymous piece of useless nonsense. I guess I've never really understood the point of trophies, either. Either you won a competition, in which case you won, or it's an achievement you reached on your own bettering yourself. In either case, you have what you achieved. Having a weird useless cup as well seems silly to me.

The uselessness bothers me too. At 15 years working at the library, you're given a plaque. What do you even do with that? I mean, obviously, you hang it on your wall except no, I'm not going to do that. I didn't even hang my college diploma on my wall, and I put actual work into earning that, rather than simply clearing the lowest bar possible by showing up to work every day. You want to reward me for clearing that bar? Then at least give me something I can use.

I can never tell if being weirdly annoyed about this kind of thing is just me being overly cynical or if a lot of people don't really get trophies and certificates and we've all sort of silently agreed that it's not done to talk about it. Maybe there are a lot of people who really like this kind of thing. (If so, I hope that you'll accept that I mean no insult to you.)

I don't know, guys. Anyay. Now I have a pin.





*Awards for perfect attendance are especially bullshit, because a) don't come to school when you're sick, that's a terrible decision and you'll infect everyone else, and b) a child has basically no control over deciding whether or not to go school. It's like getting an award for not being struck by lightning - you put no effort into achieving it, it happens whether you want it to or not.
darchildre: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
The library patron who calls me all the pet names came in today, and called me "Sweetiepie" and "Lovey" and "Bunny". And, y'know, I hate that. So, I figured that I've put up with that for 10 years and, other than that, we have a pretty amicable relationship, so in the course of conversation when she said "Bunny," I said, "Please don't call me that."

And she blinked at me and said, "Why don't you like being called that?" So I told her that I don't really like being called pet names. And she said, "Why not? I mean, do you have no inherent sense of self-worth?"

Do you have no inherent sense of self-worth. That is a thing that she actually asked me, actually said to my face.

So, y'know what? Fuck you, lady. I do indeed have an inherent sense of self-worth, because that's what makes me not want to be called demeaning pet names by someone who can't be bothered to use my fucking real name after knowing it for ten fucking years. I also have an inherent sense of courtesy and respect for other people that makes me a) address people respectfully, b) not argue with people when they ask me not to do something, c) not do terrible shit like accusing people of having a lack of self-worth, and d) talk to you respectfully even after you said that shit to me. As well as a sense of restraint that leads me to not punch you in the face.

You want to know the real reason I don't want you to call me pet names? Because you don't know me, and I don't like you. So back the fuck off.

I am so angry about this. Thank the gods I'm off tomorrow and don't have to do any kind of bullshit customer service anything.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
Oh, library drama!

So, we are a small library with a small Friends of the Library group and as such, our Friends only put on something like four booksales a year. Far and away the most popular, best attended, most lucrative sale is the summer sale, which is always held at the Kingston Farmer's Market. And is scheduled for this Saturday.

Except the Friends can't get enough people already in the group to schlep the books down to the market and run the sale, and don't have enough time to find and recruit new (younger) people to do so. So they told my manager today, that they're cancelling it. Two days before the sale.

Not only that, but just now, we got a call from the person in charge of the Farmer's Market, who needed some clarification as to the date of the sale (he had two dates listed on his calendar), so I got to be the person to tell him that the whole deal was off.

Now, I'm sympathetic to the Friends' problems but a) it is your job to let the Market guy know, and b) OMG, could you not have realized this last week?
darchildre: second doctor playing solitaire (bored now)
On the one hand: I am super cranky today. There's no actual reason for this - maybe it's too bright, maybe I haven't gotten enough sleep lately, maybe it's just residual from the parade of crying babies who came to the library yesterday. I don't know, but I kinda hate everything. I am trying hard not to, but it's very difficult.

On the other hand: today, our library received this book in our shipment from the main branch, and that is the most hilarious thing I've seen today.
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: dorothy in the ruins of oz.  text:  "beware the wheelers" (beware the wheelers!)
- Today, I had to get up early and go to a consultation appointment for oral surgery. Yippee.

- Also, I got to unclog the toilet, which was super thrilling, let me tell you.

- Tomorrow, I have to get up early and go to a meeting, then go straight to work, where we will be short-staffed and I have a program to run.

- Friday, at least, is normal.

- And I work on Saturday, in the branch with no air conditioning, and it's supposed to be something like 90 degrees.

Possibly, instead, I will choose to hibernate till October.
darchildre: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
Dear neighbors,

A) When did Memorial Day become a fireworks holiday?

B) It isn't even Memorial Day yet!
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 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: (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: 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: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
I have decided that my least favorite question ever is: "Why do you know that?"

A coworker has a first aid class coming up soon, so I told her about L'Inconnue de la Seine. Because that is totally fascinating - who would not want to know about that? And my coworker just looked at me and said, "Why do you know that?" You know the tone. Like knowing things is strange and off-putting in itself, like knowledge is suspicious.

I hate that. I hate when I give someone a plot description of a book I love or an old horror film and their response is "I just don't know how you keep all that in your head." I hate when my dad laughs at me because I've chosen to use a word that might be unusual but is more precise as to the meaning I want to convey. I bet they have things they know that I don't, special areas of interest and expertise. Why the hell are my areas of interest and expertise less worthy of respect?

