Sunday, December 05, 2004

We got a "Cleanup after the Librarian" on Aisle 5!

Our head librarian Mrs. A is a great lady, a great boss and a great librarian. However, as a library assistant, she stinks up the joint.

Yesterday, she filled in for our normal Saturday shift "liberry" ass., Mrs. H.  Mrs. A so rarely has to close up shop that she gets terribly rusty at it, so much so that she has to use our Closing Time Duties Check List. Sure enough, I found just such a checklist on the circ desk when I came in. Every item was checked off, but there were a few items that probably should be added to future versions of the list. Items such as vacuuming the filthy blue runner carpet, shelving ALL the books on the book cart, emptying the trash, etc., which were left undone.

Mrs. A also used less than her whole ass on some of the other primary Saturday shift duties, such as the processing and packing up of our interlibrary loans, which wound up on my docket today.

Doing ILL's is one of my least favorite things to do, which is why I try not to work Saturdays very often. It's not that it's difficult, just time consuming and mildly irritating. You've got to dig all the outgoing ill books out of the ILL Cubby Hole under the desk, sort them into piles for each library they're going to, find all the corresponding ILL slips in the ILL'S RECEIVED accordion folder, mark off each of these ILLs in the ILL'S RECEIVED BINDER, inventory everything on a ILL'S SHIPPED OUT slip which we put into the binder and then pack everything up in as few padded envelopes as possible with only our week to week stock of ratty old padded envelopes to choose from. Depending on how many books we have to send out, it can take anywhere from ten minutes to two hours to do.

In Mrs. A's defense, she had actually done most of the paperwork portion of the task for me, pre-sorted the books into piles and had even found pre-printed mailing labels for the individual libraries. She had not, however, actually packed any of them up, so that I had to do. Still took about half an hour and then I had to do more of it as other ILL's came back throughout the day.

I guess I'm just amazed that she left a mess she would not have put up with had one of the regular ass.'s left it.

Ironically, I almost left myself a huge mess. I began composing this entry in Word-Pad while still at the library. I didn't save the file, just had it open as text which I later cut and pasted into a blogger file. However, I neglected to delete the original text which still sat highlighted in the Word-Pad document and had other windows piled on top of it so that I couldn't see it. I even attempted to shut down the computer, while I attended to other closing duties, (trash, vacuuming, shelving), and only as I was about to walk out the door did I realize that the presence of the unsaved document would have prompted Windows to ask if I wanted to save it, preventing the system from actually shutting down. I ran back to the computer and sure enough there it was. It probably would have sat there all night until Mrs. C discovered it Monday morning.

I deleted the text and made sure everything shut down.


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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.