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.

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Deposit One Brain" (L is for Lazy Week: Day 1)

One day, a couple weeks back, my boss Mrs. A was scheduled to be in meetings in her office for most of the day. Likewise, Mrs. C had pressing business to take care of via phone and Mrs. B needed to process the backlog of book donations for our booksale. When Ms. S arrived, she was told she would need to work the desk to free everyone else up for their tasks. Almost immediately upon clocking in, though, she fled the desk for the nonfiction shelves to "read" the sections she's responsible for keeping in order. (And I shudder at the thought tht I may one day be sent to check her work.)

Mrs. C sent Mrs. B to drag Ms. S back to the desk and repeated to her that she was to stay there. Everyone then went to their tasks, some close by, some far off, and left Ms. S to it.

Shortly after this, the wife of one of the warring parties in our ongoing battle for the c0ntract0r's manuals came in to inquire about their status. The wife mentioned to Ms. S that she'd phoned about them earlier in the day. Ms. S, who lives in fear of our deposit books, because they are a hassle and require attention to detail, immediately denied all knowledge of anything this lady might or might not have been told about the books and tried desperately to weasel out of having to deal with the situation by pleading ignorance to Mrs. C. Mrs. C, who was by then very much on the phone in the midst of her business, indicated, using her eyebrows alone, that she would, in fact, slaughter Ms. S if she didn't go deal with the situation and answer the wife's question, which was merely to see if we had any of the deposit books on hand that she wanted. As it turned out, we didn't have all of them, but it took a long time for Ms. S to determine this because she kept nervously and unsuccessfully trying to check the computer for them rather than simply walking to the shelf and having a gander. Mrs. C had to put her call on hold for a moment to alert Ms. S to this shortcut, at which point Ms. S finally went and retrieved the books we did have on hand.

That done, Ms. S still seemed at a complete loss as to how to tell which books among those required for the c0ntract0r's exam were currently checked out and not in the stack she'd brought to the desk. Mrs. C finally had to put her call on hold again, drag Ms. S over to the c0ntract0r's manuals MANUAL (hanging exactly where it always is, right where Ms. S has been told it can be found at least twice before), then show her how to turn to the big obvious bookmarked page to find the list of required books for the c0ntract0r's exam, and show her how to read the spines of the stack of books there on the desk, comparing them against those listed in the manual to see which one's weren't present. Ms. S still screwed it up, declaring to the patron that we didn't have the very book that was sitting RIGHT THERE on the top of the stack--a book, I might add, that Mrs. C had JUST used as an example to show Ms. S how to do the job.

Mrs. B walked back into the room then, prompting Ms. S to gratefully explain to her patron that Mrs. B had been the employee to whom she'd spoken on the phone ealier. Then Ms. S tried to make a break for the nonfiction room in order to ditch the whole matter in Mrs. B's lap.

Mrs. C again had to put her call on hold and explain to Ms. S that she would not be escaping her duty and that she would be the person who to finish the transaction.

Upon hearing this tale recounted, I suggested that we need to get Ms. S her own Unobstructed Doors aid on the grounds that she's clearly retarded.

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