Why do you know that? It is a legitimately interesting piece of knowledge - why the hell don't you?
darchildre: space commander travis is pissed.  text:  "please fuck off and die.  thanks." (travis says "fuck off and die")
Dear library patron,

How about you try not snapping at me when I tell you that I can't give you your family members' account information? Because that is not allowed. I don't care if you tell me you're their mother - we don't give out account information unless that person is present or you have your card.

Or unless your name is listed on that account as a guardian, which you would have heard me say if you'd let me finish my sentence instead of cutting me off to yell at me. Since you are listed, I can tell you what you wanted to know.

You did not have to be rude to get this information.
darchildre: a very sad t-rex (i do not know why i am so terrible)
I am having a frustrating day.

So, a few months ago, I was asked if I would like to swap my Friday hours at Bainbridge for Friday hours at Kingston. Since I make more money at Kingston and also like working there better, I said yes.

At the time, I was under the impression that it would be a one-to-one swap - five hours in one place for five in another. Then I was told that I would have to give up one hour at Kingston, on Thursday, to make this work, which was irritating, but I'd be making more money while working less, so okay. But also, it took a very long time for anything to get officially confirmed, and all of this information trickled down a chain - admin to my manager to my supervisor to me - with me always the last to know anything about it, and often being given confused information by my immediate supervisor, who assured me that my manager would talk to me and make sure all the details were hashed out. That never happened.

Finally, they told me that my new schedule would go into effect on September 1st. So I came in this morning, as I always do. My supervisor appeared about 10 minutes later, said hello, and then said, "I don't think you're supposed to be here for another hour."

Turns out, I have lost an hour on Tuesday too, and no one told me. Admittedly, part of this is my fault for not checking my email last Friday, when the schedules were sent out. But also, I kinda feel like maybe, at some point, someone should have sat down with me and told me what the plan was, what exactly my new schedule would be, why they were working it the way they were. I feel like I've been left out of the loop on a matter than vitally concerns me, because everyone who should have been telling me what was going on has been assuming someone else was doing it. The whole thing has felt weirdly shady, since not being told information like this feels like someone is keeping things secret. And now I just feel stupid and pissed off about it, because it's not that they were keeping secrets - it's that none of them were organized or communicative enough to get the thing done properly.

I mean, I'm still okay with the arrangement, mostly. I don't like that I'm losing those hours, but I've pretty much made my peace with it. But I think I should have been told about the damned schedule change before the morning it started.

(Also, I hate being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It sets off my anxiety something fierce - I have multiple calendars wherever I am so that I can check that I'm where I'm supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there. Changing my schedule without discussing it with me upsets me a great deal, which is compounded my frustration at not being informed about what was going on with my job. So I am angry about that, and the anxiety kinda makes me want to cry, which is really not what I wanted for today.)
darchildre: herbert is breaking his pencils because you are so dumb.  text:  "you said *what* now?" (herbert is smarter than you)
Dear coworkers,

I know it's hot. Believe me, I know. And I know it seems counterproductive. However.

If you run the air conditioner with the windows open, it does not actually do anything.

It is 80 degrees in here and steadily getting hotter and at least part of that is due to the fact that you don't understand that you need to keep the cold air inside.
darchildre: dorothy in the ruins of oz.  text:  "beware the wheelers" (beware the wheelers!)
Things:

- So I started rereading Carmilla instead. I say "rereading", because I have technically read it before, but I was about 9 years old and missed pretty much everything important and don't really remember it at all. But hey, 22 years later, it's pretty great.

- The last 15 minutes the library was open tonight, we had no patrons. So it was just me and the other nerdy person who works there, standing around talking about stuff. And I discovered something inexplicable - I knew that he had watched at least some Farscape, because he understood a reference I made to it some months ago. But tonight it came out that he has only watched the first season and isn't really sure that he liked it and I'm pretty sure I just sort of sputtered at him incoherently for a minute because Farscape! ::flaily hands:: I mean, intellectually I understand that there must be people who don't like Farscape but I don't really grok the idea, y'know?

- There are children outside my window, chasing one of the local wild rabbits with a fishing net. (Okay, it may be a feral rabbit, as it is piebald.) I viciously hope it will bite them.
darchildre: second doctor playing solitaire (bored now)
The problem with being a fan of somewhat obscure older horror in the age of the modern internet is that one gets spoiled. I mean, if I want to read basically any work of horror literature that's currently in public domain, someone has probably put it up somewhere that I can download it. Usually for free, but if not, for a very reasonable price. Which is awesome!

But it only works if the work was originally in English*.

And that is why I am currently feeling ridiculously annoyed by the fact that I apparently cannot access a reasonably priced English translation of Les Mains d'Orlac. Because I want it and I read nowhere near enough French to just download the original.

I guess I just have to learn more French.





*I have no doubt that non-native speakers of English experience this all the time in the reverse which would be equally annoying and I'm sorry.

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darchildre: a candle in the dark.  text:  "a light in dark places". (Default)
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June 2016

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