An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

New blood

It's official. We've finally hired a new weekend "liberry" ass. to replace Miss E.

We've actually been in search mode for several weeks now, though we've been threatening such a hire since Miss E's abrupt departure. Back in late October, Mrs. A began hitting up the usual sources of past new employees, such as a valuable contact at my wife's school where hungry jobless med-student spouses are often to be found, willing to work for cheap. (Hey, that's precisely how I got the job, so I'm not knocking it.) When that didn't prove fruitful, she put up a HELP WANTED sign on the front door of the building. After a week passed with nary a response, Mrs. A turned the sign at a six degree angle so that it was crooked against the glass square it was taped to. Suddenly the resumes started pouring in.

Many of the applicants were long-time patrons who always thought it would be fun to work at the library. Several of these folks I would have been happy to work with and even went to bat on their behalf cause I think they're cool people. There were also a number of resumes from the local wingnut population too, a couple of whom we can barely tolerate as patrons.

As I said, there were many good choices among the regular population, but Mrs. A and Mrs. C decided not to go with either the regular or wingnut route. They hired Miss K, who--much like Miss E when she began in the job--is still in high school. In fact, I think she's a senior in high school, which means we'll probably only have her through the end of summer. We're hoping that, unlike Miss E--who turned vicious and deceitful on us and still has yet to actually resign despite not having shown up for work for several months--Miss K will work out much better. According to Mrs. A and C, Miss K was the shining star among those who they interviewed.

My only question to them: "You did warn her she would have to regularly deal with crazy people, right?"

They had.

Miss K apparently comes from good stock and had glowing references in addition to a pleasant personality. Upon hearing we'd hired her, one of her former supervisors at another job congratulated us and said we'd hired a good kid.

Miss K doesn't start until next week and won't be thrown onto weekends until she's trained and on her feet. In the meantime, I'll still have to fill in on weekends, such as today's largely uneventful Saturday shift. It was a very low-traffic day, until exactly three minutes until closing time, at which point two ladies felt it necessary to come in and drop off a pile of books each that I would have to shelve before leaving. One of them stuck around to search for another pile to take out, as rumor has it we're in for a blizzard tomorrow. With limited browsing time, she was really feeling the pressure and seemed to frantically scan the shelves at random. Finally, at 30 seconds `til close, she threw up her hands and said, "You help me find it. I'm looking for more books by her but I can't figure out where they're at." She pointed to one of the hardback Karen Robards books she'd returned.

"Well, you might look over there in the R's?" I suggested.

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