Friday, March 28, 2008

Perils of Patrons Posting Pictures

Mr. Little Stupid approached the circ desk. At first I thought he was going to ask how to spell a word, as usual, but instead he asked if I could show him how to upload pictures to the internet.

"Oh, uh... sure," I said. I followed him back to his computer where he was already logged into his MySpac3 account and had made it as far as the pictures upload section. Naturally, MySpac3 wanted to install ActiveX on our machine, which I knew our security would never allow, but it also offered a less intensive option as a backup, albeit very slowly. Eventually, our overtaxed servers coughed up the new page at which point I showed Mr. Little Stupid how to select pictures from the CD he had brought with him. It's not a difficult process, but I wouldn't have expected anyone to learn it completely on the first try, much less Mr. Little Stupid--a man famous for completely Mementoing on us in the past. It would take at least a couple of tries and that was fine.

What concerned me was what was going to happen when I showed him how to turn the browse listing of his CD contents directory into thumbnails so he could select the one he wanted to upload more easily. As unmodest as Mr. Little Stupid has been about printing out saucy pictures of potential mates found on MySpac3 in the past, I was a little worried what sort of pictures he'd be sending out. It was one of those bomb diffusal situations where you brace for the blast and then clip the red wire. So I braced myself, clicked thumbnail view and up popped lots of very innocently staged outdoor pose pictures of a fully and tastefully-clothed Mr. Little Stupid. Whew!

And, yes, it did take about four tries before he seemed to finally understand the process, a situation not aided by our slow-ass "T1 Line" innanet connection.

The slow internet connection is a major source of contention with both the usual innanet crowd and the staff. We all hate it, but we're kind of shackled with it at the moment. See, the "liberries" of the state have service through an outfit called DubyaVeeNet, which provides net access for a great deal of DubyaVee. The trouble is, they provide SO much access to SO many schools and libraries and sundry other clients that they've taxed their own ability to share the love and the whole thing has become infuriatingly slow to the point that our T1 line is about as fast as dialup. We regularly get complaints that our computers are too slow, at which point we can do nothing but agree with the complainant and suggest to them that they write the governor about it. We've been told by state "liberry" central that they are just as fed up with it as anyone, but that DubyaVeeNet has been given the state contract and only the governor can alter this when it comes time to renew. Until then, we're pretty much stuck on the 1500 baud, Information-Unpaved-Huntin'-trail.

Mostly the complaints come from Gene Gene the Geneal0gy Machine, who can't get his geneal0gy research done fast enough on a good day, let alone the normal very slow days. We've explained the situation to fifty times now, but getting him to listen and follow up on our suggestions has been the problem. For instance, we've repeatedly told him to contact the governor about it since that's what our techs have advised. And after continuing complaints from him and no action, I personally went to Gene and explained the situation YET AGAIN, advising him to write the governor. What did Gene do? Oh, he wrote to the "Liberry" Commissioner to complain, instead. The "L"C then rolled it back down hill to Mrs. A and suggested we tell Gene to write the governor as the "L"C's hands were tied.

"Why didn't you write the governor like we told you to?" I asked Gene to his face, days later. And his reply, at the time, was something along the lines of, "Oh, you wanted me to write the governor?"


So, some months back, Gene attempted and, I believe, failed to write the governor. Oh, he tried to send the gov an email about it at least once, but said that the governor's home page kept blanking out his email form-field after he'd spent a very long time composing his email into it, frustrating him further. He didn't so much blame the governor's faulty website as our computers for conspiring to stay slow.

In the meantime, Gene still seems to feel there's something we're either doing or not doing to cause his computer to be slow, no matter which one he's using. (Actually, while attractive on the surface, slowing Gene's computer down intentionally would not be a good idea at all because Gene tenaciously refuses to give up simply because it's taking him a far longer time to access the information he wants.) And despite being about the third worst computer neophyte I've met in this job, Gene naturally has magic remedies that he thinks we should try in order to fix the situation. Such as his recent suggestion that our connection speed would increase somehow if we rebooted all the computers that weren't currently in use. We pointed out to him that it's standard operating procedure to reboot each computer after use, so his theory was bunk.

Since Gene won't take our advice, our attitude toward him has become one of If he refuses to do the ONE THING we've been told might have some effect, then he can just stew in his slow internet. However, last week, Gene complained YET again and I could no longer hold my tongue. I looked at him, dead in his face, and asked, "Have. You. Written. The. Governor. About. It. Yet?"

Gene admitted that he had not and referred once again to his emails that had been eaten by our computers.

"Then don't send an email," I said. "Send the governor an actual letter on actual paper. People pay far more attention to actual letters they can hold in their hands than any email."

And, as though this brilliant idea had never occurred to him, Gene announced that he would.

We shall see.

1 comment:

crsunlimited said...

T1 slow? I do admit that I live in a pretty rural area, but T1 is the fastest thing we have in this town, and it's way faster then DSL. Our liberry provider is Morenet and aside from a few days where someone is working on a line somewhere I can get faster speed her at the liberry then at my house with a 1.5MBS DSL line. It's nearly instantaneous to load pages. Sorry. Not trying to brag. I just can't believe your connection rate is so slow. The high school and the elementary are both on Morenet, but I can't say if our local college is.

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.